For the past few weeks, we’ve been feeding a feral cat and her two kittens. They were living in a sheltered area of the woods behind the house. Every morning and evening they would come into the yard for their breakfast and dinner. I had been sitting outside, reading, in an attempt to acclimate them to my presence, but they still remained very frightened and wary. We realized that in order to catch them, we’d have to come up with a gentle, but cunning plan. DH figured out a way to attach a cat flap to a large metal playpen and we started putting their food in it so they would get used to it. Then, in a stroke of pure genius, he rigged the flap so that it would close (and stay closed) simply by pulling a string from the kitchen window. This morning, when all three were having their salmon in the playpen, we got ‘em! We slid long poles through the metal at the top so we could safely transport the entire cage, "Ark of the Covenant" style!
We think the babies are about eight weeks old and are probably their mommy’s first litter. They are all completely wild so it’s going to take a lot of work to earn their confidence. I love cats but I do sometimes wonder why it seems to always be our responsibility to rescue them. And then I think of the words to a great song, “Treasure Island,” sung by Mary Black:
"O love is never easy
It's almost always out of your way
It's not the path of least resistance
It's not some words you get to say
It's a stream running up a mountain
It's a wave rolling out from the shore
Wish I could say I never felt that way before"
Pen with Cat Flap and String
Close-up of Flap