Is now resting peacefully in a crate in our spare bedroom. The Mama cat is in a trap outside, awaiting her fate, which is to be spayed on Wednesday and then released back into the wild.
Thanks to L., a neighborhood cat rescuer, the entire plan went off without a hitch (knock wood, spill salt etc. for it is not over yet). I knew I wanted to help these kitties and their Mama but was hesitant. She and my friend Y. convinced me this was the right way to do it. I had reservations and still do, about separating a mother from her babies and it was heart-wrenching to watch. I just have to remember that the kittens will be happy when we socialize them and find them good homes. The mother cat will become calmer once spayed and the neighborhood will have fewer feral cats overall.
Watching L. in action was quite a sight. She came bearing all of her cat rescue items, from traps, to paper french fry holders (ideal for containing food in the traps) and she set to work. She began by placing their food in the usual spot and waited quietly while the kittens emerged from the bramble. She picked them up, one by one, grabbing them by the scruff of their necks, as their Mama would, and placing them in the transfer cage.
Then she placed the trap for the Mama cat, directly in front of the kittens and within a minute, the Mama walked in. A seemingly cruel but effective method. For the first half an hour or so, the kittens meowed quite loudly, so much so that neighbors two houses away could hear and they texted to see if they could help out.
When things calmed down, we brought the kittens upstairs and Mama is outside, in a covered trap which is now situated under an outdoor table. L. helped us to set up a fine temporary home for the kittens in a large cage. With toys, a litter box, food and a towel, they are now resting comfortably. Tomorrow I will take them to the shelter to be checked over and registered, making us official foster cat parents.
This entire kitten rescue occurred during the dinner hour, Izzy feared I would ruin our dinner for the second night, since I was all but ignoring things on the grill. In the end, L. joined us outside and we managed to have some grilled turkey sausages, sliced mozzarella, asparagus and bread.
Stay tuned for photos of these adorable kittens...once you see them, you won't be able to resist!