Pregnant Semi-Feral who won't go in a kennel

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chaucer

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I've put pillows and blankets around the chair in case one kitten manages to fall off. I've put food on side of the chair next to the other chair so Charlie-Belle can eat, and she did a little. I put more food for her this morning very early and she got up and moved to the can (It's all I can fit where she is on the two chairs. The plan had been for them to stay in my storage room in a kennel or just running around until ready for the rescue in three months. Not happening now. :( My rescue friend is coming today to assess the situation and see our best plan of action. I'll miss seeing the babies grown into the cute stage. Attached are pictures of my first very rescue and her kittens. They stayed for over three months until they were all adopted to friends and family.
 

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chaucer

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So, Charlie-Belle, tried to attack me the other day when I got too close trying to put a blanket under the chair next to her so the kittens wouldn't fall onto the concrete floor. Now, I'm wary. Today, however, she was off the chair where the kittens were and in the kennel with the litter box. She came out and half-hissed before I poured some dry food for her. Went back a bit later with a bowl of water (a bit afraid to place it on the floor) and she came up and rubbed around my ankles. To say I was frozen is an understatement. I was near the door and she seemed to want to go outside. The kittens were sleeping. I got out before she could. Hoping that this may be the answer to getting her trapped and she and the kittens to the rescue, but a bit concerned that she may be going into a very early heat.
 
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Definitely not going well! Her moods are horrendous and I'm a nervous wreck, fearing for my own safety every time I go out there. In the 10 years I have been rescuing and caring for semi-feral/feral/stray cats even pregnant ones, this one is a nightmare. She was pretty good for a while, even after the kittens, but they are now almost 6 days old and she has been a terror the last couple of days. Hormones, moods, I get, but that doesn't help when she's hissing and trying to come after me when I bring in food and water. Maybe it's because she feels trapped and wants to roam, and believe me, if the chance comes before the rescue organization ever gets here, I will let her go out and get the kittens and take them to the cat rescue who has offered to take them all, including her (with a sizeable donation I might add). They can trap her a bit later.
 
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chaucer

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I am trying not to do that, but getting attacked isn't in my plans either. I'm sort of in a sticky spot here. Rescuer just told me she is unable to help right now due to an illness, so I am currently trying to find help. Checking with my vet this morning about potential bottle feeders or suggestions on how to calm her. I have things I NEED to get out of there and places fixed to keep kittens from getting trapped and hurt, but Mama isn't receptive at the moment. She flipped in the last couple of days. I have not changed anything in the way I talk to her. I don't get near the kittens (I was able to early on) and I certainly don't touch them or her.
 

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Is wearing some heavy protection like oven mitts and work overalls possible? Luckily you have at least a week before the kittens should wander too far. Right now, I just have a rolled up towel blocking my foster kittens(15-16 days old) from escaping, but I know I need to upgrade very soon. Hopefully Charlie-Belle's hormones chill out as quick as they wound up.
 
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Is wearing some heavy protection like oven mitts and work overalls possible? Luckily you have at least a week before the kittens should wander too far. Right now, I just have a rolled up towel blocking my foster kittens(15-16 days old) from escaping, but I know I need to upgrade very soon. Hopefully Charlie-Belle's hormones chill out as quick as they wound up.
Thanks for understanding. I'm hoping to get some heavy-duty work gloves t hat tie over the wrist. I don't have work overalls. I was wearing my bathrobe over doubled-up pajamas but today I only wore socks and house shoes. She stuck a claw in the shoe (fortunately they are thick) but I stood there again like a statue and threw the spoon to get attention away from me. I had the unused kennel pressed up against part of the sofa and I had thought to put some blankets against the edges. It's just when Charlie-Belle sees movement, she gets upset. With my other cat, it was much clearer in the there and I had bricks covering the edges and I had taken down the draperies over the two windows. I also had the tall cupboards tied shut. She had the kittens on a velvet chair so they can easily fall to the concrete. I've got blankets and pillows around them but there's still a gap I can't reach. I hope her hormones settle. She may not have been a friendly cat before her pregnancy. I only knew her when she was in heat and pregnant.
 
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chaucer

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First, thank you, all, for the support. Second, this has taken an upsetting turn. I couldn't find the kittens yesterday and Charlie-Belle was wandering around the storage room. At first, I thought the kittens were dead, but my neighbor, an experienced trapper and rescuer, came over and found the kittens near by their original spot behind a picture on a chair. I cannot believe that Mama could even fit back there, so I didn't look.

She was able to pet Charlie-Belle who was nursing but the cat spit and ran when she tried to get her, leaving the kittens on the chair. The kittens were rescued and placed in a smaller, covered kennel. For the rest of the day (this started at 9:00 AM) we waited (not in the room) and the rescuer made a few attempts during the day to catch her but there were too many hiding places. A covered trap was set up with food and placed in front of the kennel with the kittens, the hope being the kittens would get hungry, cry and Charlie-Belle would go in the trap to get them. NOTHING. The kittens were sleeping and didn't make a peep all day. By 4:00, we were worried, so the rescue that my neighbor works with frantically searched and found a bottle feeder, and the kittens were taken there. The plan (hope) is that Charlie-Belle will go into the crate for the canned tuna in water. As of 12:30 AM, this was not the case. I heard mewing when I went out to listen at the door. She was at the door when I unlocked it and mewing. She wanted out. I had to close that door and leave her. The other door is blocked to prevent her hiding elsewhere.

This is just heartbreaking. I finally got to see the kittens up close and they are so cute, and fat. Their eyes are opening. Now hoping they will take the bottle and Charlie will get hungry enough to go in the trap. Good thoughts, prayers, would be appreciated.
 
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Charlie-Belle never went in the trap last night, so this morning we tried something different. After a night at the bottle feeders, the local rescuer brought the kittens back ad we tried again by putting three kittens (the fourth was a wanderer) in the trap itself. We left. Within minutes, Charlie-Belle went into the trap. The rescuer was able to get the fourth kitten in. Waiting on the next step. It has been such an ordeal that shouldn't have been. Thank you again for your kind words and support.
 

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She went in to see about her babies. Her teats were probably full and those mama hormones are very strong when the kittens are this young!

I’m sorry it took so much work, but it’s awesome that you persisted and now they are reunited, which is a best-case scenario. Do let us know what happens next!
 
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She went in to see about her babies. Her teats were probably full and those mama hormones are very strong when the kittens are this young!

I’m sorry it took so much work, but it’s awesome that you persisted and now they are reunited, which is a best-case scenario. Do let us know what happens next!
Thank you. I'm so grateful for everyone's support and kind words on here. Separating them with the goal of reuniting at some point, although heartbreaking, and then a quick next-day decision by the rescuer to get the kittens back from the bottle feeder and try that turned out to be a great idea. Charlie-Belle and her babies are going to a foster today. I have asked to be kept informed on their progress. They will eventually be adopted through the rescue itself or through PetSmart with whom they work. I am donating the cost of their spaying/neutering and rabies shots to the shelter. My neighbor is a volunteer trapper/ TNR in town and wouldn't take any money, but I did manage to give her a large unopened bag of cat food as a thank you. Charlie-Belle turned out not to be feral. She's barely semi-feral. It's just hormones and she happened to show up as an outside diner already into her pregnancy, so there was no time to gain complete trust. She has not been scanned for a chip, but no one in my neighborhood claimed her when I posted on several local lost/found pets pages.
 
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Well, things have taken a turn and Charlie-Belle and her three-week old babies are still at my experienced trapper and rescuer neighbor's house because mama cat's reactions are unpredictable and she is now no longer being considered for a foster/adoption program. She and the babies are receiving wonderful care where they are now though.

After talking with the rescuer and the rescue, it's been decided that once the babies are old enough to eat wet food, Charlie-Belle will be spayed, vetted, and released in my back yard where she is in her familiar territory. I will continue to leave food and water for her and she will have shelter if she wants it. The kittens will go to a foster and will be adopted through the rescue. I'm footing the bill for all the spaying and neutering, rabies shots for Mama and kittens. It's been paid already. This has been a sad, stressful time for those of us involved.

I visited earlier this week and Charlie-Belle is still very protective, but she did not hiss at me or act fearful. I think she recognized me and my voice. She's a wonderful mother to her kittens. The rescuer let me hold one of the kittens. Charlie-Belle did not attack her but my neighbor has been bitten a couple of times (through double gloves so nothing serious) when she has tried to get a kitten. Attached is the photo I took while there. The cardboard is the "bumper" to keep the kittens from getting stuck between the kennel's bars.
 

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This all sounds like it is the best possible outcome. Mama being spayed and returned to you will give her the best life possible since she is not adoptable. The kittens are absolutely beautiful and will have a chance. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helpingb her and her babies, you are an angel here on earth!
You have gained a lot of valuable experience too, it is an adventure you will never forget! Thank you so much for letting us follow you and giving others incentive for being fosters, even though that mama doesn't seem to appreciate it, you are saving her life and made such a difference in her world......
 
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This all sounds like it is the best possible outcome. Mama being spayed and returned to you will give her the best life possible since she is not adoptable. The kittens are absolutely beautiful and will have a chance. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helpingb her and her babies, you are an angel here on earth!
You have gained a lot of valuable experience too, it is an adventure you will never forget! Thank you so much for letting us follow you and giving others incentive for being fosters, even though that mama doesn't seem to appreciate it, you are saving her life and made such a difference in her world......
Thank you so much! I've been doing this for 10 years, and I remember how helpful you were in the beginning when I had questions. This site is the best. I hope this thread will help others.
 
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Here is an update for those who have followed this and been so encouraging with advice and support. My rescuer neighbor finally had to get the 5 week-old kittens to a local, reputable bottle feeder on Friday and take Charlie-Belle and a new cat in the neighborhood to the vet for a spay and neuter. Charlie-Belle was getting very agitated from being confined and putting two 48 inch crates together had not helped much. If CB saw my neighbor get too close to the kittens she would "charge" her and swat. Well, she got one of the kitten's by mistake this week. The kitten is okay but that was the deciding point.

CB was released in my backyard on Saturday morning at 4:30 AM. The other cat was released in my next-door-neighbor's yard because she had fed him. CB had bitten the rescuer on the thumb that morning while being transferred to a carrier. So, now I have Charlie-Belle back. I'm wary of her and dress for battle when I go outside, but so far she has been rubbing around my ankles and wanting in my house. I think she has adopted ME. Learned she had a bonded pal - a male tux I had been calling "Angus." He's been around here ever since she has been gone and I'd seen them together before. He is not the kitten's father. It was a gray tabby. He will be neutered when my neighbor can get him and a fluffy black who makes an appearance here and at her house. Sigh...I can neither afford nor handle two more cats, even outside, but CB has somehow bonded with me and she's got a bonded pal, so...see the reunion in the photos.
 

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An update on Charlie-Belle. She was NEVER a semi-feral it turns out. She's been with me a while and living on the carport. Overly-affectionate. I go outside and it takes me 5-10 minutes to go back in the house. CB is rubbing around my ankles, following me, and purring, trilling, chirping, and plays with toys and plays with my cats through the picture window. She's so happy and she wants to come inside. The five others would not be welcoming and since CB doesn't like being in a kennel for a while - and that is a must to acclimate everyone - she has to remain outside. Her brother Angus is showing signs of trusting me. Charlie in photo (with dirty window). She is younger than I thought and much smaller.

However, during all of this, a rather ragged, older tortie showed up. At first, it was a difficult time due to CB not liking her, and Foxy was food aggressive. A week later after I kept feeding her, Foxy was rescued (not even using the trap) and turned out to be extremely loving and cuddly. The vet discovered she had already been spayed but was not microchipped. It was decided her owner had passed away and she was left to fend for herself. The next day a rescue placed her in PetSmart and she was adopted within 24 hours. Her stages are in the other picture.
 

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