Saturday, 7 July 2012

Bat Cat's Last Kitten


A couple of weeks ago I posted about having to bring back the last kitten from the market because no one wanted her.  Although we loved her (she's so cute!) we didn't feel it was fair to keep her because we simply don't know how long we'll be able to stay here - a kitten is a long-term option - and we're away such a lot.  No problem for a wild cat who lives outside and simply needs food left out for her, but a tame house cat is another thing altogether.
Newly named Bisca
So, we were very happy when our friends at Peralta offered to take the kitten and introduce her into the Peralta zoo which already includes two cats and three dogs.  It also means that Neil and I can see her on a regular basis.  She will have to earn her keep as a huntress, but she has her mother's genes and is a lively, feisty little cat.  She's now named Bisca - a biscarina is an affectionate term meaning something like 'silly little girl' - and is a good description of a kitten who will chase anything and play with anything all day long.   She's got the dogs under her paw already.
Friends!

Bat Cat, within days of losing her last offspring, was in an interesting condition when we came back from Slovakia and we were kept awake for two nights by the yowling and wowling of her boyfriends on the terrace.  But I had already booked her into the wild cat trust's sterilisation programme.  Catching her proved to be a bit of a game, particularly as she had her mind more on sex than on food.  But cats in season get much more friendly and I managed to get near enough to grasp her by the scruff of the neck.  Neil wrapped her quickly in a towel and we popped her unceremoniously into the laundry room for the night.  Next morning I  (being a farmer's daughter!) got the job of catching her in a confined space while Neil held the box.  It was, as they say in Italy 'un casino'!!  Cat on the shelves, Cat up the wall, Cat under the tool box.  But finally she tried to go through the laundry rack, was trapped and caught.  Phew.....   One very unhappy cat.  My heart bled for her, but I had to keep telling myself it was for her own good in the long term.
In the cat carrier
 It felt like delivering her into the hands of the feline equivalent of a backstreet abortionist!  The instructions were to drive to a certain roundabout, and wait at the traffic lights for a woman in a red car.  The cat was duly handed over and I was told to come back at 2 o'clock.  Same roundabout, same traffic lights, same red car.  Dozy post-operative cat handed back.  Mission accomplished.   I can't thank the Nati Liberi charity enough and was more than happy to pay for the operation.  We kept her in the laundry room for 24 hours and she is now out, walking rather stiffly, but well and eating again.  No more kittens.  Feels a little sad, but it's the right thing to do.   Wild cats can have two or three litters every year - every one of which can start breeding at 6 months and do the same.   That's ten kittens a year for every cat..........

Thanks to Kate at Peralta for the lovely pics of Bisca on the chair and with Paco the dog.  And to Dinah for giving her a home!

5 comments:

  1. As one who has had a similar cat-capture experience in the last week or so, it sounds like you're quite the pro. You're far kinder to take Bat Cat in for her neutering than to leave her to have another litter; if she could, I'm sure she'd thank you! (and Bisca looks very well settled in her new home...)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks! One feels awful at the time. But most of the kittens are either eaten by foxes, badgers or raptors while they're still small, or they starve to death - as the Bat Cat was in the process of doing when we began to feed her. Sterilisation is the best option for her and she's now looking quite perky.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a lovely story I relished the roundabout assign a tiny. There is a real shame sense of you belonging there in this story and a real sense of you. Wx

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's "assignation story'". Sorry. Wx

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is absolutely the right thing to do. Apart from the suffering of all those kittens facing a mixed outcome I am sure they decimate the wildlife.
    Cats are a scourge of Oz fauna. Wickedly effective predators they decimate our fauna. Huge too, in arid/semiarid areas the have gone on a crash evolution path. In dry country you can see cats close to a metre long!

    ReplyDelete