Saturday, January 30, 2010

Catching feral kitties at Sri Murni Condominiums

It's saturday afternoon and usually i like to spend my weekends doing nothing. Instead, my brother and I have been trying to catch 5 cats that our parents have been feeding outside their apartment. Our parents live in a low-rise block of condominiums surrounded by lush jungle on the outskirts of the city. It's quiet here and that's why they like it. Monkeys are a common sight here and sometimes you might see a monitor lizard or a snake. But of course the most common animal here is the ubiquitous stray cat. My brother adopted one of the cats from the compound last year. He's a chubby grey tabby that we named Grumps because he used to hiss at us everytime we fed him in the parking lot. He eventually became my brother's indoor pet because he got his ass whooped by this other much bigger male cat. After the fight he was very easy for my brother to catch because of his injuries. He was patched up at the vet, neutered, and became an affectionate house cat. Grumps isn't grumpy anymore.

So, lately my parents have been feeding another of the compound cats. A female that we just call The Mother Cat. She moved into the area behind my mum's kitchen where the washing machine and dryer are. That area is shaded but outdoor and leads out into the apartment compound's gardens that are shared by all the residents. Mother Cat is super feral and so are her four little ones. Although my rents have been feeding them all for more than 2 months, they remain wary and distrusting of humans. Until now, Mother Cat will swipe at them with her paws when they feed her. She'll hiss, bite, growl, spit and even charge like a raging bull. Its funny coz she'll meow for food with the sweetest little voice then try to rip your fingers off when you bring her chow.

Anyway problem now is the neighbors have started to complain about this family of feral felines. They say the kittens play in front of their windows (for some reason, this is a big problem) and poop in the garden. They claim to be able to smell the poop that's in the gardens. Go figure. Some people are just anal and hate animals. These people have been complaining to the condo's management about the HUGE mess caused by 4 kittens. You'd think we had king kong taking dumps out there... Then yesterday my mother said she saw the evil animal-hating neighbors try to catch the mother cat and her kittens. Well, we can't have kitties falling into the wrong hands!! feral or not, they almost feel like our cats i guess. So earlier today my brother and I drove to SPCA Selangor to borrow the humane cat trap. Its like a large rat trap and I've never used one before.. J, my friend who works there, explained how we should use it but by the time we got home I forgot. Also, it occured to us that it would be difficult, maybe even dangerous to try to catch them with the trap, simply because there are 5 of them in total. Catching one cat would be no problem, becaue it would have to be all the way inside the cage to trigger the door to shut. But what if two go in? And one of them hits the trigger while the other isn't all the way in yet? The door could shut on its body or tail.. Dilemma, dilemma..

My brother and i ended up trying to lure them all into my mum's kitchen and then shutting the door. Maybe not the best idea in hindsight. We put two plates of smelly canned cat food inside the kitchen (normally they're fed outside coz they won't come in) and waited... and waited... Eventually everyone was in but when my brother tried to shut the door they all immediately dashed out. We opened the door again and put the plates further inside the kitchen and my brother positioned himself closer to the door. This time we managed to get the mother cat and her two bolder, less scaredy-cat kittens. The mother cat totally freaked out and literally climbed the walls trying to claw her way out of the kitchen. In her panic, she peed all over the floor. Well, it was too much for her so i opened the door for her again and let her go. Poor girl. I was hoping she'd be able to calm down. We managed to get her kittens to go into a cat carrier and we transferred them to an unused bathroom with food, water, and litter. That's the best we can do for now.

Luckily when i looked outside, the mother cat was still there though the two super timid kittens were gone. We were afraid they might never come back. But after a while they returned, looking for food. We left a plate of kibble outside for them and then we went away. I think they've had enough today and they're not going to fall for our tricks again so soon. We absolutely have to catch them though. We need to tame them too. Mother cat needs to be spayed otherwise she will just keep coming back with new litters. I don't know how we are going to handle that. She is so wild. If we can socialize the kittens, at least they can be put up for adoption.. Otherwise its TNR for all of them i guess..

The two kittens we caught are still crying for their mother. I feel so bad. But its the only way to protect them from harm. Hopefully their siblings will be joining them soon.


meowmeowmans said...

Great post! We admire your ongoing efforts to make a difference for the animals there. Good luck catching the momma and her other babies, and with your efforts to socialize them...

havetailwillwag said...

thanks!! we're trying to do what we can. my brother caught the two remaining kittens today.. the mother cat is more difficult but hopefully we'll have her in the next couple of days.. she's a smart one but she's still hanging out here so we just need to get her inside a carrier and close the door!