As I blogged before, this summer was the worst we had when it comes to feral cats. And while I was heartbroken when the cute, sweet kitten we played with was dead the morning after we met and released it after being hit by a car, we also didn't have much of a cat problem after that.
The next time we had a cat issue was the morning Samantha was born. I was in the shower before dawn and heard kittens outside our bathroom window meowing. I told Dusty when he got up. Then, the dogs went crazy and Dusty went out to investigate. There was one kitten there, Chico had chased it into the chicken coop and into an old air conditioning duct. It was a tiny, baby little kitten. Far too young to survive on it's own. Dusty asked what we should do. Our options were to: 1. Leave it, 2. Gently toss it over the fence to try and reunite with it's mother and be away from Chico or 3. Catch it and take it to the shelter. Not to sound selfish, but we needed to be at the hospital in an hour to deliver our child and I was pregnant, starving and thirsty. I said we should leave it, the dogs will leave it alone when they get bored and if it could get in, it could certainly get out.
When we got back home, Dusty checked and it was gone. Later that afternoon, Kaitlyn was playing outside when she ran in to tell us Chico found a cat and brought it to the doorstep to us. Dusty went out there and the poor kitten was dead. But, it's body was still really limp and warm, so he thinks it died recently, not while we were gone.
Since then we've had some cats, they keep trying to get in our cars, camp out under and terrorize the dogs in the backyard. Nothing too serious. Just annoying.
This morning a darn dog started yapping at like 4 AM. It was so irritating. Even more irritating was that every 10 minutes, just as I would get Samantha back to sleep, Archie would bark at it. Grrrr! My head was literally pounding. Normally, I get up at 6:15 to get in the shower, then get Kaitlyn up at 7 to get her in the shower and we leave at 8:05 to take her to school. This is all dependent on Samantha staying asleep at that time, so we've been able to time night time feedings perfectly where she eats at 6, back to sleep at 6:10 and all is well. She wakes up about an hour later to start the day.
Of course, this morning, that just isn't the case. I can't get her to calm down until 7:30 because of all the annoying barking. She wanted to be awake, to be held, to be played with and I was exhausted. So, I skipped my shower, it's not like I need one to drop her off, and I get Kaitlyn up and dressed. When I go outside to check on the laundry in the dryer, Archie is there like every morning ready to knock me down so I'll give him food. Because of course, he's always starving. I noticed his side kick wasn't there to bark at me like normal, so I called for him. I had already seen when I went to wake up Kaitlyn that he didn't make it into his kennel last night, so he must have slept outside and in the garage. And it turns out the yappy dog I wanted to kill all night and strangle the owners of, was indeed my dog. Nice.
I called him, I started to shake the food container and his bowl and he didn't come. This dog is worse about his food than Archie is, so that's saying a lot. So, I start going outside in the 40 degree weather to find out what is going on. I'm in my socks and the ground is wet, I'm NOT happy. I step on the back porch and I hear him barking and growling a mean growl but I can't see him. I thought he was behind the tree, he wasn't. I couldn't see him. Then I heard the attack. Him and an animal were fighting under the stairs. As I stood on the bottom stair I could feel them fighting and their bodies hitting the step. I tried to see under, but the step parts are enclosed so I couldn't see, and it was so dark under there I couldn't peek and see. And of course, I was scared, who knows what kind of animal it was. I freaked out.
Obviously, as many know, I can be really over dramatic at time. In my socks, which now have thousands of leaves on them, I run into the house screaming for Dusty. I broke the rule of running on hardwood floor and tile and as I ran I slid all over the place screaming for Dusty to wake up, "Chico is being attacked under the stairs on the porch" and he ran out in his boxers to see what was going on. I thought maybe it was a raccoon (we've seen so many before) or a skunk (seen those too) or anything else that could seriously harm him. Evidently, I really overreacted. It was a kitten. That's right, a size of my fist, fluffy, terrified black and white kitten that Chico was so ferocious over.
Dusty was not amused. He went in and got dressed and I kept trying to coax Chico out. Instead I can hear and feel them fighting again. I'm now worried that one of them is going to end up dead. Dusty gets dressed, gets the cat trap, gets a hold of Chico and I put him in his kennel to be in a safe place for him and the cat. Dusty caught the terrified kitten, who was fine, and tried to scratch Dusty all up.
After, it was already 8:15, I HAD to take Kaitlyn to school. Dusty also put the kitten in the car so that I could find a nice field to relocate it to. I searched and searched for one. Finally, in Eleverta I found a street that was surrounded by fields on both sides, there were houses but acres between each, the street wasn't at all busy and it looked perfect. It only took 45 minutes. I parked on the side of the road and waited several minutes just to make sure it wasn't a heavily traffic street, there wasn't a single car. Of course, as I go to get the trap out, a CHP officer pulls up, but he waved, smiled and continued on his way.
I positioned the trap so the cat would be released into the field where there were probably mice galore for it to chomp on. After it's attack with Chico, I figured it might be scared of dogs and it's obviously a hunter. I let the cat out, it started to run to the field and then jutted to the right and took off into the street. Then, it ran straight into a yard filled with dogs and chickens.
When I got home, we investigated how Chico made out in the battle. His nose took the brunt of it, had a couple scratches and was bleeding. But, overall he was fine. Kaitlyn of course asked before she went to school if he was bit he would turn into a zombie...