Update on "Calico, The Shed Kitty"

by Mary F.
(North Carolina, USA)

On May 25th I posted the story about "Calico" a sickly (FERAL) little female Calico who is living under my shed with 2 kittens who are also sickly. They appeared about 3 weeks old.

The mother cat as well as her babies was at that time doing very poorly and I was considering euthanasia to stop their suffering as it was pretty bad.

However, the day after my post, when checking under the shed, I could no longer find Calico's babies.
I assumed that both had died and the mother had disposed of them.
This broke my heart and I decided to TRY to help the mother for a couple more days to see if I could get her to feeling better.

She had very infected eyes and was sneezing and coughing badly.
I decided that I would give her a low dose antibiotic in her food and see if this helped.

Last night, something amazing happened.
I went to the shed and prepared her dish of can food and fresh bowl of water and slid them under the shed for her as I have done twice daily since I found her.
I also keep a bowl of dry kibble and fresh water just inside my shed doors for her so the weather does not damage her dry food. I leave the shed doors open about 10 inches to allow her easy access.
Usually when I slide food under the shed and step away from the shed, I will see her little nose in the dish eating like she is starving. But last night when I slid the food under there I did not see her come to the dish.
So with my flashlight in hand, I laid on my belly on the ground beside the shed to see if I could see her under there and make sure she was alive.
When I did, I seen her sleeping toward the back of the shed which is very shallow and hard to see.
When I shined my light onto her face she opened her eyes and I called out to her " Mama kitty, come and eat".
She immediatly stood up and there to my surprise was BOTH of her kittens who I thought to have perished days before.
I shined the light directly at the kittens and found their eyes to be looking very good and the kittens was moving around nicely.
At that point, the mama kitty "Calico" made her way down to where the dish was slid under the shed but this time she did something she has not done since I found her.
Instead of going straight to eating, she slowly inched over to the edge of the shed where I was laying (the bottom of this side of the shed is lined on the outside with chicken wire) and she rubbed her face on the chicken wire in front of my face.

Note: She is feral so usually she will not come close to me at all or allow me to get close to her under any circumstances.

When she rubbed her face on the fence in front of me I took that to mean she was telling me this was her safe haven and she had developed a small amount of trust in me and was showing it the best way she knows how.
I immediatly extended my hand over to the fencing and stuck my fingers through the fencing while speaking softly to her.
She then rubbed her face on my hand which caused me to break down into tears because I knew she was trying to tell me that she was learning to accept me as a non-threat to her.
Knowing how hard this is for a feral to do, I was beside myself.
It made all my trips to the shed and all my loss of sleep over her and those babies suddenly worthwhile.
This morning, I seen her out frolicking in the grass in my back yard and when I went down to feed her she actually allowed me to get within 4 feet of her before she ran under the shed.
Usually she runs the minute she sees me come out the door which is a good hundred yards from the shed.
This morning she stood there in the grass facing me and allowed me to come that close before fleeing.
I take this as a VERY good sign.
The meds I gave her must be helping as she was not sneezing or coughing and her eyes are almost cleared up.
Her babies are alive and well this morning as well.

I have decided to give this little mama and her babies a chance to thrive and as soon as I can gain just alittle more trust and as soon as I see the babies venturing out from under the shed (which will be soon) then I will trap them all and have them vetted and place the babies (when old enough) in forever homes and then I will work to either take the mama in myself if she proves to be disease free or to TNR her to my yard and make sure she is always fed and cared for under her terms of the feral life.
This hopefully is a GOOD and positive update on what seemed to be a very bad situation for this mama and babies a few days ago.
I can only hope that my intervention and care has aided them in getting better. I have high hopes for their survival and I will stop at nothing to aid them in the process.
I will let you all know how they progress.

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