Mary Ann called me yesterday afternoon in a panic, from a parking lot between our homes. She and Rhonda had found a feral kitten and were trying to catch it before it got hit by a car. The kitten was running frantically from car to car, desperately trying to escape. It was oppressively hot and humid. And they needed help catching him before something terrible happened. So I ran over there.
It took a lot of time and patience, but I finally grabbed the kitten when he came down from a large truck. He was perched on top of the catalytic converter. He inched ever closer as I started to gain his trust. I knew I had only one chance to snatch him or lose his trust and scare him off completely, and I couldn't afford to blow it. When I knew he was close enough, I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck. He fought back, terrified, but I got him quickly into the carrier in the back of my car and closed the door.
I went straight to the Cherokee cat clinic to see what their charges would be, and then to the Great Plains SPCA to see what they recommended I do with him. I had a great experience both places, but SPCA had better low-cost options for all of the tests, vaccines, and neuter surgery.
Once I had him at home for a few hours and spent some time talking to him, it became clear that this was no feral cat… Either someone lost him, or he had been dumped outside. Probably the latter, because an eyewitness who stopped to talk to us said that he has seen other kittens the same age living in the storm drain of that shopping center. Don't even get me started about how much my blood is boiling at the thought of someone dumping sweet kittens who are clearly unprepared to fend for themselves.
It was also clear that this little kitty had an upper respiratory infection. In between exceptionally loud purrs, he coughed and wheezed. The rest of the family is dying to meet him and keeping watch just outside the door, but I can't risk their health, so I have to keep him in quarantine.
I took kitty back to the SPCA this morning to start the tests and vaccines. Instead of getting fixed, they gave him an injection of antibiotics and subcutaneous fluids. He is getting sicker, so he is in no condition to have his surgery right now.
I've been sharing his pictures on Facebook, and have two seriously interested parties. Once he is well and fixed, I am hopeful that he will quickly go off to his loving new home.