Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Tuesday Tale of Tails

Remember on Sunday, when we introduced you to these cuties?

In case you missed it, these three siblings have joined our family. Tonks the calico is my newest furbaby. Little black lady cat Winky was taken in by my sister, and since my sister lives with me, Winky lives with us as well. Tabby boy Flitwick owns my parents, and though he doesn't live with us, he visits often for play dates with his sisters.

Now, we mentioned on Sunday that there is a story to go with these little cuties, and we'll tell you that story now. Let's begin with this shocker that may or may not be worthy of The Jerry Springer Show: Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick are, believe it or not, the younger siblings of Thimble and her brothers Toby, Trapper, and Talon. Did you see that one coming?

Let's rewind. My grandmother found 3-week-old Thimble and her brothers in a bucket four years ago, after her neighbor had placed them there upon finding them under his patio. My grandma had previously caught glimpses of a cat who had clearly been nursing in the area around that time, but had not seen her in a while. So, it was assumed something had happened to her, and Thimble and her brothers were then adopted into our family.

Fast forward a few months, and the cat, Thimble and her brothers' mother, showed up again. After that, she showed up regularly. My grandma named her Big Foot. What's more, every few months, Big Foot would show up either pregnant or accompanied by her newest kitten(s). My grandma always fed Big Foot and her kittens and gave them shelter, but was never able to catch or trap Big Foot. She was the epitome of feral, and was smart and unwilling to cooperate to boot. In addition to this, my grandma lives in a very small town. In that tiny town, there is no animal control, there is no animal shelter, there are no rescue groups, and so there were certainly no groups to assist in TNR for a feral kitty like Big Foot.

So, Big Foot would show up pregnant or with kittens, and my grandma would put out food for them and give them shelter in the yard. That became the norm. As a side note, don't worry, though my grandma could not get her hands on Big Foot at that point in time, she was always able to get her hands on the kittens and find them homes when they were old enough. You'll see proof of this shortly.

Then, guess what? When Big Foot brought this newest litter of kittens around, this being the litter including Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick (and a fourth calico sister who was adopted by my grandma's nice neighbor lady), Big Foot finally proved to be more open to human intervention. Though my grandma could still not handle or really touch Big Foot, she was finally able to coax her and the kittens into a fenced-in enclosure in her yard.

Now, let's make the last part of this story short. When Tonks, Winky, Flitwick, and their other calico sister were old enough, my grandma managed to get Big Foot coaxed into a carrier with some food. She was then taken to the vet and is now, finally, spayed. Big Foot will no longer have to worry about raising kittens in the wild. She is still mostly feral, but she usually stays safe in my grandma's yard, and her last litter of kittens all have homes with us and my grandma's neighbor.

Want to see a recent picture of Big Foot, the mother of Thimble, Toby, Trapper, Talon, Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick? Here she is:

If I ever had any doubt that Big Foot is the mother to Thimble and her brothers, this negates it. Thimble may not look like her, but Toby looks incredibly similar to her, especially in the face. Talon also looks like his mom Big Foot.

How about this? Below are some shots of not only Toby and Talon, but all of the kittens that Big Foot brought to my grandmother's property over the past few years, and who have all found homes.

Toby, who owns my sister and lives with us, looks a lot like his mama cat Big Foot. To be honest, this is not the best shot of Toby to show off his similarities to his mama. If I can find a better one to show you all a side-by-side of look-alike Toby and his mama cat, I will certainly do so.

Talon, who owns my parents, looks like his mama cat as well.

 Trapper, who also owns my parents, is one of the few tabbies Big Foot produced.

Thimble! This girl, the only girl in the litter also consisting of Toby, Talon, and Trapper, is another one of the very few known tabbies birthed by Big Foot.

 This is Andi. She was found as a kitten by my grandmother. As far as we know, she is actually the oldest of Big Foot's offspring, as she appeared right around the same time my grandma first began sighting Big Foot roughly 5 years ago. Therefore, she is actually older than Thimble and her brothers. Andi lives indoors with my grandma.

This lady cat here is Little Feet. She arrived in my grandmother's yard as a kitten roughly 2 years ago, of course following Big Foot. This girl is still pretty much feral. She does not seem too fond of humans, at all, but my grandma was able to get her caught, and she now lives as a barn cat on the property of a family friend.

 This is Cassidy. He appeared as a kitten alongside Pocahontas (see below) just over a year ago. Big Foot brought them to my grandmother's yard, and they stayed in that area for many months. When my grandmother finally got the kittens caught, Cassidy soon after displayed an extreme hatred for living indoors. He now happily lives in my grandmother's yard, with his mom Big Foot, where my grandma feeds and shelters him, and where he often follows her around.

Pocahontas (aka, Pokey), after being caught by my grandmother, proved to be a very shy yet docile and sweet kitty. She now lives with my twin uncles, indoors, just one town over from me.

And here is a group shot of Tonks, Winky, Flitwick, and their other calico sister. As far as we know, Tonks and her tricolor sister were the only calicoes ever born to Big Foot. Flitwick was her third and final tabby, that we know of.

While I am so grateful that Big Foot brought me my Thimble and now Tonks, and also brought Toby, Talon, Trapper, Winky, and Flitwick into my immediate family, I am equally glad that she finally allowed herself to be caught and spayed. She has been producing kittens in the wild for somewhere around 5 years. I can only imagine how taxing those years must have been for her. For years, attempts at catching her were unsuccessful. Now, though, she can live a happy life without the worries of motherhood.

So, there was the long-winded origin story of Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick. Did you make it this far? I sure can get pretty long-winded. My apologies.

Also, on another note, I am working on getting some newer photos of the kittens. Let's just say they are no better than Eddy when it comes to sitting still for the camera.

Happy Tuesday, friends!


Our Doodle of the Day:

Our newest series of doodles will involve the big kids around here expressing their thoughts on the arrival of the kittens. That being said, we are still in the very early introductory stages between the kittens and the older furbabies. Just one reason for this is that the kittens have been treated for coccidia, which is transferable by way of feces, the litter box, and all that jazz. No direct contact will be made until we are certain that the kittens are clear of this intestinal parasite.

So, for now, the kittens are secluded to their own area, but the big kids can see them, and they can see the big kids. For the furbabies in our household, this is working well. All of the big kids know that the babies are present in the house, and are now being given time to adjust to that fact. The older furbabies all have mixed reviews on the fact that kittens have invaded the home turf. Today, Evan and Toby thought they'd let you know their thoughts.

Our Tip of the Day:

Today's tip on bringing a new furbaby into the home is to have a safe area for them to spend their introductory days. Depending on your situation and living space, this can take on many forms. If you are bringing a social, calm cat into a home with no other animals, there is a chance that they might have free roam of the home right off the bat. However, in many cases, such as if they are nervous or if there are other animals in the home, it is far more wise and safe to give a new furbaby a particular safe area where they can go when first beginning their life at their new home. This safe area could be a bedroom, a bathroom, a spacious cage or similar setup in a safe and quiet room, or something else along these lines.

What's more, consider what this safe area should contain. It should of course have the new furbaby's food, water, litter box, toys, a bed or blanket, and other necessities and comforts. Especially when it comes to nervous or shy furbabies, it is also crucial to ensure that a new kitty or pup has an area where they can feel secure or even hidden. If their safe area does not include anywhere for them to feel secure and hidden, consider giving them some options, even simply by cutting holes in upside-down cardboard boxes.

All in all, you have to consider what a new furbaby is coming home to. Do you live with a large family? Are there other animals? Is the new cat or dog shy? Consider all of these factors, and then decide where and how to keep your new furbaby safe while they are first learning the ropes at their new home.


Lone Star Cats said...

Dat's pawsome dat Big Foot won't have to worry about having kittens anymore. And of course, all da kittens are giving da momma Kitten Fever.

Teddy and Mom said...

That's quite a family tale and a lot of interesting history for Big Foot's many years of motherhood. Thank heavens the kittens got happy homes through the years. We think the new additions to your family are so precious and adorable and LUCKY as is their Mom. Thanks for the tale of the tails!

Hugs, Teddy and Mom

The Island Cats said...

What a story. And the best part is that Big Foot has been finally fixed so there's no more kittens to worry about. And the bestest part is that Tonks, Winky, and Flitwick all have happy homes.

Marg said...

That is great that big foot won't be producing any more kittens. And glad all those kittens have great homes. Sound like you have a house full of cats now.

pilch92 said...

I love this story, everyone has a happy ending. Your Grandma sounds like an amazing woman. All Big Foot's offspring are beautiful and so is she. I am so happy for her that she no longer has to reproduce. Very cute drawing and as always, excellent tips.

messymimi said...

Congratulations on the capture of Big Foot! One of the volunteers at our shelter had a prolific and wily stray mama, a colorpoint no less, who would produce two beautiful colorpoint kittens twice a year, and deposit them on the back porch of the volunteers house when they were two weeks old. One of us volunteers would bottle raise the babies and the shelter would get them homes, but we knew that mama didn’t want to be having kittens any more than she wanted to be caught.

It took a few years, but a new kind of drop trap finally got her and she is now spayed and living happily in the area where she used to drop her kittens, and that volunteer feeds her although she also catches a lot of her own food.

It’s funny how these mamas don’t really want to keep having litters, but they don’t want to be caught and stopped, either. Poor things, i am glad it ended so well for Big Foot and all of her litters.

Eastside Cats said...

YAY, MAMA CAT IS SPAYED!!!! That's the bestest news, just about equal with having two new babies in the house, plus a spare nearby! We couldn't catch Sweetie in a regular humane trap, which is why The Hubby built the drop trap, after eyeballing the drop trap borrowed from a friend. Box and a stick, really...and you don't have to withhold food; just slide it under the trap, go off and hide with the string in your hand, and wait for the kitty to go under to eat! And, I've retrapped Sweetie and The PO'M a couple of times, to get them to vet appointments. They either don't care, or forget!

Lola The Rescued Cat said...

Oh my goodness, they are all so cute! We're glad mamma is spayed - we bet she'll be happier now.

World of Animals, Inc said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing story. We are glad that Big Foot is spayed. She did produce some great looking kitty cats. It's also great that the kittens are still going to be around each other as they grow up. It looks like good news all around. We will be on the look out for more photos. Have a great day.
World of Animals

Athena Cat Goddess Wise Kitty said...

Lovely kitties!

Purrs xx
Athena and Marie

M Dawson said...

Thank you for a lovely and absorbing story. I am glad you caught Big Foot at last, poor cat, although I bet you tried and TRIED to get her before!!!

I love Tonks, I do not have a calico, I have not seen many in New Zealand although I am sure they are here!

Marjorie and the Dash Kitten Crew

catladymac said...

What a wonderful happy ending ! Blessings on your Grandma for all her care and patience ! These new babies have hit the jackpot !

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

Such a lovely story. I am glad your Grandma persevered and now Big Foot is spayed. Win win all round.

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

What an amazingly wonderful story!!! I'm so happy that part of Big Foot's life is behind her though.

meowmeowmans said...

Wow, that's SO amazing about how your new babies came to be adopted by your family. Your grandma (and your family) rocks! We are so grateful for her (we are sure Bigfoot and all her offspring are, too).

Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat said...

I love the story of Big Foot and her kittens. A big welcome to the new little ones!