Clinic Rules and What is Feral?

After the problems we’ve had with the small crate, we decided that we needed another large crate to house the larger kitten. There’s no way I want to put a kitten who can’t be handled in the same crate as two smaller kittens that are doing very well. Crates are expensive, so we decided that we’d use the crate that our dog uses, and move the two kittens into that one, since it only has one door. The more feral and larger kitten would be moved into the crate that has three doors (the Catquarium). That way, we could feed, water, and change the litter without risking damage to ourselves or the kitten.

We moved things around in the living room, and the dog crate was placed on two overturned plastic storage boxes. We moved the little ones into that crate, and we moved the larger kitten into the “Catquarium.”

I was ready to trap more kittens! I was beginning to worry that the kittens were getting to an age that they would not be easily socialized. Two kittens from the original litter and their mother were still out there. As dusk settled, I baited three traps and waited. This time, I planned on keeping a close watch, and closing the traps as darkness set in. The only problem was that the clinic only does these procedures on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It was a Friday evening when I set the trap.

I was successful! We caught one more little kitten. This time we planned to get the kitten used to handling before we took it to the clinic. So for the next three nights and two days, the kitten was held, petted, and soothed. This one seemed slightly lighter and smaller, I wondered if it was a male. I thought if it was a male, I could keep Tippy and this one and let the others be adopted. I had grown very attached to Tippy and I’d like to think he was attached to me.

When Monday morning arrived, the kitten was put into the small crate and taken to the clinic. This seemed to cause confusion for everyone. The kitten wasn’t in a trap, so was it feral or not? There were many differences in price and services between an “owned kitten” and a “feral kitten”. The clinic decided that – even though we were very new to this, and even though this kitten was from the same litter I’d been trying to trap, and even though I told them my goal was to TNRehome the kittens… this kitten was already owned! (You touch it; you own it!) It honestly felt like we’d been punished for trying to do the right thing for the kitten. Live and Learn.

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