Feral Kitten Update, 8/18/12
The feral kitten who has been hanging around the house has been caught. We’ve been leaving cat food in the garage for the thing so a) it wouldn’t starve to death, b) it would be lulled into a false sense of complacency and I could capture it by closing the outside door to the garage and then chasing it about until I laid hands on it. Well, b) happened this afternoon, although the thing led me on a merry chase for several minutes, including trying to jam itself into the wheel wells of my car. But eventually I caught the thing, shoved it into our cat carrier, and then walked it down to the Rabbit Room in the basement, which I had prepped for the kitten. The rabbit room (from which the rabbit has recently vacated) will be a fine place for the kitten to stay until such time as we are able to take it to the vet and have its shots given, gonads removed and so on and so forth. It will also allow us (i.e., me) a little time to see if the thing can be domesticated. It’s small enough and young enough that I suspect the answer could be yes.
It should be noted that the kitten was not pleased to be captured; it scratched me up pretty fiercely (see picture to the right) and it was a challenge not to just drop the twisty little thing. I kept hold of it primarily because I knew if I dropped it I would just have to try to capture it again later, and it wasn’t going to make that capture any easier than it was going to make it this time. So I took the scratches. My daughter was very impressed. Immediately afterward I washed, cleaned and disinfected the scratches and am keeping an eye on them to make sure nothing untoward happens to them. they’re not the worst scratches I got from a cat (those I got from Zeus, a couple years back). I think I’ll be fine.
So now I have four cats in the house: three who have the run of the place and seem mostly to be find of me, and one down in a room, who thinks I am the worst creature who ever lived. Well, fine. At the end of it, the cat will be fed, warm and safe, so I’m okay in the short run with it thinking I am a terrible human being. If it lives long enough, maybe it will change its mind.