As rare as a beautiful sunrise in winter, and just as spectacular, I watched Caramel, the feral calico moma kitty gracefully lay on her side and stretch out lengh wise in anticipation of the onslaught of ravenous kittens that would soon be kneading her tummy with tiny, sharp claws.
At her que, 3 of the older colony members; Shadow a deep grey 7 toed elder with a white chest, Baby a beautiful Rag Doll whos Moma was a thin black Irish fold, and Caramels Sister, a long haired solid grey positioned themselves into a 15 foot triangular boundary around this mother cat Carmel.
I watched in fascination as Tiger, an orange Tabby from a previous liter paced. I knew then, something special was about to happen. When everyone was in place, caramel mewed to the kittens at the side of the parking lot. Kittens I had only seen once under a pile of brush but that's another story! Nothing happened... Then moma mewed again, still nothing! The third "loud" mew sounded like the shriek of a drill sergeant: Merrooww! And suddenly, Tiger, Caramels Orange adult Tabby polydactyl Son ran an from the pavement to jump on the fence that seperated the kittens from the colony. His meow was louder and deeper as his cajoling continued until finally the tiny, cautious kittens tumbled out from under a blue tarp that was partially hidden by overgrown black berries.
As the kittens ran to mom their paws were passing their front paws like a row boat gone astray. Others came timidly following until finally all 9 of them made it skitishly, shakily to mom! As Caramel received the kittens she carefully surrounded herself around them to accommodate all 9 hungry kittens. Kittens so satiny, so new...
They feasted greedily until by mutual consent the kittens feel asleep, still subconsciously kneeding moma kitty as she carefully, tenderly, cleaned each one from head to tail. Then momma kittty watched on as the kittens slept, contentedly that she had feed, kittens content with full bellies, content with their little lives and unknowingly safe as they were guarded by the small feral colony.
After letting the kittens briefly nap Caramel picked one up by the scruff of the neck, it wriggled and wriggled until it just froze! Caramel delivered the first of the 9 back to her hiding place amongst the black berries. One by the the ritual continued until each kitten was tucked safely away.
Then Caramel sauntered like a gypsy princess back to join her adult children that she had brought with her from a previous litter: Tiger, Fluffy, Cali and Pajamas. Shadow the old feral, perhaps related to the others, perhaps not, and Ragdoll Baby.
Each cat stood their ground as lookouts. Together, individually the cats remained at their posts. As I watched from the back steps of the small store I felt honored to have been included in the feral cats club. A tight knit community that honors a hierarchy of respect for the matriarch within the colony! I now belonged to a membership where humans are usually denied, where trust is earned and privacy is demanded. The elation I felt was ecstatic. I had been so graciously allowed by these wild, feral animals to watch a most sacred of things. The illusive Queen surrounded by her guards, feeding her charges! This little misfit colony trusted me with the most precious of gifts, their kittens! I had witnessed something so special and so rare as I had been included and trusted: I had witnessed the bond that the cats and kittens shared. The bond that the cats and kittens shared, the bond that they ultimately shared with me...
My beloved Precious Paws and Poppies
My husband once ask me why I care so much, I asked him why he brings kittens to me. He said, “I find little dying things and bring them to you to save.” Sweetest thing he ever said to me…
Years ago, in the hot pavement of our small family business, a lone weed grew. Father laughed at me when he saw me watering it for 3 days in a row in the summer heat. It was trying so hard to survive… To my surprise one morning I caught my dad watering our weed! A week later the weed bloomed. It was my first poppy ever. A beautiful, delicate, pink, crepe poppy that thanked us with many blooms and seed that I planted every year, for years. I will never forget the love and connection that I had with my parents and that love carries on today in my poppies, every spring, every summer…
Then came the kitties, oh the kitties. We live near a lumber mill were cats breed, near creeks and fields and kittens, always kittens. They even wander down the street from the creeks. Mewing. All alone....
Please meet some of our ferals and rescues and yes they ALL have names.
Like TROUBLE, a beautiful small calico kitten found by myself and the neighbor girl as we heard it mewing and mewing, the shelters were full…
FLOSSY, a skinny jet black Himalayan kitten brought to me that had stove burn her paws from malicious children.
MOOZIE, a young black and white kitten who was brought to husbands shop by his momma Celery after his brother was found dead hit by a car, again, no fosters available. Celery is now spayed, Moozie neutered, my grand daughters kitty.
MIGHTY MOUSE, a 4 week tabby old kitten that was hit by a car in 90 degree weather and left for dead that we had to give IV’s too. He has his own story on our web blog. He is one teriffic heroic cat.
ROTTIE and HOWARD buddies in the same colony, Howard was abandoned and very old, been with us for 7 years and Rottie his pal is blind. Good o'l boys!
SANDIE, ROTTIE'S SISTER that passed away at 5 years old. She was loved, spayed and cared for until then.
FA’DOODLE a brownish tabby. She was found merowing at the top of her lungs at our church in a downpour. Again, no shelter space or foster room. My Grandson Jasons Kitty. Sweetest kitten ever!
GRAMMA KITTY, a Siamese that my son found alone at a job site, at least 15 years old, had just been spayed! Horribly skinny. The vet said to put her down. She lived another 14 months with us in the shop, quite happily.
SKATEBOARD, left behind in our jeep by his momma because he was ill. My bottle baby, raised in a box with a teddy bear by Julia my Grand Daugter. CURIOUS is him momma. She wandered around for 2 days after she had her kittens before she cleaned herself up. Lost, young bewildered and impossable to catch until her other kittens were raised.
TACO found mewing in the neighbors pick up after the man returned from work. He worked his way into our home through my grandchildren.
CRAZY, renamed PATIENCE, white beauty that found me in my garden. A full year later I tried to pick him up and he bit me, hospital trip. Not his fault, mine, too feral. Yes he’s still here and allows me to pet him, once in a while... He comes and goes and Iv'e learned I cannot rehome all of them or get them to all stay here and be safe. It is hard when one leaves.... Hard for the caregives.
SHADOW, an absolutely beautiful long hair grey and white adult cat that almost ate me alive. Lived in our store for years and then my home when he got too old. I will one day write his story. My Shadow....
.MOMA KITTY a very sweet Irish Fold Cat brought BABY KITTY a white and black Ragdoll mix to me and momma mewed at Baby until she let my Granddaughter pet her kitten. Then shortly after momma passed away. Momma left her with us, momma knew…
CARAMEL that brought me 7 very feral kittens after I had her spayed. The very feral kittens stayed and I see Caramel occasionally. Janet with OFCC and I tried to trap them forever…. Finally we got them all spayed as adults. They too are still here living in husbands shop and the fields. Her kittens are Snowflake, the first one she brought to babysit the younger litter, Eva Dawn, Dawn Rose, Scruffy, Zza Zza and 2 orange tabby brothers that found a home at one of the retirement centers. Sire, Scamper, Curios and Georgia live and lived within this colony.
CALI who had 9 kittens 30 feet up in the neighbor’s tree and brought them to me??? There must be a sign on the corner that the kitties made. Free food, that way. But if they eat here, they get spayed. Period. Between her and FLUFFY they had 2 litters that we were able to find good homes for except Pajama's. She is still here. Our very first house cat... She is 9 now.
16 KITTENS Husband found them one hot August, 103 degrees crawling all over chunks of wood in my his old pick up truck pick mewing and dehydrating, no momma cats came. We waited until they started to fall out and then interveined. They found forever homes at pet smart through SFOF after we bottle fed them as well for 6 weeks. Even Pudgy!
22 ABANDONED CATS that the neighbors left. Really! So I called the Oregon Feral Cat Coalition which is wonderful and they helped me trap and spay them. The deal was I had to agree to care for them, forever. POPPA, now Odd Cat Sanctuary helped us out with spays too.
They were spayed and returned to me to feed and care for. So we fed them, tended them and they still live under our small store front.
No new kittens for years and then last spring after my adult son Donny’s cat passed away, 2 very young pregnant queens moved in to his back yard and had their kittens, 5 each. This has been the only kittens for aprx 7 years. Their brother and an adult white cat came just for fun. After the spays we are still neutering the males. We found good homes for many of that colony and their friends but 9 remain. We can only do what money allows. Females always get spayed first.
FLUFFLES our newest kitten, brought to me from my son’s new feral kittens last year (kitties above) Very small and weak, the only female and leaning against the wall hungry. Not aggressive enough to eat with the boys.
I could go on but the bottom line is, we feed up to 40 some kitties every single day depending on who shows up. And we have helped to TNR 153 cats to date, that I can personally recall. Ear tips, paperwork, cages and all. (update 170)
Over the years other strays, abandoned, feral, forgotten and lost kitties have come and amazingly the mill colony allows them stay. My husband cut a hole in his shop for them so they could come in and eat and keeps a fire in his shop throughout the winter for them. We do what we can. Our 3 wonderful grandchildren and daughter live my husband and I and our son helps with the kitties but as I laughingly told my Leah, “And I’m a dog person she replied, “Grandma, you didn’t choose the kitty life, the kitty life chose you.”
I sell poppy seeds because we need help to feed and care for these little souls. If we don’t their on their own. When my husband was able to work we paid for surgery’s, meds, food etc. no problem. We now have a small flooring business but that income supports the family so I try to sell enough seeds to keep the kitties fed and I have a very kind lady that sends us food through our Amazon Wish List when she can. Others have helped and for that I am extremely greatfull!
We would dearly love to find forever homes for the adults but it is hard. I have the time and space to help these kind souls but we always need more kitty food and medicine, fleas, worms, shots, respitory medicine. We do what we can.
HOW YOU CAN HELP Please Visit our Amazon wish list.
If you would like to help us care for these 4 colonies pleas visit our Amazon wish list and send us kitty food. Nothing fancy, just filling.
You can also help by ordering DOUBLE PEONY POPPY SEEDS or other FLOWER SEEDS. Your purchase helps our family to continue to feed these kitties and your kindness inspires us. We are not a non profit, we can not afford to be. We are simply a family that saw a need to feed and are selling seeds to that end. Please help us help with kitty feed.
OUR WISHLIST FOR KIITTY FOOD Please click here
Hi All,I am Pam! There will be stories here about the kitties we care for. Some short, some longer. I hope you enjoy them as you read about the kitties that have intruded into my life and stolen my heart.
NON GMO ~ AND HARVESTED ~ OPEN POLLINATED ***PLEASE SPAY AND NEUTER***