.A few days ago, I stepped outside to move my Jeep, and a little kitten came crying to me. She is one of the 60+ feral cats that my wife and I have cared for on our homestead over the last six years.
Feral cats rarely friend you enough to allow you to touch them, and so far, very few ever will allow you to pick them up.
But this day was different. This kitten saw me step onto the porch and leaped from one of the makeshift cat houses we built to run to me, quickly climbing the steps and right into my hands.
Once I picked her up, I could see it was one of the little kittens from the most recent litter. My daughter named her Ebony.
She was infected in her right eye and congested and could barely meow or breath. She felt like skin and bones. Because of the congestion, she probably had not been eating.
So we took her in. We built her a little room in one of our bathrooms to have some warmth and quiet to recover. She wouldn't eat or drink.
We cleaned her up and put a litter box along with food and water in with her. My daughter took an extra dog bed and placed it with a stuffed animal for the kitten to cuddle.
Being surrounded by farmers, it didn't take long for us to have some salve for her infected eye and antibiotics.
I know cats are very resilient. Over the years, we have had many feral cats with illnesses, injuries, and we do the best we can to give them medical attention, and for the ones who allow touching, we find homes.
When Dirty Stew arrived, he had a collar of ticks around his neck like nothing I had ever seen before. There had to be hundreds of ticks feeding on him. Thankfully Stew was one of the loving strays that allowed touching and holding. So we gave him tick and flea meds, and within two days, he was completely clear of ticks!
There are other times the cats are not so lucky. I have had cats with gunshot wounds, hit by cars, etc.
So I was worried about Ebony making it.
After about an hour of care, I decided to take the kitten to the vet, but they were closed because it was Saturday. So my daughter and I drove to the Humane Society, hoping for some help, but they were closed as well.
So we returned home with Ebony, still weak and frail.
The next day my wife cleaned Ebony up again, working on clearing the kitten's nose. Once she finished, the cat went right to eating!
After another dose of antibiotics, we could see she was getting better.
Monday Ebony was up and walking around. She was using the litter box (for the first time) and eating and drinking!
She was getting her strength back and meowing when she would see us.
She is adorable and wants lots of love. She can purr again, and her meows are clear.
So, we were going to take her to the humane society so they could find her a home. We would keep her. However, we already have two adult cats, who don't like change, and a five-month-old Great Pyrenees/Shepherd who already weighs in at 60 pounds and will only get bigger. We don't have room.
Monday was President's day, and they were closed.
I have asked online and at church, but no one has been able to take her yet. My hope is we can find a home for her, she is doing great, getting healthy and active, eating well, and already litter trained.
If anyone is able and lives near Iosco County in Michigan, contact me ASAP.
We will be taking her to the Humane Society today at some point. They are great there and have helped us with our cats.
A side note for everyone reading this, PLEASE DO NOT DROP YOUR UNWANTED CATS OFF AT FARMS!
There is a delicate eco-system at farms with feral cats. They fight and will kill unwanted strangers, they breed continuously, and before you know it, an area can easily have fifty or more cats!
They are territorial and will fight with neighboring house cats and hunt farmers baby chicks and rabbits.
Cats dropped at farms is why we have the problem we do at our homestead. It all started with unwanted cats that people abandoned.
Over the last six years, we have cared for 60+ cats. Medical attention, feeding twice daily, at some points 19 cats at one time, and we have been able to place approximately a dozen in homes.
We currently have nine, hoping to find a home for one; Ebony. You cannot touch the others. They are too feral.
So if you can give Ebony a home, please contact me.