kaffy_r (kaffy_r) wrote,

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Dept. of Kittehz!

 As I Said In the Subject Line


Specifically the livestream of Tiny Kittens, a feral trap-neuter-release group in British Columbia Canada. It's run by Shelly (I don't know her last name), and it differs from many other trap-neuter-release groups in that when they trap the ferals they care for (250(!) ferals living in a British Columbia coastal forest (!!)) they don't abort any pregnant female cats they trap. They let the kittens come to term, find homes for them, and then spay the female.

What's more, they work hard on socializing those cats they can from the colony. The received wisdom is that adult ferals can't be socialized, but this group claims a 90 percent success-and-subsequent-adoption rate. If that's true — and I'm inclined to believe them — that's impressive.

In addition to that, they take care of the many medical needs of the ferals in the colony; many of them have tooth and kidney problems, which Tiny Kittens deals with as best they can. If a feral can't be socialized enough for adoption, but is too sick to be sent back to the forest, they will care for them in their two houses for the rest of the cats' lives (although they do send many back to the forest, because they don't want the cats to be unhappy cooped up.)

I began watching them in March, when three trapped female ferals were pregnant. They all gave birth within a week or so. Of the three litters, 9 kittens survived. Four died, which sounds horrible, but apparently feral females in the wild lose 75 percent of their kittens, which is horrifying but perfectly logical, given the difficulties of successful pregnancy and weaning in the wild. (I did learn about Fading Kitten Syndrome, which took all four of the kittens; an umbrella term for various problems kittens can be born with, that leads to failure to thrive. Heartbreaking; Shelly was in tears during the dying days.) 

She is incredibly dedicated: she's been tube feeding one of the kittens, who was born with a cleft palate and can't nurse. The kitten, Aura, wouldn't have survived two days in the wild. Now, there's a reasonable (say 50-60 percent) chance that she'll survive to the 14-16 week point at which they can do palate reconstruction surgery. And if she doesn't make it, she'll have lived in a warm and caring environment for however long she has. 

Watching the livestream is incredibly relaxing, whether it's during the times Shelly is there (she's been feeding Aura every 4 or 5 hours since her birth, and probably hasn't had uninterrupted sleep in six weeks) or during the times the kittens and their two remaining moms are the sole inhabitants. The third mom, Rula, is probably going to go back to the forest once she's recovered from her spay. She had real internal problems that rendered the survival of one of her three kittens a medical miracle, and she wasn't a natural born mom. The two other moms, Chloe and Ramona, co-parent the kittens; Ramona actually helped Chloe during Chloe's birthing process, something the Tiny Kittens people said they hadn't observed in other cats. They're very close.

Can you tell that I'm very invested in this channel? Can you tell that I'm two cat-whiskers away from being a Crazy Cat Lady? But I swear, when I can't drink or do other potentially not-so-legal things, watching this channel relaxes me enough that I'm not apt to become violent or too overly depressed. Maybe some of you guys will like it, too.

So without further ado — 

This entry was originally posted at https://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/697261.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.
Tags: cats!, love like burning, lovely things

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