ONE cat turning up in a garden doesn't appear to be a crisis in the making. But when it's a young unspayed female, then trouble is on the way. This happened when a tortoiseshell started living in the garden of a relative of one of our helpers.
He gave her food but then the inevitable happened and she had kittens - several times. It was a situation threatening to spiral out of control when Jenny was alerted. It turned out that the cat, who we named April (pictured left), had just had her latest litter in a hole in the ground.
Luckily April was very friendly and Jenny got her and the kittens into a carrier straight away and took them to our fosterer Diane. But TWO of April's daughters from previous litters were expecting as well.
It took several attempts to trap these girls, named Clover and Jasmine, so they could go to our
fosterer Dawn where they
had their litters within days of each other.
April was friendly as she had been someone's pet but tortie Clover and Jasmine, grey and white, had not been handled and were feral.
They just not respond to Dawn's care and it was very difficult as the cats threatened to go for her even when doing basic tasks like putting in food or clean litter trays.
The main problem was the future of the kittens (some of which are pictured right). It was impossible to get close to start handling them. Left with their mums, they would have become feral as well. So the only solution was to separate Clover and Jasmine from their litters once they were weaned.
But they still needed maternal care - so in stepped April. She took on her grand-kittens, along with her own litter, and became a super-gran looking after the whole brood of ten little ones. This brought them great comfort and helped them thrive.
Jenny managed to trap two more males, who were from April's other litters, and they were neutered then returned.
Sadly Clover and Jasmine could not be pets but were neutered and released in a safe area where they could be looked after. All the kittens were homed and April was also adopted after being spayed to end the cycle of repeated pregnancies.
She had a lovely nature and deserved her new life in a loving home. April had been a star - mum and grandmother to all those the little ones, helping them to be happy pets instead of facing a life outside as ferals.