The TinyKittens team worked for several months to gain access to this property in order to catalogue and TNR the cats there, at the smaller colony near the original Happy Forest M1 colony and its sister M2 colony. When they finally gained permission in October 2016, they found they were racing bulldozers that were scheduled to demolish many of the barns and sheds where the cats made their homes.
Early non-TinyKittens Trapping
The owner of this property (aka the PO) and his daughter had trapped several of the more friendly cats and kittens and had found homes for them on their own. Some of those were returned to the property when they were found to have ringworm.
TinyKittens: Trapping the worst cases first
Amelia and the Hayloft Flyers
As Shelly and Gwen were touring the property on September 27, 2016, they encountered a seemingly near-dead five-week-old kitten who had fallen out of a barn hayloft and was lying motionless on a piece of insulation. They rushed her and her two brothers to Mountain View Veterinary Hospital where the little girl kitten revived significantly enough for Shelly to bring them all back to TinyKittens HQ. They had terrible URIs and flea infestations. They were named the Hayloft Flyers — Amelia (Earhart), Wilbur (Wright), and Orville (Wright) — in honor of Amelia’s launch from the hayloft. On intake, Wilbur was much smaller than his siblings, so small that for a brief couple of days, he was the smallest kitten of his age that TinyKittens had ever housed.
Zetta, Nano Wolverine, and the Metric Kittens
Zetta and her kittens were living in a dilapidated shed next door to the barn where the Hayloft Flyers were living.
Zetta had taught the kittens to hide from humans really well — the only reason that Shelly knew there were kittens in the shed was that tiny Nano was so little and so ill that he couldn’t scurry for cover when everyone else did and they saw him shivering in the doorway. They trapped him, his mama, and two of his siblings on September 30, 2016. His other two siblings were trapped later that day.
Nano was a very special kitten — at five weeks old, he was smaller even than Starling’s week old kittens, and he had a number of congenital issues, including a peritoneopericardial diaphragmatic hernia (a congenital abnormality that caused his intestines to intrude up into his chest cavity) and malformed nails and paw pads that earned him the name “Nano Wolverine”. The staff at Canada West Veterinary Specialists tried to save him by performing the surgery to repair the hernia, but he was too small and frail (and there was no time to wait for him to grow) and he passed away on October 7, 2016.
Darcy’s kittens Faith and Hope
These two feisty blind kittens were trapped on October 11, 2016; their mama taught them well and they (and she) fought their being trapped with all they had, to the point that Hope ended up inadvertently falling in a bucket of old oil or gasoline. Like the others, they had terrible URIs.
Nano’s Fix-a-thon #1
Because time was of the essence with this high-risk colony, TinyKittens arranged to have a massive trapping session in order to TNR as many cats as possible before the dilapidated sheds and barns were pulled down. The event was named in honour of little Nano.
October 15, 2016 – Day 1 – Trapping + Intakes
Trapping and transporting
Trapping started quickly as several cats just walked easily into the traps. (Lorie joked later about how different that was to the hours they would spend out in the original M1 (Happy Forest) colony trying to trap cats.)
Kimsies and Shelly were manning the traps. Lorie N. and her husband shuttled the first six trapped cats back to TKHQ.
- 11:21 Rupert, black, male [later turned out to be a black female they temporarily named Rowan…who much later was discovered to be Mama Rose from the Happy Forest colony]
- 11:28 Raina, black, female
- 11:32 Orion, tabby, male
- 11:35 Radley, black, female
- 11:37 Flynn, ginger, male
- 11:43 Mack, tabby, male
(Lorie and her husband took these six back to TKHQ.)
- 11:47 Oliver, tabby male
- 11:49 Beatrix, calico, female
- 12:00 Chanel, tortie, female
- One of Chanel’s kittens, black
- Shelly also got word just after noon that Gwen had managed to trap Calvin at the Happy Forest. Calvin has a bad eye and they’ve been trying to trap him for awhile to get that seen to. (In order to include him in the fix-a-thon stats, Shelly created a second page for him at http://www.tinykittens.com/cats/256, in addition to his original Happy Forest/M2 colony page at http://www.tinykittens.com/cats/189.)
- 12:04 Enzo, tuxie, male
(Someone else — I didn’t recognize who — transported the four traps/crates containing Oliver, Beatrix, Chanel and baby, and Enzo back to TKHQ. Gwen took Calvin to TKHQ herself from the Happy Forest.)
- 12:11 Darcy, tuxie, female
- 12:24 Fiona, ginger, female with missing eye
- 12:28 Ada, torbie, female
(At this point, Shelly and Kimsies were waiting for more traps to be brought back and transporters to return before really jumping back into trapping.)
- Before 13:00 Mason, tabby, male
- Before 13:00 Mercer, tabby, ??
(At this point, they were still waiting for transporters/traps to return and decided to do some drop-trapping while they waited. The rain was getting audibly worse by then.)
- 13:17 Arya, calico, female (caught in drop trap)
- 13:28 Ember, tuxie, female (caught in drop trap)
- 13:50 Farley, previously uncatalogued ginger, male (caught in drop trap)
(More traps arrive.)
- ?? Malta, tabby
- Pre-14:33, Max, tabby, male
- Pre-14:33, Adele, tabby, female
- 14:54, Marlin, silver tabby, male
- 14:54, Nate, tabby, male (possible baby daddy of Petra and Elvis)
(They had space for 25 cats to be spayed or neutered. Since one of the ones trapped was still a young kitten — too young and unhealthy for spay/neuter — Gwen returned to the colony in the late afternoon/evening and trapped the following two additional cats, adult Maris and floofy youngster Morgan.)
Intakes back at TKHQ
[You can also view the intakes on Livestream.]
The intake process started at around 17:46 with a factory line assembling of litter pans, Advantage, and other items needed for the intakes. Primary goals were to confirm sex of the cats and identify any health issues that would make any of the cats a priority tomorrow, but attempts were also made (where possible) to apply Advantage Multi and clean ears. Shelly and Kimsies started off the intakes, with Gwen joining later when she came back from the colony with Maris and Morgan.
Highlights of the intakes:
- Morgan got free from Gwen and ping-ponged around the room with remarkable agility until they caught her again. There was bloodshed: Shelly was bitten and Gwen was scratched by Morgan in her bid for freedom.
- Several cats protested the intake process (either by being quite aggressive or by not relinquishing their hold on their cage).
- Beatrix and Oliver have the sweetest, most heartbreaking meows ever heard.
- Injured cats who will be prioritized include Mason (bad wound on front leg), Fiona (eye missing), Calvin (from original colony; eye infections), Radley (bad ear infection), and Max (eye ulcer). Shelly posted a picture of Mason’s infected foot.
- Even when they’re doing difficult tasks, Shelly, Kimsies, and Gwen (the whole TinyKittens team, in fact) are pretty entertaining to watch. The intakes videos above in particular are a whole lot of fun to watch.
End of day stats/summary
Shelly updated the fix-a-thon page as cats were trapped during the day at the colony. The stats bar on the site looked like the image below by the end of the day. (27 cats/kittens were trapped in total, 26 headed for spays/neuters tomorrow and 1 headed to the join the other temporary residents at TKHQ.)
Shelly made a great summary post to Facebook late in the evening:
October 16, 2016 – Day 2 – Surgeries
Surgeries at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital
Highlights of the day:
- Enzo turned out to be a girl!
- Enzo also broke free from her handlers and made a bid for freedom. Shelly (with help) managed to wrangle her in.
- Oliver was determined to be only about five months old.
- Extra surgeries and treatment (above and beyond the spays and neuters):
- Mason’s foot was fixed up.
- Calvin’s eyeball was in the process of rupturing as they got him into surgery so they were just in time.
- They removed necrotic tissue the size of a walnut from Radley’s ear and treated the lingering infection.
- Beatrix’s uterus turned out to be infected and “funky”. (Her uterus is the very large one in the centre of the collection picture below.)
- Fiona’s eye turned out to be already gone; they just had to clean out the socket and close it up.
- Shelly posted a picture of the collection of parts removed during the various surgeries:
- Food for the volunteers was provided by Angie Quaale and Well Seasoned.
- The Jedikittens‘ mom gave the volunteers massages.
- Kimsies was bitten by Rowan aka Mama Rose. She was also peed on at some point and had to change clothes.
- By the end of the day, 15 female cats were spayed (Ada, Adele, Arya, Beatrix, Chanel, Darcy, Ember, Enzo, Fiona, Malta, Morgan, Radley, Raina, and Maris; the cat originally thought to be Rupert — then renamed Rowan — turned out later to actually be Rose from the M1 colony, and she was already spayed) and 11 males cats were neutered (Farley, Flynn, Mack, Marlin, Mason, Max, Mercer, Nate, Oliver, and Orion plus Calvin from the M1/M2 colony).
Stragglers to the party
Jolene’s kittens Finster and Boo
Finster and Boo were picked up by Gwen at the colony on October 18, 2016, a few days after the fix-a-thon ended.
Chanel’s kitten Chance (Charity’s brother)
Charity was trapped during the fix-a-thon. Her brother Chance was brought in by Gwen on October 22, 2016.
Happy Ever Afters
Most of the cats had just a brief stay at TKHQ while they recovered from their surgeries.
Of the adults, Radley went on to be adopted, Calvin (who is technically from the M1/M2 Happy Forest colony, not this one) was also adopted, and Mason is receiving ongoing palliative foster care from Shelly for his late stage kidney disease. (He has surprised everyone by surviving — even thriving — far longer than anyone expected with his health issues.)
All of the kittens (except Nano Wolverine) have been adopted into loving forever homes.
- For more information about the cats and kittens from this colony who stayed at TinyKittens HQ for a period of time, check out Nano’s Farm feral colony graduates, guests, and losses here on this site.
- More information about TinyKittens, People for Happier Cats, and their TNR/feral cat projects and initiatives can be found at tinykittens.com. and on their Facebook pages.
- TinyKittens’ website includes case studies of Grandpa Mason and Faith and Hope.