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Monday, December 19, 2011

Sparks, an experience

Sparks with her kittens

Last week I finally caught one of the two feral cats that reside in my house and took her to the veterinarian to update her vaccinations. Sparks became an indoor cat in 2008 when she entered my trap. She was pregnant at the time so I settled her into a large cage with all the accouterments including a well-padded nest and waited for only a couple of days. I named her Sparks because her eyes gave the impression of shooting sparks at me as I intruded on her private world.

I didn’t plan for Sparks to be a permanent resident but I’d spent so much time with her I couldn’t just turn her out again. No, she became a housecat. I’d successfully rehabilitated a couple of adult feral cats before so I thought I could do it again following the same procedure. After the many weeks of her incarceration while she raised her kittens I separated her from them to allow her milk to dry up and then had her spayed. It took a few more weeks to be sure she was free of parasites before I finally let her discover the rest of the house.

It didn’t take long for Sparks to figure out the daily routine. She came down for regular feedings and found her own spot. She never had any accidents either. I am still amazed that she found the litter pans so quickly and knew what they were for. Most of the rest of the time she stayed upstairs. Over time I’ve taken a few chances trying to touch her while she ate but she refuses to give in to any contact like that. Only recently, however, she has taken to sleeping on the bed with me, mostly at the foot of the bed. One night I woke up to turn over to my other side and came face to face with that sparkling face. I think it surprised her as much as it did me.

Then last Thursday I saw her in the bathroom getting drink of water and quietly closed the door. I had an appointment with the veterinarian for one of my other cats the next day so I thought it was a prime time to catch that girl. We struggled with each other for almost an hour before she finally decided that the nicely padded carrier was a good place to escape me.

The next morning Dr. Tammy graciously allowed me to bring her in. We struggled again to get her into the chamber in order to administer the gas anesthesia but finally she was asleep. In short order Sparks received her vaccinations and, thanks to some wonderful Vet Techs, lost all of her horrible mats.

I am amazed at how forgiving Sparks is. That night she was already present for her regular feeding acting as if nothing happened. I’m so happy that she is now up-to-date on her vaccinations and her long calico fur is once again shiny and smooth – and I still have all my fingers.

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