I have such a rough couple of days and it seems like today just took the emotional dial down to empty.
For 4 weeks I have watched a litter of feral kittens and their mama cat at my husband's office. The mother was very thin and mal nourished but seemed to be sweet and attentive. People had taken to feeding her but she never seemed to gain any weight. Well we thought the culprit was a slew of feral cats (the colony is about 50 large) stealing her rations. But there was another thief, raccoons, they came in the same way the cats were getting in.
Yesterday I went to check on the family and the mother cat was no where to be seen, I could hear her babies crying their eyes out and for about 25 minutes I waited and nothing. I had to be in the office for a couple hours and when I returned 4 raccoons came out from the place where the cat family had been. Still no sign of the mommy cat and the babies were crying louder than ever! I was then scared for them and not thinking about anything I took them home last night, they were hungry and my fear was that the raccoons had attacked the mother and worse killed her.
This morning I went back with the kittens and waited for another 20-30 mins and even in daylight the cry of her kittens did not bring her out if she was hiding. I had to make the tough decision on what I was going to do. I had called every rescue person I could think of and none of them could or would take them knowing they had been exposed to raccoons. I went to animal control where they told me that the 3 females had lung infections and that since the mother could not be found to test for rabies the babies would have to be put down. I offered to take them back home and nurse them with kitten formula but they would not let me since it posed a health risk.
It is just hard to have to do something that seems so senseless and heartless but I surrendered them and left with a heavy heart. I was told that if I could find the mother cat and bring her in dead or alive they would wait for a rabies test to come back before putting the kittens down but I had to find her today and when I went back she was no where and there were dozens of raccoon tracks on the ground.
I know that they were happy for but a brief time with me and my Son and that even though it has ended so tragically I have to trust that it was for a reason- they may have been sick and made a person or child ill. I just hope that whatever they felt it wasn't pain and fear but love and peace. Here is a picture of the little furbabies that I got to love for a little while