Hodge: Cat poses fiery mother instincts

Scaredy Cat may look loving and cute but that’s a con job. She is one mean mother.

Scaredy Cat 3—Charlie and Tez 0.

Hopefully at the end of this strange and truly ‘wild’ adventure, everyone will be winners.

But so far, Scaredy has held the upper hand…err, make that upper paw.

One of life’s ironies is that feisty behaviour and determination in a creature has little to do with size, shape or strength.

Meet Scaredy Cat, an attractive tabby cat with an apparent bi-polar disorder and prize fighter attitude.

She hosts a right hook, left slice combination of heavyweight damage proportions and a no-quarter aggressive style.

If indeed ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned,’ then try messing with a mother cat weaning and protecting her baby kittens. When the mother cat is feral the fear/fight factor becomes epic.

Scaredy Cat may look loving and cute but that’s a con job. She is one mean mother.

Scaredy Cat follows the personality traits of serial killers such as Ted Bundy—fooling victims with a sweet, kind feigned disposition only to brutally attack when backs are turned.

I must admit to a certain amount of decision making that created our current dilemma.

I was the one with the bright idea of befriending the four-footed spawn of hiss, spit and slice that resides in our shed.

As responsible pet owners we do not believe in allowing our animals outside.

Domesticated cats venturing outside on regular bases not only live shorter lives but cause significant problems for neighbours and themselves.

The Scaredy Cat factor began two months ago when Tez and I first noticed Scaredy hanging out in our yard.

She kept hanging around the yard more and more and seemed interested in our junk filled shed.

I jokingly suggested to Tez we should leave the door open and let her wander around inside, hoping the smell of a cat would discourage the mice I had seen signs of.

Tez agreed. Silly Tez.

Over the next couple of days, Scaredy continued to visit and on occasion actually ventured into the shed to snoop.

Then Tez and I adventured off to Nelson for two nights while I did research on the novel I am writing.

When we returned and opened the shed to put back the cooler, Scaredy Cat came flying out the door. Later that day I heard the faint sounds of kittens.

Further investigation revealed four tiny little balls of fur.

After considering all the options Tez and I agreed to keeping the menagerie of unexpected borders alive until they are old enough to wean from mom.

Then, we would have them looked after by the SPCA, the Cat Coalition and veterinarians, with the hope of finding them all homes.

At discovery time, Tez and I agreed that none of them would remain with us as our two aging cats would be too rattled by newcomers, and with compromised lungs I am probably better without another dozen years or so of cat hair floating around.

Cat expert (and feral cat hero) Helena Pol provided us with all the knowledge and tips she could in keeping the kittens alive until they were ready for treatment.

Suffice to say the past six weeks have not only proven a tad interesting, but also somewhat inconvenient and life threatening.

Trying to feed and socialize four kittens around a very protective mom is simply an accident waiting to happen, especially when the shed doubles as my writing office.

Scaredy Cat nailed Teresa first, a left-right combo which resulted in scratches on both legs. The next two attacks earned me scars, the first on my leg, the next on my hand. I look like a recovering prize fighter who lost.

As the week comes to an end, Tez and I finally have relocated the four kittens, now old enough to be separated and socialized.

Meanwhile, the cat trap in the shed is still waiting for Scaredy to adventure in. Should we finally succeed in snagging her she will be fixed and returned to us.

Our end decision still awaits. Once she is fixed and back we may simply encourage her to remain a shed cat and to do the task originally conceived—eat mice, not hatch future mousers.

While Scaredy Cat is not very happy with us at this point—and understandably so—the pharmacy is thrilled with our newest adventure. Their sales of Polysporin and Band-Aids have dramatically increased in the past month.

On the other hand, we remain determined to not be conned by the kittens downstairs and take any more cats in permanently. Though I must admit, if such is the case why are Tez and I arguing over what their names should be?

Stay tuned for the further adventures of Scaredy Cat and the four heart-melters.


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