Called the vet about spaying Momma now, while still nursing. They won't do it until 2 wks. after nursing has ceased. She explained that the mallary glands have lots of blood vessels that are severed in surgery, lots of bleeding, very painful and slower recovery for Momma. So, we decided to capture the babies now and hope we can catch Momma in a couple weeks.
No opportunity to get kitties in the early a.m yesterday. About mid-morning, I noticed Momma was in the backyard, calling for the kitties to come to her. I'm sure that she was going to move them back to the nesting site, possibly to teach them to hunt. They were so busy playing in the grass, attempting to climb a tree and chasing each other, they ignored her. I decided that I'd better hang out of the deck to be sure that she didn't get them rounded up. We have a golf fareway right behind our property, so Momma had to wait for each group of golfers to pass by before she could have an all clear to lead the kitties across the fareway to trek across several more fareways to get close to the her nesting site, even cross a kinda busy road. <sigh>
I stayed out on the deck and every time she would get a kitty to come to her, I would walk out toward Momma and the kitty would retreat to under the deck. She was getting very frustrated with her willful kitties not minding her, to say nothing of the evil looks she gave me for interferring.
Over the course of several hours, she came back on the deck several times and was drinking an incessantly large quantity of water and lots of dry food, when I knew she had to be full. The past few days, she has been constantly eating, everytime she is near food, she just eats and eats. I saw that she had three bouts of diarrhea while I was watching her.
So.... I called the vet and he wanted me to catch her and bring her in to stay for 2 or 3 days for them to examine, treat her and get her on a high fiber diet to relieve the diarrhea. He said her overeating is due to her trying to produce enough milk for the 4 kitties. I can't stress how much she's been eating....... is that normal? The diarrhea and excessvie water intake is a big concern. I hope it isn't anything serious. With the more pressing developments, we shifted gears to try to capture her, take her to the vet and then catch the babies.
Thankfully, the lawn service arrived about 1:30 to mow and trim the yard, so she gave up on moving the kitties. By now, they were hunkering under the deck, frightened by the loud mower. We tried for 2 hours or more to lure Momma to come close enough for me to try to pick her up and put her in a carrier (hidden from her view), but she seemed to sense something bad was going on and soon became very leary, keeping a safe distance from me. When I saw that we couldn't catch her in time to get her to the Vet office before they closed, I gave up for the night, hoping we'd have better luck this morning.
Hubby fed Momma and babies about 5:30 a.m. this morning and when I got up about 15 mins. later, they were gone.
Still pitch dark out, massive dew on the grass and a long, long way for those little babies to go, trying to keep up with Momma. They had to be soaked and freezing in the cold morning temps.
I pray that one of them doesn't get separated from her and is left to fend for themselves. She lost one last weekend when she took the 5 kitties somewhere for a couple days; returned with 4. <sigh> Obviously, she was ****-bent to take them somewhere else, for whatever reason, I can only guess. I am so mad at her right now. I just pray that she will return with them tonight. Keep you posted.