Lily is one of the cats I take care of at my University. I live about an hour from it, so it's very hard between the intense amount of classes I'm taking and life in general to get down there unless I'm there for my actual classes. However, as I'm sure I've mentioned in previous threads/posts, myself and an older woman named Joanna take care of them. She's been caring for them for about 2 years now. Lily was about a 5 month old kitten when I first met her a year ago.
At that time, I really didn't know too much about trapping and spaying/neutering and releasing. Now with the on-going Pumpkin Problem (as I call it), I've learned a bit. In the last several months we've been planning on (although the plans have admittedly been vague) to trap, spay, and release the females. Lily is the only female in our main group. There are two tortis that wander around from time to time, and in time I would like to get them spayed too. Pumpkin (who I made a thread about, and his capture will hopefully be soon done with, as I have a woman making me a drop-trap as we speak) has been my main priority, but about a month ago I realized Lily was pregnant again. She had already had one litter, and I had known it was only a matter of time before she got pregnant, but simply put I did not have the resources to go about trapping her.
Two days ago I went out and bought another trap and I am making very concrete plans now to trap Lily, with Joanna. It got urgent with realizing she was pregnant again. I was debating what to do -- let her have the kittens, or bring her in to get spayed and have the pregnancy terminated -- when she had her kittens tonight. I was not there, but Joanna was (she feeds them every night, as she lives only about 10 minutes from my University), and she updated me throughout her birthing process.
She had 3 kittens, from what she could see, and all of them were mewling and squirming and seemed healthy. But this is not a happy time. I am happy they're okay, but I have no idea what to do. I know this is not an ideal situation; in a perfect world, I could have trapped her sooner before she got pregnant again, and believe me, I feel pretty guilty. But Pumpkin had shown up and classes started up again, and I've been so, so busy.
Sighs. I just want to do right by her and her kittens. How long should I wait before trying to trap her? I'm afraid, while she does let Joanna pet her, she hid her previous litter despite our attempts to trap her kitten when he was old enough. He didn't appear again (we actually thought he might have been killed) until he was about 9-10 weeks, and by that time, he was very scared of people. This is just such a hard situation, but I can't leave them there to continue procreating. The cats there (there's really only about 5-6 main ones, although god knows there's probably more) could actually live peacefully where they are. It's a safe area, and the school doesn't mind them. Obviously problems will arise, however, if tons of kittens keep popping up.
Here's a pic I was sent of Ms. Lily giving birth to the third one:
And here's a picture of her with her one surviving kitten from her first litter, who we call Peanut (he's male, thankfully).
I feel like I have a never-ending supply of cats I have to trap, and I'm really no good at it. ): I honestly have no idea what to do. I know so many people on here have so much experience, and I think I'm just looking for some advice. Wait until they're weaned? Try to find them ASAP and take them? Trap Lily with as many kittens as I can get?