This photo is of another little mama. I never got a photo of the one in this story. I took over a new colony of twelve 'feral' cats some time back, after the caretaker died. Most had been fixed, and I trapped and fixed three of the four remaining (we knew who needed spay/neuter because their right ears were not "tipped": had the tip cut off. (brutal but less so than re-trapping and re-traumatizing) There was one small tortoise shell (they are always female) whom I could not trap. With a colleague, I used a drop trap night after night. She avoided it. It was coming on kitten season, and she was not pregnant...We finally gave up, hoping and praying that she had been spayed, though her ear was intact. Time went on, and she didn't show signs...then I stopped seeing her and started to worry. One night, I saw her. There is a chain link fence around the vacant lot where they live, and she was on the other side of it, very close to the fence. She had never came close before. She was very pregnant, and on her side, shaking. More than trembling, almost seizing. I figured she was having trouble giving birth: dystocia. I could not reach her...there was no opening in the fence: I had explored that. There was a small break at the bottom of the fence where she was lying. I could possibly reach her back legs, but knew that there was no way I could drag her out. Hole too small, she would be traumatized, etc. I got down close, and she bolted. I never saw her again. I had hoped to see her and her babies after a few weeks, and before that, to see her come for food, but no. Her almost certain and terrible death has haunted me. I am writing this so that she will not be forgotten, and will somehow know that there are people who feel sorrow for her suffering and for her probable death along with her unborn babies. I think she had come to the fence in hopes that I could help her. I can dream that somehow she was found and taken to hospital.... I had not yet named her ...but now call her Angela.
Bee Holistic Cat Rescue and Care 6073 Felix Ave. Richmond, CA 94805 Tel: (510) 994-1704 and (510) 237-1190