Volunteers rescued four wee kittens and returned to catch momma who tested their resolve

The shelter at the landfill dump
The shelter at the landfill dump. Photo: Tanya Wight.
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Deer Lake Kitty Rescue volunteers discovered four tiny 10-day-old kittens in their shelter which has been constructed in a landfill dump. They had partnered with the Town of Deer Lake to construct the shelter last fall. One of the volunteers, Tanya Wight, tells the story on Facebook.

The four kittens about to be rescued. Photo Tanya Wight
The four kittens about to be rescued. Photo Tanya Wight

As they were refilling the feeders Tanya noticed a “furry pile in the hay bin under the bedding shelf”. Yes they saw the four little kittens but their mother was absent. They wanted to rescue them together so they waited, and waited, eight hours in all until she finally appeared.

But momma cat is a timid lady and she was spooked by the traps that they had set. She immediately left the area which presented the volunteers with a problem. They talked with an expert cat lady whose name is Janet (Jeanette). She advised that they take the kittens and then come back in the morning to see if they could trap their mother.

The great volunteers
The great volunteers. Photo Tanya Wight

It was 10pm by this time so they took the kittens and drove them to Corner Brook where a cat foster carer with particularly good skills lives and whose name is Gail. You need someone with particularly good skills because these were four tiny kittens who would need to be bottle fed every two hours and kept warm.

Tanya said that she felt concerned because they had separated the babies from their momma. I suppose she was concerned for the mother because should come back and not be able to find her babies. However, she felt confident that they would eventually reunite them. She was sure the kittens were fine with Gail.

They returned the next morning but no sign of momma cat. Janet, the cat expert, came up later on to help. They waited some more and momma cat appeared just before dark but she again avoided the trap so they had to think of a different strategy.

As momma cat had entered the shelter, probably looking for her kittens, they thought that the best chance of catching her would be to confine her in the shelter and net her (catch her with a net on a pole).

The next day they tried again and Tom, another volunteer, set up a door latch on the shelter entrance. Three others were in attendance. They played a kitten call soundtrack. Momma appeared. It took her 20 minutes before she had the courage to enter the shelter. They closed the shelter door with the pull of a trapdoor rope.

Momma cat - caught you at last
Momma cat – caught you at last. Photo: Tanya Wight.




Janet then entered the shelter and using the net scooped her up and transferred her to a carrier. It was a tense moment.

“Our hearts were so happy knowing she would be reunited with her kittens that night. The reunion was flawless under the expert care of Janet. Momma and kittens are together again!”

The family is nicely settled into a private kennel in the kitty room. An expected, the mother is timid but Tanya says that she seems to know that they are there to help. They keep the room quiet and visits to her short and unobtrusive so that she and her babies can adjust to their new home.

The volunteers are now taking it easy for a while with contented hearts. Tanya thanks Earth Angels Janet, Gail and the Town of Deer Lake for working with them to set up the dump shelter. Tanya says that the kittens and their mother would not have been saved but for the shelter.

Comment: you cannot help but admire these people. Commitment, persistence and intelligence combined with compassion and common sense resulted in the rescue of this four cats.

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