Readers, a stressful and sad rescue.
On Tuesday I received an email saying there were kittens at the construction site at 61st and Ellis, where the University is building the new dorm. These kittens had been spotted on Saturday. Well, that was several days elapsed, so I asked the finder if she could show me the exact site ASAP. We met there at 2 p.m. but to no avail, as the construction was in very full, very loud, swing, and the workers would not let us onto the site. Below is a picture of the area the kittens had been seen on Saturday. Note that it appears to be where construction trash is thrown.
At 5:30ish Eevie and her husband went by the site, and kitten mews were clearly audible. They could also see one kitten who had been separated from the others.
At 7:40ish I met Eevie at the site. I found a way onto the site and picked up the kitten. Weak, sluggish, and with fly eggs on it (which will hatch into maggots) -- but alive. Below is a picture.
While we were assessing the kitten we heard more mews. Eevie, who, unlike me had smartly worn pants and sneakers, braved the construction site this time, and we found another black kitten--dead.
Still more mews coming from the pile of construction detritus. We decided to poke around a little ... and ... lifting up an orange cone (see top picture) ... three more black kittens! And a black cat! Surprise all around. And ... retreat.
It was clear now that Mama had brought her brood into this area, which was now being used for the construction workers to throw construction-related trash onto! Poor cats, it must have been so loud, so scary, and two kittens had slid down an aluminum sheet into an area where either Mama couldn't go or was afraid to go. The other three seemed very precariously located as well, and were clearly on the same slippery slope as their two siblings. So once again we waded into the breach and lifted the cone. Mama cat backed away, and we set out the trap. In the trap we placed the three healthy kittens (the fourth one was already in there) and a nice stinky can of tuna, and we retreated to wait for Mama Cat to spring the trap.
A fool-proof plan, I thought. But when I checked the trap ... Mama had actually removed a kitten! And we think she got the fattest and healthiest one, too!
By now it was dark, and we had no hope of figuring out where Mama had stashed that one kitten. So we left Mama with her one, and took the three we had. We will continue to monitor the site and try and trap those two. I hope we can get them. I hope we can get them soon. We need to notify the construction workers about this situation.
Meanwhile, the three kittens went to Eevie's home for at least one night. They may have to be bottle-fed, although a search of four Hyde Park stores yielded no kitten formula.
Your financial contributions or your donations of kitten formula are very welcome to this project. We may also need a foster home but will report back on the kittens in the next few days.
We left the dead kitten there. It had tiny white bits on its tiny front paws.