Momma from Idaho
Momma -- Unknown to January 2013
(The calico angel who taught me to love feral cats.)
The first time I met Momma was on a cold winter day in the winter of 2010-2011. I watched her crawl under the shed behind my office. I chose to look the other way rather than help this feral princess.
The next summer she had a batch of kittens. She had three orange tabbies (Harmony, Tiger, and Louis), one tuxedo kitten and one grey kitten (Buddy, and Willie).
It was a sunny day, and Momma was in the front, the babies were in the middle, and Papa (their handsome orange tabby father) was following behind. I watched them for weeks and grew to be amazed by them. We realized that Momma and her babies were starving and began feeding them. Momma was so amazing. What little food she could find she gave to her babies.
We then caught the babies using humane traps and my wife and I adopted the three orange tabby triplets, and my mother adopted the tuxedo kitten and the grey kitten. I will never forget how horrible I felt the night we caught the last three kittens. As I was pulling out of the office that night I saw Momma sitting by a tree behind the office calling for her babies. She looked for them for many days.
After this we got a house for Momma and a bed, and I fed her every day. After a while she seemed happy again. Every morning I would pull in to the parking lot, Momma would be sitting by her house waiting for her breakfast. She waited so patiently while I restocked her house. She lived like this until the spring of 2012 when she was run off by another cat.
I still saw Momma every so often after this until December of that same year. January of 2013 was a bitterly cold month and after that I never saw her again. That is not the end to Momma’s story.
She left behind a great legacy. Today there is a Kitty oasis behind my office. Her decendants live in luxury by feral cat standards. There are now six houses, complete with hay and warm blankets and kitty beds. They are fed wet food twice a day, and they have multiple feeding stations of dry food. Her last surviving baby lives with my wife and I and is spoiled rotten.
There is also another postscript to her story. Earlier in the week while I was searching for one of my little girls from the colony, across the street from my office, I found Mommas remains in a long forgotten shed. It looked like she must have lied down and froze to death during that cold January night.
Yesterday, we retrieved her remains and brought her home. I am having her cremated and will place her urn next to her babies' urns. I'm sure at this very moment that Momma is watching over her babies at the Rainbow Bridge.