New mouths to feed in Manzke household

Susan Manzke
hard to believe that momma cat abandoned these two calico kittens along with their two other siblings.

Bob and I worked at getting all our barn cats neutered, but one female was missed and had kittens. We couldn’t see them. We only heard them, hidden in one of our sheds. Even though she had babies, that cat seemed to be on our front porch too often. After a while, she completely abandoned her brood. Of course, we had to go searching for the kitties.

Lucky for the kittens, their mother had taken care of them for about two weeks. When I got near to their hiding place, they cried and popped their heads up. I think they were looking for their mother.

Even with them moving around, I couldn’t easily see or reach them. Bob brought a shop light close and lit up the area. That’s when I saw the little faces peeking out at me.

The kittens were behind two heavy motors stored under a workbench. I needed to reach for each. One at a time they stuck their head around a motor. Stretching as far as I could, I finally was able to grab a kitten. After handing that one to Bob, I reached for another. Lucky we had an empty 5-gallon bucket near where we could store those kittens.

In the end, we had four babies. After taking them to our enclosed back porch, I cleaned them up.

The mother cat was on the front porch. We took a yowling kitten to the entrance hall, opened the door and tried to tempt the mama to return to her babies.

At first, she looked a little interested and we had hoped she might join the kittens inside.

We kept the door open and prayed, but she was shy. Bob and I had to hide. We strung a line to the spring-closed storm door. We then pulled the string through the window and waited to snap our trap shut when she came for the kitten. The trouble was that the cat didn’t take the bait. All we ended up with were mosquitoes.

In the end, the cat turned her back on the meowing kitten. This shocked me. I was sure nothing would keep her from her babies. I was wrong.

Next thing I had to do was get kitten formula. A large eyedropper came in handy but wasn’t ideal. Then I remembered something. I dug through my animal treat cabinet and found the kitten bottle we used 13 years ago when our cat, Cruella, was abandoned by her mother. It still was in great shape. I had thought I threw it out.

A bucketful of rescued kittens.

My life has been turned upside-down by these voracious critters. According to them, feeding time is anytime. The formula instructions said three to four hours in the beginning. I don’t have a life of my own now.

When the weather turned cool, I brought the kittens into the kitchen. Because they were rough on each other, I split them into 5-gallon buckets. The buckets were set on a heating pad to give them warmth. Now their yowling is close at hand.

When I let the kittens run around the kitchen, they head for Sunny our dog. Sunny does not appreciate their attention. He moves and they follow—poor Sunny.

Our two old house cats have taken up residence on the second floor. They have only stopped by to look at the kittens and then head back to their kitten-less domain.

Of course, we don’t need any more cats as pets. The trouble is they are oh so cute. I don’t know which is the cutest.

I hope to be able to raise all four and to find homes for some or all of them when they are old enough. Parting will be difficult, but if good homes come along, we’ll have to take them.

The next thing to do is to use the live trap to get the mother cat and take her to Cats Anonymous in Green Bay to be spayed so we don’t have any more abandoned kittens to worry about.

Susan and Bob Manzke, Sunnybook Farm, N8646 Miller Rd, Seymour, WI 54165;;