Deanna Durante's Kitten-Saving Mission: Mama Escapes - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Deanna Durante's Kitten-Saving Mission: Mama Escapes

Week 5



    Deanna Durante's Kitten-Saving Mission: Mama Escapes
    Deanna Durante
    Mama looks on as one kitty sits close by.

    “Mama” made a break for it tonight. Really she got out and boy I figured I was in trouble.

    Let me set the stage for you -- it's Thursday night, trash night.

    She has been in a very large roomy cage since she gave birth and, yes, as I went to the bathroom to rinse her water bowl I left the cage opened just for a minute right? I know classic last words.

    I wasn’t gone long and as I walked in carefully as not to spill the water on the floor I didn’t have time to notice her absence. Instead, as I walked past the hope chest I heard her growl and that’s when I had my "oh my gosh" moment.

    Keep in mind, I have great sympathy for this little girl. I have no idea what her life on the streets has been like, I imagine she misses her friends and family she left behind and this whole single mother thing is rough for her -- not to mention, I can be quite annoying.

    And, hey a single mom who is nursing five babies at a time -- who doesn’t need a little "me time."

    Why did it have to happen on my watch!? It was the next several moments where it got ugly and I found myself hoping for backup!

    From under the chest, her growls were loud. I reached under and she hissed growled and as designed…I was the one to retreat.

    I snagged a paper towel roll from the trash and figured I’d gently prod and she’d walk into the cage…no way, no how!

    Under the bed she ran with tail fur fluffed. As a child, when Pandora fluffed her tail, my mom warned me of great danger so again I was retreating!

    I figured I could outsmart her and quietly sit on the bed and wait. Guess what? She outlasted me.

    Suddenly…YES!..backup -- in the form of my husband -- returned home. I quickly and quietly, as to not arouse suspicion from the kittens that something was arye.

    I tiptoed to the top of the stairs and, in a panic, whisper told my husband "we have a problem." His answer?

    Let's have dinner and wait. A good idea all around. I guess because it seems “Mama” was hungry too.

    I went upstairs to check and hour later and guess who was back in the cage eating?

    Whew! The doors were closed and latched and I will always be reminded of this night as a bigger reminder to CLOSE THE CAGE DOOR!

    I am by no means a cat scientist, therapist or veterinarian. I cannot explain any of these strange events -- or why one day “Mama” is eating out of my hand and the next making death threats against me with her growls.

    But I do think I can understand her sudden anger toward me.

    She is protective of her babies, who are starting to separate from her. They no longer cuddle next to her at all hours of the day.

    In fact, at 3-weeks-old, they have discovered each other and begin to play in a pack.  They run to “Mama” for feasting and this morning I discovered all the kitties seem to know have the cold their smallest sibling came down with last week.

    I’m told the little girl is doing great. She is doing great still in the care of PALS and Jeanne who is bottle feeding her at all hours of the day.

    But now the whole brood needs antibiotics and eye drops! I got a crash course in medical needs of kitties today and returned home to practice what I learned.

    I can tell you, none of the kittens enjoyed the experience and each let out a whimper or two as I held them dropping liquid into their eyes. Each time they cried, Mama growled and then she made her great escape when I wasn’t looking.

    It will be sometime before the kittens are available for adoption, but don’t let that stop you from taking a kitty or two in your home.

    PALS has kittens avail right now. In fact, I met the new batch of kittens to go the Broomall and Devon stores this weekend and they are ADORABLE!

    I thank you so much for the emails and calls. I find it funny that so many of you think what I am doing is something to watch when there are people out there who do 100 times what I am doing.

    Pat and Jeanne from PALS have dedicated their homes to dozens of cats. Many of those adorable animals are sick and or abused -- heartbreaking situations they were rescued from.

    And when I say they have dedicated their homes, I mean the entire house.

    Pat has rooms and rooms of cats -- some are ready for adoption. She has a porch where some of her sick cats are free to roam and an entire room where animals who are too sick to be with others are in quarantine.

    Pat and Jeanne are up all night long bottle-feeding kittens whose mothers are not with them.

    Our Web team came up with the title of my “kitten saving mission,” but really the volunteers of PALS are really those who are saving cats and kittens.

    As I write this, all have been given their full does of antibiotics and three doses of eye drops -- even “Mama” -- minus the eye drops.

    I don’t think I’m ready to get my hands that close to her face again you know what they say about a woman when she is angry.

    Every spring, shelters get overwhelmed with cats during kitten season and the plea goes out for foster families to take care of them, until permanent homes can be found. Foster families save the lives of cats and kittens that might otherwise meet their demise in a kill shelter. This year, NBC10's Deanna Durante decided it was time to become a foster parent. She's blogging about her experience.