A few weeks ago, our volunteers were notified on social media that there was a mom cat with four kittens about five weeks old who were spotted at a Tim Hortons in Cloverdale. A volunteer, Lisa was quickly on the scene, but by the time she got there, they had been scared off by several people chasing them. Our volunteer trapper, Therese arrived a little later and spoke to people living nearby who told her the kittens came out from under a tall fence covered by a blackberry bush on the property next door. Therese could see there were clear tracks under the fence where they were coming and going.
Our volunteers put up a feeding station and posted a note on the fence for others to leave the site alone as trapping was in progress. Therese went back several nights, set up traps, and spent countless hours camped out in her car (a trapper’s life!)—but they did not come out.
Sadly, 80% of kittens born outdoors never survive. The cycle must stop.
Over the next few days, calls came in from people living in the area saying they had seen the kittens playing by the fence. Lisa would fill the food station with fresh food, but it quickly became apparent that they were not eating the food. And then they just disappeared. Therese went knocking on doors, but no one had seen them. They had vanished.
After a week of the food not being touched, our volunteers decided to take the feeding station away and wait for more sightings from residents.
It was a month before they were seen again! Lisa and Therese got their gear together and rushed to the site where they had been seen. They set the traps, after which mom and kittens were trapped quickly.
Therese took the fur family to our lead volunteer trapper, Anne’s house, where they were put up for a couple of nights while being assessed. By then, the kittens were about nine weeks old, hissing, and scared but luckily still young enough to be easily “tamed.” Mom was very shy, but with time and patience, she was expected to come out of her shell. Our volunteers named them the Tim Bits crew—Maple the mom, and kittens Sprinkles, Fritter, Jelly, and Dutchie.
After a few days, Anne contacted our partner organization, Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA), who happily transferred them to a great foster to work with them.
Each rescue story shows what our volunteers will go through to help stray, abandoned, and lost cats. Kudos to Therese and Lisa for the countless hours they spent to help Maple and her kittens and to the residents in the area for their cooperation in watching for the kittens and reporting sightings.
While Maple and her babies will have a happy ending, not every homeless cat or kitten will. The Tim Bits’ story highlights the importance of spaying and neutering your cat. We’ll never know if Maple had more litters before this rescue—sadly, 80% of kittens born “in the wild” never survive. And we’ll never know where she came from; perhaps she herself was born outside to a stray cat. The cycle must stop.
Maple and her babies will have a happy ending, but not every homeless cat or kitten will. We need your help.
We need your help to rescue cats like Maple and her kittens and prevent future litters who end up homeless. Please make a donation, so we can continue to spay and neuter cats in Surrey.