Woman Works Diligently for Months to Rescue Six Cats at Her Vacation Home

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On Sep. 8, 2014, I was looking out the window at our second home in Rockford, IL, and saw a black and white kitty on our deck. I had never seen her before but she was so cute, and I took a picture of her. When sitting and facing away from me, she appeared to have a black kitten on her back.


The next day, I saw a strange bug on the railing of the deck, so I went outside and around to take a better look at it. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of the kitty and behind her she was followed by two kittens – I soon realized that there were five and not two and that the ‘kitty’ was a mommy!

I started leaving a frisbee with water in it behind our deck, and in the evening I would go out and sit in the grass to see if she’d come to me. She did, and would even eat a bit of dry cat food from my hand. She would lay under the deck and nurse her babies right in front of me.

As we were only out there on weekends, I started leaving the garage door up about four inches and blockaded it except for roughly a ten inch opening on one end so that they could come in and out. I set up one of our dog’s former kennels complete with blanket and furry cat bed, and a nice litter box. The mom would come to me and would even sleep on my lap in the garage for periods of time. But the kittens wouldn’t have anything to do with us; we could only admire them from afar…

Meanwhile I was trying to figure out how to get them adopted. I took the mom to a local vet to see if she had a chip in her, but she did not. I asked if she could be spayed, but she was still nursing so that wasn’t an immediate option. All facilities that I tried in Rockford were either kill shelters or were filled to capacity. Through word of mouth I finally was able to find a wonderful place called Magnificent Mutts (and Magnificent Meows). They said that I could bring the cats into their vet location in Elmhurst, IL.

Now to CATCH THEM!!! We decided to wait until evening and I would watch to make sure that they were all in the garage. Our plan was to have my husband close the garage door (from the outside), the door would close and we would have them in a confined space. Well, sadIy it was better in theory, as when we tried it the garage door went ‘UP’ instead of down, and they all ran outside!!! So I researched online, etc., and finally came up with an alternate plan. We waited until dark, and when they were all in the garage we quietly put a metal dog crate on the outside of the garage in front of our opening. We managed to catch the mom and two of the kittens. So Monday morning I took them into Elmhurst and left them in the care of the personnel there.

Our neighbors would make sure there was food and water in the garage while we were gone. But I was a bit frantic at that point since I was leaving for a Florida vacation for a few days and there were still three kittens to round up. My husband along with neighbors tried again the following weekend. Two more kittens were caught and my husband took them in to Elmhurst on Monday morning.

That left one more kitten…we decided to try a Hav-a-Heart trap set up in the garage. Our diligent neighbors continued to come into the garage to set out food for the kitten. This last one managed to find its way into the trap and we received a call that evening to let us know. I said I’d come out the following morning (about 1.5 hours away), but the next morning they called to say that when they went back over to check, that the kitten was nowhere to be found.

One more night and we got another call. This time the kitten was still in the trap. I made the trek and couldn’t believe what I found when I arrived in the garage. Assuming that the kitten had somehow escaped by wiggling through a small space by or above the garage door, our neighbors had secured the openings with whatever they could readily find. There were black plastic bags, a broom, a car wash mit, etc. plugging up any gaps they could find. And…they had duct-taped the Hav-a-Heart trap shut to make sure that the kitten couldn’t possibly escape this time. I took this little one to the vet in Elmhurst. Although we aren’t certain of the kittens’ fate, they were so adorable with beautiful markings (one black and white like mom, two striped, two black/white/grey striping) that we are most hopeful that they found forever homes!

The final outcome of this saga was that Magnificent Mutts let me know when I followed up that the mom (that I had already named LoveBug a couple months before) may have a hard time being adopted since she’s around one-year-old, and most people wanted kittens. I couldn’t get her out of my mind and called to ask if I could adopt her. I was approved, of course, since I had been ‘her mommy’ already for the past three months.


My husband, the accountant, laughs when he tells this story to people because I had to PAY the $75 adoption fee to get LoveBug back when I could have kept her for free. I had already paid out around $140 at the Rockford vet for the rabies shot, feline leukemia shot, and others that were needed when I first found her. But I was ok with the extra $75, since I had planned to donate another $100 anyway to help defray the cost of spaying the kittens (before I knew we were keeping her).

Although we weren’t certain whether she and our rescue dog, Maggie, would get along, our fears were allayed almost immediately. They LOVE each other, and I am SOOOO thankful that she is part of our Home and HEARTS.

Story submitted by Harriet L. Fath from Mount Prospect, Illinois.

This story was originally shared on The Animal Rescue Site. Share your very own rescue story here!

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