...and even more. Meet Jess and her kittens

We had a call from a concerned lady who had seen Jess on the  streets of La Roche sur Yon for the last few years. She told us that Jess was limping and was exhausted as she had a new litter of kittens. So we went along to have a look.

Jess was living on the grounds of a lycée which was closed for the holidays, but we could see her with two of her kittens through the fence. She did seem to be in a sorry state. So we went to the SPA and borrowed a cage trap from them which we installed in the courtyard of the school.

Jess was caught pretty rapidly and we took her to the vet to be checked and given an ID chip. Even though she had been living on the streets for a few years she was not at all wild and responded just like a normal family cat and let the vet examine her without any fuss.

The vet found that she was a bit worn out and also had a healed fracture of her right hind leg which explained her limp. She was still lactating.

Meanwhile the trap had been set for the kittens and soon after we got home we got a call to tell us that one of the kittens had been caught. However, when we  saw it we were horrified to discover that it was only about 4 weeks old. When we had seen them at a distance they looked to be the size of a fully weaned kitten, but that was due to them being very fluffy.

As they still depended on their mother, we went into overdrive in our efforts to catch the kittens. As well as the cage trap from the SPA we also pressed into service two smaller cage traps used for catching rats.  Marie-France, the lady who contacted us in the first place, mobilised practically the whole of her block of flats to keep an eye on the cages.

This quickly paid dividends and within 24 hours we had taken delivery of 3 more bundles of fluff. The downside was that there was still one kitten roaming free and the holidays were over. This gave us less freedom for access to the school grounds and the extra noise made the kitten more frightened.  As the traps had food in them, we also started to attract cats from the neighbourhood who behaved agressively towards the kitten.

After a few days we were dispairing of ever catching the last holdout when suddenly, yesterday, one of the school employees appeared at Marie-France's door with the kitten. She called us to come and get it as it was in a bad state. So, taking Jess with us, we rushed to Marie-France's place to pick it up. One look was enough to show that it needed professional care, so we headed off to our friendly vet straight away.

Whilst on the way, Jess licked it and spoke to it but it was very apathetic.

On arrival at the vet's, the vet took it's temperature and then fitted it with an IV drip and put it on some warming bottles. It was in a terrible state: dehydrated, hypothermic and unable to swallow. She initially thought that it had tetanus, but called us today to say that it looked like it had been bitten in the neck by another cat, so its throat was swollen. That's why it couldn't swallow. She is attempting to fit it with a tube, so that she can feed it.

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