For the last week or so I could have sworn there was a new rustling in the walls of the barn. Now, we do have the litter of four kittens in the barn scampering about and of course other various critters skittering. But yesterday my suspicions were confirmed when my brother Andrew sent me a text informing me that while he was up in the hay loft getting a bale down he discovered three kittens way down between our walls. We’re talking seven feet down. Six to eight inches wide.
Our hypothesis is that the mama had the babies up in the hay loft and they fell down between the wall. Separating mother and babies. We don’t know when or how long they were down there. I do remember seeing her up in the loft, but I had no idea she was ever pregnant. Poor mama. But today we freed them! And here is the long, long tale of how it happened.
Getting to them by taking apart the wall at ground level wasn’t an option, so Andrew and I had to get creative. One of my first ideas was to chew enough gum to make a huge ball, attach it to a string on a fishing line, and send it on down. That didn’t fly.
After a few more minutes of brainstorming and looking around the barn we decided we’d try to use a piece of irrigation pipe with some sort of rope to create a snare that we could get around there tiny little bellies to pull them up. Problem was, we couldn’t find sufficient rope. “Adam’s paracord!” A quick IM with Adam in Germany lead to finding his box of paracord and the solution to our problem. A decent amount of duct tape later and we were ready to try it out.
The little guys were too fast and too tiny to catch. They just slipped right through the loop before Andrew could close it fast enough. Hm. More thinking.
We finally tracked down a fishing net from our neighbor and duct taped that to the end of our irrigation pipe. Success! We got the first two kittens, they’re grayish with some kind of pattern to them. I didn’t get a very good look at them as they were quite frightened and tried to jump out of my arms. Into the crate they went to cuddle and feel safe.
The last little one to rescue is the one pictured above. She is my favorite. So beautiful, isn’t she? Unfortunately, she was also the hardest one to fetch. She was the first one we had tried to get with the snare, so she wasn’t interested in stepping into our net.
We had to construct another pole by taping three broom poles together so that we could push her out of the corner and into the net. It scared her greatly, but she finally made her way into the net.
She didn’t try to jump out of my hands, probably because she was so scared. But I cradled her close to me, not wanting to put her in the crate thinking that it was because she liked me.
I love her already. And I hope that she makes it. But I don’t know what to name her.