Residents save newborn felines from lobster trap

Photos by Patricia Whitman

Photos by Patricia Whitman

Animals, both mammal and fowl, are special and an important part of the lives of Canyon Lakers. Residents have been known to come to the rescue of many types in the area, both wild and domestic.

Dogs and cats, especially, appear to hold a special place in the hearts of many who live in the community. This is the story of five little kittens and how their lives were saved.

Early on April 11, Bob Givens called friends and neighbors, David and Patricia Whitman, to ask if he could see them immediately regarding a serious problem that he couldn’t really explain over the phone.

Patricia went to Bob’s home to find out what the problem was. She followed him into a back bathroom, where she saw a full-length window above the tub, behind which was a very high wall open to the outside. Between the window and the outside wall was a wooden lobster trap.

Bob, knowing that Patricia was a cat lover, passed her a small cardboard box filled with nice warm bedding. He then proceeded to open the window, put his hand into the lobster trap and, one by one, extricated five very small kittens. Patricia placed them carefully into the cardboard box. Bob said that the kittens had been there for a couple of weeks, but he had no idea who the mother was.

Bob told Patricia that he would be going into hospital for heart surgery and didn’t know when he would be back home. He didn’t know what to do about the kittens, who appeared to be about two-and-a-half weeks old. Their eyes were still not fully open, and they didn’t yet have teeth.

Being a midwife, Patricia felt that she had to look after the little babies and, although she and her husband David already had two cats of their own, took them home. David agreed that they should foster the kittens and do what they could to keep them alive. They fed them every two hours, night and day at first, on a mixture of home-made goat yogurt and bone broth (a diet that had previously saved the life of one of their cats).

With the help and support of their “wonderful vet” in Lake Elsinore and an Australian friend who is also a highly qualified vet, Patricia and David were able to keep the kittens healthy and happy.

They eventually discovered the mother was an outdoor cat that had come to their house as a kitten. They called her “Mickey (Mouse)” and had been feeding her. Patricia and David finally managed to capture Mickey and take her to be spayed, but it was too late for her to resume feeding her kittens.

Says Patricia and David, “’Bob Givens Sanctuary’ provided shelter for the birth of five adorable kittens that Bob helped rescue. Now we need to find good Canyon Lake homes for them.”

Here are some details about the kittens.

  • Tommy is the largest (already nearly as big as his mom). He is dark gray and white. He loves nuzzling people and untying shoe laces.
  • Mouse is the smallest (takes after his mom who is also tiny). He is gray all over and very clever. He was the first to drink from a bottle and learn how to dribble a small ball.
  • Teddy, so named because she looked like a little bear, took over mothering Mouse from the beginning and always slept with her little arm around him.
  • Salt is gray and white with a salt-and-pepper nose. She loves running around with a soft toy in her mouth, pretending it is a kitten, as do all the girls.
  • Squirrel, is called that because, when feeding, she would hold the bottle in her paws like a squirrel with an acorn. She is also gray and white.

Having been handled so much, these kittens are people friendly, loving and self-confident.

Interested Canyon Lakers can call Patricia at 949-874-1885.