Age: 10 years old
Health: Spayed, vaccinated, no know health issues
TacoMama was the first little kitten that Tiger aka Nursemaid brought to us as a gift. Too skittish to capture, she soon ran off during a severe thunderstorm, with her sister, Buffy, and we didn’t see her again for a very long time. Then, one morning about two years later, she suddenly showed up in the edge of the woods, meowing frantically. I soon discovered she was calling kittens that were hiding in the engine of my car.
When I opened my hood, two very scared kittens scrambled as fast as they could and ran the opposite direction from TacoMama. Of course, I followed the kittens and was able to gather them up, not without sustaining injuries to my hands from their tiny claws. Ignoring their fight, I held onto them and was able to carry the kittens to TacoMama and reunite them. TacoMama initially started to run from me, but then she saw that I had her kittens and stopped, suspiciously watching to see what I was doing with her babies. When I set the kittens on the ground within a few feet of her, they rushed to her for a meal.
The next day I found that TacoMama had setup camp for herself and the babies just off the walking trail next to our house. There, she camped with her kittens, but we had storms coming and it was already starting to rain. Where she had settled had absolutely no protection from the elements. I had just enough time to place a portable shelter near where the kittens were enjoying playtime. They ran in and out of the shelter repeatedly, but when the first clap of thunder came they ran in and stayed. TacoMama followed. This is where this little cat family lived for a few months until 2 things happened.
One morning, I looked out the window to see that TacoMama was nowhere to be seen and the kittens were playing around the shelter. I saw movement and saw a red fox emerge from the brush. The kittens had scuttled away but were visible and the fox was sniffing around their shelter. Frantic, I raced from the house as fast as I could and ran toward the fox while yelling very loudly. Thankfully, the fox took off through the woods without looking back.
By week’s end we had purchased a 4x8x6 covered dog pen and had outfitted it with tarps and cat shelters. TacoMama had weaned the kittens, so we began putting them in the pen at night for their protection. We tried putting TacoMama in with them, but she would do nothing but cry to be released. So to keep her from roaming, we had TacoMama spayed and vaccinated.
The next thing that happened was that one of the kittens crawled up in the spare tire underneath the truck and got the ride of his life. In the rain, we drove 23 miles to go out for dinner that day. When we reached our destination, we got out to go in but changed our minds about dining there and turned to go back to the truck. As we headed back to the truck, one of the kittens jumped from the spare tire onto the pavement and immediately looked terrified. Thankfully, he stopped just before he got through the hedges to another parking lot, because I had begun to call him. He obviously recognized my voice and stopped long enough for me to gather him up.
Needless to say, he was named after the city he had traveled to and from that day forward, a new rule was put in place before cranking vehicles. There’s a two-party ritual of thorough engine, muffler, fender well, and spare tired checking before cars are cranked.
We have repeatedly tried to acclimate TacoMama to the great indoors, since she “gentled up” quickly, but she wants no part of that adventure. Sights and sounds of indoor spaces scare her. Unfortunately, she continues to roam almost daily in spite of out attempts to put an end to that by having her spayed. The bad part is that most often, she travels along the roadside putting herself in danger.