Thank you dear friends for all your wonderful responses and suggestions. It took a few hours to get the kitty to come near enough to try and get her in the dog crate. Our first try failed because the door wasn’t attached correctly and it started to fall on the kitty. She took off like a shot. Needless to say, we were frustrated. She had been rubbing up against us and was playing with a pink ribbon. At this point, we felt we had to move quickly to get her to a shelter. I stalked her back and forth through the bushes until I finally got her by the scruff of the neck and put her in the crate.
After calling many shelters (all of them no-kill) and being told they were full and had no room, we finally found a no-kill animal rescue shelter south of us that had one cage free. We got in the car, drove there and now she is safe. She is definitely not feral which leads me to believe she might have been dumped nearby our house. She was frightened and hungry and was not an outside kitty. When she was in the crate for a while, she finally relaxed and slept. I think she was relieved and felt safe.
Bless her heart – if only I could have kept her. (I call her she, but really I have no idea.) We called her Birdie and mentioned it to the woman at the shelter in hopes they would also call her that. I don’t know why she was drawn to our house, but we are very happy she was. When we thought about what could happen to her outside there was no doubt what our decision would be. She needed shelter and protection.
Interestingly enough, this house was known as the Cat Lady’s house before it was renovated. A woman who loved cats lived here for years and apparently she had dozens of them. When she died, a woman bought the house and had it taken down to the studs and then renovated it. Maybe cats are still drawn here? Or maybe they know instinctively where an animal lover lives.
One more thought – animal shelters are over-flowing these days. If you are able to help in any way, it would be greatly appreciated. Donations, time, adoption – all of these things are needed desperately.