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  • Ferals, strays and rescues

    This is the place to post questions or notes about feral kitties or strays or kitties that you've rescued. My home is affectionately known as Camp Happy Cat. I have 14 kitties and almost all of them were feral rescues. I previously owned a farm where there was a large feral colony that I cared for. Ferals are often misunderstood. A lot of people assume that they can't be tamed and will never make good house pets and I'm here to tell you that just isn't so. Mine are all happy and content and none of them miss being outside in the least.

    Let's hear from others who love ferals and have adopted them.

    marci
    Marci DeLisle
    Cats/Rescue, Feral and Stray
    Camp Counselor at Camp Happy Cat
    Owner of NW Critter Sitter - "Paws-itively Purr-fect Pet-sitting"
    Owner of Northwind Reiki ~Animal Reiki for the fur-persons in your life!
    www.nwcrittersitter.com

  • #2
    Feral cats are wonderful. I've rescued two cats in the last year. One was a small kitten and the other was a large feral male.

    The feral was in terrible shape, very emaciated and suffering from the worst tapeworm infestation I think I'll probably ever see. I debated about what to do with him at first but after a few weeks my own guilt trip about it got the better of me. We had been feeding him, but food wasn't enough and he was being pursued by the coyotes here, so I finally trapped him, brought him into the garage and crated him while I wormed him and scheduled the neuter. He's an interesting example of the diamond in the rough that most feral cats truly are.

    At first, he was very untrusting and suspicious of my every move, attempting to nip me on several occasions and generally laying out certain ground rules to me about how I should be careful and treat him nicely or else...lol. We had a discussion of sorts, where every time he tried to nip me I would gently tap his nose and tell him no. (it's amazing what a calm voice and reassuring attitude will do for a feral. He seemed to get what I was trying to communicate and replaced that behaviour with licking instead. It turns out, he's quite the makeout artist

    After the neuter, we brought him inside and let him get acquainted with the other cats (3), the dogs and us. The first thing he tried was pulling his claws on the sofa. I said "no" very sternly and that was the end of that. The thing about cats (and dogs) who have seen very hard times is that they know when they have it good and truly want to please us when offered a better living arrangement. This cat is a real charmer and although he has tried a few things such as getting on the kitchen counters and tipping the garbage can, a simple "no" one time was all that it took to resolve those issues. Can you tell I'm sold on this cat?

    Every day he seems to marvel in the fact that everyone loves him - so much so that I wonder if anyone at all even treated him nicely in the past. He's just an amazing, jolly, good natured character after all that he's been through. Today he finally succumbed to the cat brush and he reveled with delight about how wonderful that whole experience was. He'd run off, then run back and throw himself down by me so I could brush him some more. This went on for an hour and by the time we were done, he was rolling around on the floor like a big happy puppy. Too cute.

    Originally I was going to rehome him. but he and my rescued kitten have bonded so much that seperating them would just be wrong at this point.

    Oh and he tested negative for Feline Aids/ Leukemia too! Overall, the payback is in the wonderful, happy cat he has become and it was soooo worth it. And lately he's even been trying to play with our big Lab! Who'da thunk it? He's not a scratcher/biter and doesn't have a bad trait that I can think of. Just a mellow, nice guy.


    Meet Mr. Kitty. Since being on a quality diet, his eyes are changing from a pale yellow to green.
    Last edited by JoAnnVan; 04-24-2005, 05:33 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JoAnnVan
      Feral cats are wonderful. I've rescued two cats in the last year. One was a small kitten and the other was a large feral male.

      The feral was in terrible shape, very emaciated and suffering from the worst tapeworm infestation I think I'll probably ever see. I debated about what to do with him at first but after a few weeks my own guilt trip about it got the better of me. We had been feeding him, but food wasn't enough and he was being pursued by the coyotes here, so I finally trapped him, brought him into the garage and crated him while I wormed him and scheduled the neuter. He's an interesting example of the diamond in the rough that most feral cats truly are.

      At first, he was very untrusting and suspicious of my every move, attempting to nip me on several occasions and generally laying out certain ground rules to me about how I should be careful and treat him nicely or else...lol. We had a discussion of sorts, where every time he tried to nip me I would gently tap his nose and tell him no. (it's amazing what a calm voice and reassuring attitude will do for a feral. He seemed to get what I was trying to communicate and replaced that behaviour with licking instead. It turns out, he's quite the makeout artist

      After the neuter, we brought him inside and let him get acquainted with the other cats (3), the dogs and us. The first thing he tried was pulling his claws on the sofa. I said "no" very sternly and that was the end of that. The thing about cats (and dogs) who have seen very hard times is that they know when they have it good and truly want to please us when offered a better living arrangement. This cat is a real charmer and although he has tried a few things such as getting on the kitchen counters and tipping the garbage can, a simple "no" one time was all that it took to resolve those issues. Can you tell I'm sold on this cat?

      Every day he seems to marvel in the fact that everyone loves him - so much so that I wonder if anyone at all even treated him nicely in the past. He's just an amazing, jolly, good natured character after all that he's been through. Today he finally succumbed to the cat brush and he reveled with delight about how wonderful that whole experience was. He'd run off, then run back and throw himself down by me so I could brush him some more. This went on for an hour and by the time we were done, he was rolling around on the floor like a big happy puppy. Too cute.

      Originally I was going to rehome him. but he and my rescued kitten have bonded so much that seperating them would just be wrong at this point.

      Oh and he tested negative for Feline Aids/ Leukemia too! Overall, the payback is in the wonderful, happy cat he has become and it was soooo worth it. And lately he's even been trying to play with our big Lab! Who'da thunk it? He's not a scratcher/biter and doesn't have a bad trait that I can think of. Just a mellow, nice guy.


      Meet Mr. Kitty. Since being on a quality diet, his eyes are changing from a pale yellow to green.

      That's a wonderful rescue story and your guy is very handsome indeed.

      Karen A/Publicist

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JoAnnVan
        Feral cats are wonderful. I've rescued two cats in the last year. One was a small kitten and the other was a large feral male.

        The feral was in terrible shape, very emaciated and suffering from the worst tapeworm infestation I think I'll probably ever see. I debated about what to do with him at first but after a few weeks my own guilt trip about it got the better of me. We had been feeding him, but food wasn't enough and he was being pursued by the coyotes here, so I finally trapped him, brought him into the garage and crated him while I wormed him and scheduled the neuter. He's an interesting example of the diamond in the rough that most feral cats truly are.

        At first, he was very untrusting and suspicious of my every move, attempting to nip me on several occasions and generally laying out certain ground rules to me about how I should be careful and treat him nicely or else...lol. We had a discussion of sorts, where every time he tried to nip me I would gently tap his nose and tell him no. (it's amazing what a calm voice and reassuring attitude will do for a feral. He seemed to get what I was trying to communicate and replaced that behaviour with licking instead. It turns out, he's quite the makeout artist

        After the neuter, we brought him inside and let him get acquainted with the other cats (3), the dogs and us. The first thing he tried was pulling his claws on the sofa. I said "no" very sternly and that was the end of that. The thing about cats (and dogs) who have seen very hard times is that they know when they have it good and truly want to please us when offered a better living arrangement. This cat is a real charmer and although he has tried a few things such as getting on the kitchen counters and tipping the garbage can, a simple "no" one time was all that it took to resolve those issues. Can you tell I'm sold on this cat?

        Every day he seems to marvel in the fact that everyone loves him - so much so that I wonder if anyone at all even treated him nicely in the past. He's just an amazing, jolly, good natured character after all that he's been through. Today he finally succumbed to the cat brush and he reveled with delight about how wonderful that whole experience was. He'd run off, then run back and throw himself down by me so I could brush him some more. This went on for an hour and by the time we were done, he was rolling around on the floor like a big happy puppy. Too cute.

        Originally I was going to rehome him. but he and my rescued kitten have bonded so much that seperating them would just be wrong at this point.

        Oh and he tested negative for Feline Aids/ Leukemia too! Overall, the payback is in the wonderful, happy cat he has become and it was soooo worth it. And lately he's even been trying to play with our big Lab! Who'da thunk it? He's not a scratcher/biter and doesn't have a bad trait that I can think of. Just a mellow, nice guy.


        Meet Mr. Kitty. Since being on a quality diet, his eyes are changing from a pale yellow to green.
        How wonderful! It never ceases to amaze me just how much the ferals appreciate everything we do for them and learn so fast how to be the model housecat. And I have a lot of them to prove how true that is

        marci
        Marci DeLisle
        Cats/Rescue, Feral and Stray
        Camp Counselor at Camp Happy Cat
        Owner of NW Critter Sitter - "Paws-itively Purr-fect Pet-sitting"
        Owner of Northwind Reiki ~Animal Reiki for the fur-persons in your life!
        www.nwcrittersitter.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Marci,
          This isn't a happy story about a feral rescue , it is a story about a large feral tomcat who came "home" to us at the end of his life. Vinnie was a large tabby feral cat that we tried for several years to catch. Nothing worked, but he did come to trust us enough so that when he was ill or injured he would come back to our barn to recuperate. We wouldn't see him for a few weeks, then he would be there, limping badly (he never got over the limp). He would allow us to feed him if we kept our distance. This went on for about 3 years. Several times we thought we had lost him when he didn't show up for several weeks but in the end he always came back to us. Then one day he was on our porch and I could see from where I was standing in the house that he was in a bad way. He was curled up at our front door so I ran and got some canned food for him, hoping that this time I would be able to catch him. He was drooling badly and was very sick. I put the food in front of him and he licked at the gravy but that was all he would do. Then he meowed at me. I think his teeth were badly infected and he couldn't eat. I went to get a carrier to put him in but when I got back to the front porch he was gone. I couldn't find him. What I didn't know was that he had gone thru a pet door into our basement, something he had never, to the best of my knowledge, done before. There, several days later, we found his poor crippled body. He trusted us enough, in the end, to come to where he felt safe. In the end, Vinnie came "home". He is now buried with the rest of our furbabies that have gone on. He was very much loved.
          Attached Files
          Last edited by lois; 05-01-2005, 10:20 PM.
          Lois and the furbrats

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lois
            Hi Marci,
            This isn't a happy story about a feral rescue , it is a story about a large feral tomcat who came "home" to us at the end of his life. Vinnie was a large tabby feral cat that we tried for several years to catch. Nothing worked, but he did come to trust us enough so that when he was ill or injured he would come back to our barn to recuperate. We wouldn't see him for a few weeks, then he would be there, limping badly (he never got over the limp). He would allow us to feed him if we kept our distance. This went on for about 3 years. Several times we thought we had lost him when he didn't show up for several weeks but in the end he always came back to us. Then one day he was on our porch and I could see from where I was standing in the house that he was in a bad way. He was curled up at our front door so I ran and got some canned food for him, hoping that this time I would be able to catch him. He was drooling badly and was very sick. I put the food in front of him and he licked at the gravy but that was all he would do. Then he meowed at me. I think his teeth were badly infected and he couldn't eat. I went to get a carrier to put him in but when I got back to the front porch he was gone. I couldn't find him. What I didn't know was that he had gone thru a pet door into our basement, something he had never, to the best of my knowledge, done before. There, several days later, we found his poor crippled body. He trusted us enough, in the end, to come to where he felt safe. In the end, Vinnie came "home". He is now buried with the rest of our furbabies that have gone on. He was very much loved.
            Hi Lois:

            I remember the story of Vinnie and think of it often. I had a couple of ferals that were like Vinnie. Randy Dandy and Ready Teddy both lived out their lives as ferals on my farm. I could never catch them even when they got very ill. But they were around for a long time and knew that I was there for them and both were extremely appreciative of the food I put out for them. Dandy (aka Danny) never would let me touch him but Teddy actually got to where he'd let me pet him. But Dandy was quite the baby sitter of the feral kittens. You'd look out and see him on the porch all curled with with several babies with him. He was so very protective of all the feral kittens on the farm. Didn't matter if he was their dad or not ... he took his job very seriously. And Teddy came to say goodbye to me before he died. I knew it was a goodbye and it was very difficult to deal with. But he came back for a last pet and some tears then walked off into the woods never to be seen again.
            Marci DeLisle
            Cats/Rescue, Feral and Stray
            Camp Counselor at Camp Happy Cat
            Owner of NW Critter Sitter - "Paws-itively Purr-fect Pet-sitting"
            Owner of Northwind Reiki ~Animal Reiki for the fur-persons in your life!
            www.nwcrittersitter.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Lois, There must be something about feral cats and farms.

              When we bought this farm, there was a large orange tabby cat that was here. We asked the seller if he was going to take the cat and he told us the cat wasn't his. We never got close to Tom as we called him, but Tom would come share crunchies with the barn kitties, and Tom probably sired the oneor two litters of cats that we had when we didn't spay quick enough.

              Over fifteen years after we bought the farm, one of our clients called the house worried about Tom - it seems he was not acting right and let her get right up to him. I went over and we located Tom under an oak behind the barn. He had curled up and passed over the bridge. Our vet was out on another matter and looked at Tom - he was amazed at how worn Tom's teeth were and estimated that Tom had to be at least 2o years old and probably older. He had never seen a cat with teeth worn all the way to the gums.

              Tom is buried with all our other kitties in our special patch of woods.

              Anne
              Anne Wright
              Woodswell Farm
              Tallahassee, Florida

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Marci, its so hard to love them and not be able to really help them
                Lois and the furbrats

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Anne. I'm so glad that Tom passed over peacefully. And that he had you to love him thru his life there on the farm. I wish we did live on a farm, I would have so many animals!!!! But, although we have a nice, really old barn, we live right in the middle of a small town. We're just lucky that the owners over the years never tore it down since it is a "safehouse" for many stray cats and ferals, (and the neighbors cats, lol.)
                  Lois and the furbrats

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Lois, So it must be the barns the ferals love. Barns are a great place for mice and shelter, I guess....
                    Anne
                    Anne Wright
                    Woodswell Farm
                    Tallahassee, Florida

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ferals and farms

                      I think ferals feel relatively safe on farms because it's less "people" intensive. And of course, there's usually pastures and fields full of mice and other goodies.
                      Marci DeLisle
                      Cats/Rescue, Feral and Stray
                      Camp Counselor at Camp Happy Cat
                      Owner of NW Critter Sitter - "Paws-itively Purr-fect Pet-sitting"
                      Owner of Northwind Reiki ~Animal Reiki for the fur-persons in your life!
                      www.nwcrittersitter.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        C'mon was what I called her. She gave birth to a litter of kittens in a groundhog hole near athe back of my property. I trapped and tamed her kittens, and got them all adopted. She was trapped and spayed. She was just too wild to stay in the carrier to complete recovery, so she was released back near the birthing hole. I provided food for her, and she was around for a short time. However, two neighbor cats roamed, and C'mon was apparently timid. After the neighbor moved, C'mon came back around. I provided food and shelter for her and she lived for perhaps twelve years. She was too feral to trust anyone, even me. She would follow me around the yard, come when I called her and was a fixture. She made it through many very hard winters. She went into convulsions one cold January night, and died before I could arrange to get her to a vet. She was black with several white breast hairs. She is buried out back with two of my other beloved cats. Even though I fed her and she followed me around, she would never let me touch her. Once, I put out my finger, and she pushed it away, with her claws retracted.
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by calicokitty
                          C'mon was what I called her. She gave birth to a litter of kittens in a groundhog hole near athe back of my property. I trapped and tamed her kittens, and got them all adopted. She was trapped and spayed. She was just too wild to stay in the carrier to complete recovery, so she was released back near the birthing hole. I provided food for her, and she was around for a short time. However, two neighbor cats roamed, and C'mon was apparently timid. After the neighbor moved, C'mon came back around. I provided food and shelter for her and she lived for perhaps twelve years. She was too feral to trust anyone, even me. She would follow me around the yard, come when I called her and was a fixture. She made it through many very hard winters. She went into convulsions one cold January night, and died before I could arrange to get her to a vet. She was black with several white breast hairs. She is buried out back with two of my other beloved cats. Even though I fed her and she followed me around, she would never let me touch her. Once, I put out my finger, and she pushed it away, with her claws retracted.
                          Wasn't that the one that you posted a picture in the other forum of the shelter you had meade her? It sure was better then a ground-hog hole! Sounds to me like she trusted you quite a lot, she just wasn't able to make that final step.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MarciD
                            I think ferals feel relatively safe on farms because it's less "people" intensive. And of course, there's usually pastures and fields full of mice and other goodies.
                            That's true - though most of the strays and dumped cats end up around the barns - where the mice live. In fact, our resident red shouldered hawks hang out around the barn just in case a mouse should stick it's head out in the sunlight!
                            Anne
                            Anne Wright
                            Woodswell Farm
                            Tallahassee, Florida

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mountain-mama
                              Wasn't that the one that you posted a picture in the other forum of the shelter you had meade her? It sure was better then a ground-hog hole! Sounds to me like she trusted you quite a lot, she just wasn't able to make that final step.
                              It was. She was living under a shed, and the neighbor blocked it off and put out poison. It was then that I built her the shelter. I also built her a tiny dog house type place for the food, and made sure she had water even in the cold winters. She just could never make the final step in trust. I did trap her once for a rabies shot and deworming and posted her rabies badge at the shelter. She would let me come within feet of her, but that was about it. She had always been fed IAMS, like my cats, and once when I was at a pet store, a dealer rep touted a 'superior' product and gave me some free samples. I put them out, called her and she came running. I never saw a more disgusted look on a cat's face than when she saw the different food. Even after she was gone, it was like her ghost was following me in the yard during the summers.
                              sigpic

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