Help Us with "ShedCat".. Wild Feral Inside
My name is Dave, I have 8 cats currently , all of them rescues or straight up ferals.
The reason I am here is only concerning my newest addition " ShedCat".
I trapped and saved his mother " Lilly" a year ago when she showed up
to get her daily food with a bad limp. I trapped her got her TNR'd and asked the vet
to please look at her back leg. Turns out 2 broken toes. Her story from then on,
is the most amazing cat story I have to tell in owning over 30 cats in my life.
I will tell her story some other time, but I am more concerned with her son , who I just trapped 5 days ago
and my decision , (due to his "outdoor cat" condition plus lack of teeth and infected bite wounds)
to try and socialize him into staying indoors, and the problems I know I am going to face. Been there before, but not with a guy this wild.
I am here to gain knowledge from those who have exceptional knowledge of dealing with
ferals brought indoors. He is pretty beat up, and 100% wild. Yet, he knows me as he caretaker, I have never touched him, I have been feeding Shed for almost 2 years daily and he allows me to sit near him and talk. I am the only human who he will not bolt from. He has a nasty open wound from a fight behind his right ear, and a swollen right front elbow also from bites. He was getting thin. I could tell by his eyes, he was not feeling at all well.
So, I had seen enough and I trapped him, and brought him to his Moms vet ( btw, his Mom is now our pet, and is one of the most affectionate cats we've ever had.) Back to Shed.... after an exam my vet ( who is excellent) explained his situation to me, which was a laundry list of afflictions , and that he really could not defend himself any longer. Where we live, is in the woods, near a reservoir. We get every critter imaginable coming though here, and the vet said it was be best scenario for Shed, if I could somehow bring him inside. So, in 3 days time I have him licking baby food off my finger and have managed to scratch him a little under his chin, but he is extremely skittish , clever, on high alert, and though I have two large pens zip-tied together, with a cave and all he needs, he hears those jungle drums calling outside. Due to his lack of teeth ( only fangs, and this was a mystery to the vet) He cannot bite very hard , as he is actually gumming me.
He " trusts" me, will not " come at me ot attack, I think he knows his limitations)" but he is still completely wild.
I would like to join this forum, and seek advice on obstacles and issues I am going to encounter.
Even though he was not my indoor "pet" , he was my outdoor buddy, he knows his name, and we want to do everything we can to give him a new life, a safer life, and I'm sure I will be needing advice as we go along. He is feeling better, calmer today, is eating no problem, using his box. But the hard thing is going to be having him accept a new life style, if its even possible.
I am a Director of Music at a church, I play 4 instruments fluently , including church organ and Choir Director, My wife Karyn has been with me 35 years, and we are a great team in working with problem cats , lost or unwanted cats. But ShedCat , is a new challenge, and one we want to win, for his benefit, long term, as he is only 2 yrs old, but already looks 10.
ShedCat needs to hang up the boxing gloves and retire from that world.
As the vet put it, releasing him at this point, would probably be a death sentence . He's made it thru 2 brutal winters , and I doubt he could handle a 3rd. We are in upstate NY, and it was below zero for a few weeks last year.
But we put out warm food daily, and a heated water bowl that would not freeze.
We are trying to give him a " home".
That, is our introduction, I hope we can join up. There is much more to ask and tell. Plus I may be able to help others.
Dave & Karyn.