Reeling one in (and vice versa) - HAPPY UPDATE! :) - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Reeling one in (and vice versa) - HAPPY UPDATE! :)

We haven't used our Havaheart trap yet, partly because it's been constantly raining and partly because we haven't figured out all the logistics of what to do when we catch somebody. But in the meantime, I've been working on one of the ferals.

Lately a large, brutish solid-black boy has been dominating our porch. He's been a real problem, because he beats up the other cats and keeps them away from the food we put out. He also urinates into my potted plants, so we dubbed him "the urinator." I love almost all cats, but I've really had a hard time with this guy. We had been thinking that maybe this one needed to go to the SPCA. We would hate to do that because they might put him down, but none of the no-kill groups take ferals, and we honestly didn't know what else to do with him.

But as soon as we made that decision, it was like he knew. He stopped running from us, and started edging just a little closer every time I put the food down. The other day I decided to try petting him, and he let me! Since then, he has continued to let me every time I've given him wet food, and most other times he'll get close enough to sniff my hand and lets me touch his nose.

It's probably just my imagination, but I get a vibe from him like he wants to be something more than feral. It sounds crazy, but it's the same vibe I got from my Hissy, the super-feral cat we were sure we'd never tame, right before he gave in to being socialized and became a love-starved lamb.

I'm no longer sure who is luring whom. I can't keep this cat, but I really, really want to give him a fighting chance at having a real home. So I'll work with him every day for a little while longer, and then I will start offering bribes to the local no-kill groups to try and get him a spot. I also gave him a real name, Toshiro.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 07:41 PM
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Good luck, but it sounds to me as if Toshiro is really trying to win your heart! I love his nickname. Next thing, he'll be running for governor!




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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2007, 07:06 PM
 
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Hmm sounds like my Tony. He was the head honcho of my neighborhood. I had him neutered and fed him for a while till he came to me closer each day..

I bet your tom boy was owned as a kitten, then for some reason, became homeless and reverted to being Feral in order to cope the elements.

Your best bet is to get him vetted: neutered shots tested for Fiv & Felv and post him up on petfinder.org A rescue will be happy to post for free or a small donation.

But it sounds like Toshiro has other plans
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2007, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses! I can tell you that Toshiro is definitely in love...with canned food. He only tolerates me because I bring it to him.

I would love to keep him anyway, but I really can't add another member to my crowded and very jealous cat family. My cats are already upset about this stranger living on our porch: hissing at me when I've been interacting with him, getting aggressive with each other. I don't want to TNR him either because he's only semi-feral, and it doesn't seem fair. He needs a real home.

I found a rescue group who seems willing to take him if they can handle him during the interview. That's a big if. I also have to run a found-cat ad in the paper for a week, so that gives me some time to work with him.

He lets me pet him fairly regularly now, I make him eat food in my lap, and I've even been able to lay my hand on his stomach without him freaking. But I haven't tried picking him up yet. What's the best way to do this with an adult cat? What part of his body should I try to lift him up by(e.g., under the stomach, around his legs, etc.)? I'm looking for the least emotional trauma to him and the least injury to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-09-2007, 07:12 PM
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I think it might be a bit too soon for that. However, I pick up a cat the same as I pick up a puppy... One hand holding the chest and the other tucking the tail under him and supporting the rump.

Perhaps it would be best to tame him before calling the rescue organization. You don't want him to ruin his chances.




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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Jeanie. I picked him up -- four times! Just a couple of seconds each time. He squirmed, and hissed half-heartedly, but on the whole he was much more relaxed about it than two of my supposedly-socialized housecats are. He has definitely been around humans in the past.

I know it sounds like I'm in a rush. I am. He's still free-roaming outdoors because I literally have nowhere to keep him. I don't have a garage, and I can't bring him in the house, even hidden in a room, because my cats will become aggressive towards each other and us. It already happens every time I interact with him on the porch, and it was much worse when we tried the indoor thing before with a different cat. And I don't want to pen him in a cage outside because he'll be exposed to the elements and potentially vulnerable to dogs or people messing with him. So I'm really anxious to get him settled.

My found-cat ad is running (no calls so far), and I was wrong, it only has to run for four days, so I'm going to try to get him an interview on Tuesday, and not catch him until the last possible moment. I'm hoping the trap won't even be necessary.

As a backup plan, if the interview goes miserably, we will do the quickest TNR possible and continue working with him as an outdoor cat. We still have to work out the logistics for that, but hopefully it won't be necessary.

So, wish us luck!
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-11-2007, 10:58 PM
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I'll be praying that one more little furry purrer will not have to live outside. Good luck! Prayers!

PS Have you tried a styrofoam container with the lid on the bottom, weighted down, straw for warmth, and an opening cut in front, with an old bathroom rug for a door? It will keep him out of the cold. I imagine you already have, but just in case...




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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2007, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Just talked to the no-kill shelter...as of today, they are not taking cats for a couple of weeks because they are having a URI outbreak.

Time to look into having him fixed myself. I just can't let him keep running around, or there will be Toshiro Jrs. all over the place.

Thanks for the tips on making a comfy enclosure, Jeanie. I did put out a box and blanket arrangement, which he ignored, but I'll need to come up with something better since I'll have to confine him the night before the surgery. Poor Toshiro. I know it's the right thing to do, but I hate this part.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2007, 04:49 PM
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This is really kind of you, Jet Green! I feel sure the surgery will go well. You'll want to keep him quiet after surgery. Do you have a bathroom or spare room he could stay in for a few days? Just for recovery?

Don't you wish you could give them all a home? It's so sad that they're homeless. But the no-kill shelter might find him a home in the future. Let's hope so!




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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2007, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
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Well, he's scheduled for next Thursday. I'm going to buy a large dog "crate," big enough to put a litter box in and for him to move around a little, and make it comfy with lots of blankets. It should be nice enough weather (in the 70s F.) to leave him out on the porch during the day. I think he would probably prefer being in his own territory to being in a strange room with four cats growling murderously at the door the whole time, and we'll keep a very close eye on him. We'll have to figure out something else for nighttime, maybe sweet-talk a neighbor into letting us borrow their garage for a few nights.

Thanks for all your advice! I'm sorry to go on and on about this. It's my first real trapping experience, and I'm nervous, so it helps to be able to talk it all out and learn from others' experiences!
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