I wasn't looking for another cat when a semi-feral we'd seen around all summer got trapped in the workshop on the 27th of October last year (the saga was documented here: https://www.catforum.com/forum/56-fer...ur-garage.html
), but it was cold and pouring rain for days on end and he was extremely hungry so I decided to try my best with him over the winter. Now I can't imagine the house without him!
While confined to the garage we trapped him in a humane trap to get his leg stitched up and get him neutered. After he got over his terrified phase he became aggressive and would attack if I went near the space
where I would place his food, food didn't even have to be there.
I was wearing oven mitts around him for 3-4 months and still got scars when he sunk his teeth in past the oven mitts, he mauled my legs a few times right through
my jeans, and a little later on went through a phase where he thought viciously attacking me and blocking my way while giving out menacing growls was how to go about preventing
me from leaving the workshop (how sweet)...
I knew he had at some point belonged to someone in the past because when I gave him a ball and toy mouse a week into his captivity he took a moment to bat at the mouse despite how feral he was acting otherwise, like he couldn't contain the joy of seeing a toy again. The next time I walked in the room I took this picture blurry zoomed in picture, which always brings a smile to my face; that of an aloof and vicious cat carting around a toy mouse:
He went from this (well, this was already a few weeks of progress):
Which, yeah... still looks scary in an entirely different way.
He's so gentle and respectful of other cats and dogs and such a trouble making goofball that it's hard to imagine how rough it must have been outside, what he went through to be reduced to such a state. Now he plays like mad, fetching, wrestling with the dog, meowing non-stop with his toys around the house. Stealthily searching around the cat tree for hidden toys is one of his favourite games. Even when he got out of the house the people that found him said he'd been playing
in the yard with their cat.
In July some kind of switch went off and he's now stopped eating everything in his bowel like a compulsion. In fact he only eats about 4 oz of a food a day, so much for my garbage disposal. Just this last week he's started trying to sleep on top of me at night instead of beside me, so I think his personality is still emerging, too.
Some pictures I've taken in the last year:
I took this one last week, I walked in on them snuggling. The only reason I went looking was because the dog is usually glued to me:
I never could have guessed a year ago he would be able to adjust into such a normal cat ... or abnormal - he runs over to investigate when the vacuum is turned on.
I thought Blacky had been a challenge because she took a year or more to come around and trust me enough to pet her, but while she took longer than Jasper, she'd never looked at me like I was something she wanted to drag off and eat. They both taught me different aspects of patience when dealing with a semi-feral cat, and that no matter how bad it seems the wait is completely worth it. I'd never have found such fantastic cats otherwise, it just took a while to find them.