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post #1 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Advice on Pumpkin

So, I know it seems I only come around here when I'm in need of help. But I check this place more often than you guys might think! I am extremely busy, though. I've been feeding the cats at my university and working at a local volunteer rescue on weekends.

However, by luck and chance, I happened to be at the right place at the right time and ran into to this cutie, who I've dubbed Pumpkin. He lives in a local Wendy's parking lot. Click image for larger version

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(Do not worry, I was NOT feeding him a hamburger. That was a local who was trying to help, and I suppose it's better than starving, but don't worry, he's on actual cat food now!)

So, I need some advice. I've purchased a professional cat trap online and it should be coming in the next 5 days (I know you can rent them, but I need one of my own, anyway.) Without a question, I think Pumpkin needs out of that Wendy's parking lot (where, according to staff, he has been for over 3 months; I cannot fathom no one coming to help this baby for that long, but that is the information I was given).

Pumpkin could barely even be considered semi-feral. I'm still somewhat new to all these terms, but I'm pretty sure he was dropped off at some point, probably at around 4 months of age (he's probably around 7 months now). He's not aggressive in any way, follows me around, and let's me sit right next to him. He just won't let me touch. I've gotten to touch his head before, but he backed away pretty quickly.

I have a few options. No matter what, I'm going to trap him and at least get him neutered (and I'm going to see what the shelters around here are willing to do with the money I would offer; I know he has ear mites). But here's where my dilemma comes in and I could use some advice.

1) I'm pretty sure this isn't right, but I suppose an option would be to release him back into the Wendy's parking lot (there is barely any shelter, and he only has readily available water and food because of me, there are cars everywhere, and he is literally about 40 feet from a MAJOR highway, not to mention I think eventually one of the employer's would get rid of him some way or another)

2) I could attempt to talk to my organization I work with and see if one of them could try to foster and adopt him out, but I'm not sure. He's not aggressive or feral in that sense, but he doesn't seem to like people. I just can't imagine him cooped up with someone, but it's definitely an option I would consider if this is what most people think is the right thing to do

3) This is what I'm considering doing now, unless everyone thinks it's a horrible idea. I'm super nervous and unsure of how he's going to react, but I thought after I TNR him, I could release him behind my house in my neighborhood. The neighborhood has lots of local cats (who are all healthy and fed by everyone, and I'm pretty sure are 99% peoples' pets that just mooch off of the neighbors' who like feeding them). It's safe--there are cars, but not a lot, and I've NEVER seen a cat hit, ever--it's quiet, he would be near me and I could continue leaving him some food like I already do for some of the neighborhood cats, and I just honestly can't think of a better option. I know it's not good to relocate, but there aren't worse places to be as a cat than where he is.

I basically want to do the right thing. I am very well-meaning, I love this cat a lot, but I still live at home and have only legally been an adult for a year. My mom wants to help, but we are scraping pennies. However, I'd spend every penny in my college fund to make sure this angel is safe. I know I can't do everything for him, but I've grown really, really attached and I want to help. Please tell me what you think is the right thing to do!

Thanks!

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"time spent with cats is never wasted."
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edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
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post #2 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 07:07 AM
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Hi, I agree with you a car park is not ideal and the dangers of people and cars is very high. In my opinion,the problem with taking him and releasing him behind your house is that it is someone else's territory you are putting him into and if you have true ferals you will put him at risk, at the least he is likely to have to fight for his right to be there quite often. If you don't think he is feral then you are better to bring him in and have a plan with a rescue centre or organisation to get him fostered. He could well be tense with people due to behaviour of others towards him. He may well adapt quite quickly if he is young. Do you have a bathroom or spare room you could use till a shelter finds him somewhere else. I say this because the sooner you can get him in the better. My last feral was in a car park and he adapted almost immediately to being indoors, although a bit talkative.
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post #3 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 09:05 PM
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struckers, it's great that you care for - and care about! - this kitty when it seems no one else does.

I agree with Jenny that the best option would be to try to get him fostered. I don't think it will be difficult, since he's not feral. Experienced foster parents will know how, and how not, to approach him until he gets more comfortable. And he may not need to be in a cage.

The fact that he doesn't like petting doesn't necessarily make him a bad candidate for a rescue. You say he doesn't seem to like people, but he follows you around and lets you sit next to him. That might just mean that it'll take him time to warm up to strangers.

As for petting - well, some kitties just don't like it. One of mine is similar to the kitty you describe. She's very sweet, follows me everywhere, but she hates being touched anywhere except around her head and face.

If, for whatever reason, this solution isn't possible, then the third option - letting him go behind your house - is definitely preferable to returning him to the parking lot.

Thanks for wanting the best for the little guy!
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post #4 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the reply; I am thinking you're right, and that I should talk to the organization. I'm mostly just nervous about how he is going to react when I attempt to trap him. He means a lot to me, and the idea of him freaking out when he gets in the cage is a bit disconcerting. But I know it's best for him, and if there's hope for him in a foster home (which, considering his demeanor, I think there definitely could be), I am willing to try.

I will keep everyone posted on how it goes (the cage came in today, so all I have to do is assemble it and talk to the necessary people!)

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
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edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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post #5 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 11:30 PM
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I think any cat that is not truly feral deserves a chance to have a forever home. It doesn't always mean it will be successful, but they should have the right.

We fixed one female in our backyard in WI and released her...within a week, they (2 males and the female) disappeared. I never figured out what happened..did the males move on because she was no longer viable or ?? The feral's daugher, which actually let us care for her and came into our house, disappeared as well.
I know fixing strays is crucial, but releasing a non-feral back...I just wonder what all the domino effects occur, unknown to the casual observer.
He is adorable and how lucky that you are caring for and about it.
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post #6 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 11:32 PM
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Bless you for planning to rescue this little soul! Working with the rescue you volunteer with should also save you some $$, get more done with less! Ask them what to expect from him being trapped. It is scary and stressful, but far better than where he is now. Rescues are usually pretty busy, would you be able to foster him? Indoor only.
Relocating a cat is somewhat tricky. They need to be contained for a period of time, no matter what. They will try to return to the place familiar to them. I'm sure your rescue can fill you in on all the particulars.
I look forward to hearing how everything goes and seeing lots of pictures!
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post #7 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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KsKatt-- they are busy, it's true, but luckily I have known them for quite a while and they are very hands-on. All of the cats they get are pretty much rescued the same way I'm rescuing Pumpkin. When I was caring for two or three cats at a local Wal-Mart, they seemed very ready to help trap/spay/neuter and then foster, so I'm hoping for the same thing here (for the record, I'm confident someone took those cats; they stopped appearing one day despite there being no where for them to relocate, but that's a whole other story).

I'm pretty sure if I go through the trouble of trapping and neutering they would be willing to try fostering (they always seem to have people willing to take on more fosters, a dream of mine one day when I have my own place...) HOWEVER, if that fails, before I just release him in my neighborhood, I'm going to do everything in my power to try to either foster him myself or beg someone I'm close to until he's able to find a forever home. I just can't give up on this little guy, and luckily, my mom has been coming to feed him with me and she seems pretty attached to him too.

I want to get more pics to post. He is so gorgeous, he's very spotted, even for a spotted tabby, and has a very distinct face. Of course, maybe I'm a bit biased, lol! Today when I went to feed him it had been raining and it took a few extra minutes calling him, and some weirded out stares from people eating at the Wendy's. But he eventually came, stretching and yawning as though he had been napping all through the storm. He never seems that hungry and is actually a little chunky (and not in that pump, worm way). I guess that's good, although only god knows what people throw to him at the Wendy's.

I promise I'll keep everyone posted, though, and I just want to say thank you to anyone who's given some advice. I feel like I always have a problem with stray/ferals I meet, like my University kitties that I still feed, and the Wal-Mart kitties that I posted about on here a long time ago. I want to help, but I'm a broke college student who still lives with her parents lol! But getting involved with the volunteer organization has really helped in the way of getting to resources and others who are just as eager to help. Also very glad I have my own trap now.

One step closer to saving every cat in the world!

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"time spent with cats is never wasted."
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edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
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post #8 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 04:52 AM
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Struckers the fact you help an organisation is more than many people do, so honestly don't beat yourself up for not being in a financial position to help. You are are wonderful for caring. Your little cat is going to be scared when trapped because it would scare you or I to suddenly be caught. Your organisation will understand and make allowances. As for food, well yes this kitty is dieting on a junk food diet of left overs for sure, because food is food when your out on the street. At my company's warehouse we have a mamma and 2 of her kids living there who until I started giving the guys the proper food to feed lived off chicken Biriyani, and all sorts of spicy stuff. The guys who are mainly Asian nationalities knew no different and they were looking after her the best they thought. Funny she used to smell the canned food at the start and turn her nose up probably because the smell was not spicy. All 3 were in surprisingly good shape despite that diet. Now all 3 are a bit lazy and occasionally picky on what they eat

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post #9 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 10:47 PM
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struckers, you're doing amazing work. You're finding really crucial ways to help using the resources that you have. It's just sad that there is such a huge need to help these cats. But what would they do without people like you and many others on this forum?

So Mom is concerned about the kitty too...Hmm. Any chance you might end up fostering and then having a foster failure?
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post #10 of 157 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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spirite, God I wish, lol. I just stepped away to post this after having a conversation trying to convince her to foster him, but no such luck. Sigh. I can't push too much, it's true we live in cramped quarters. Of course, I would bring him home without a second thought, but I digress. :p

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Here's one I snapped when I went to feed him earlier tonight. Pretty good, considering he's quick, and you can sorta see just how spotted he is! It's weird, because I actually feel like he's a bit more skittish than when I first found him. Although I did make progress when I brought a toy the other day and he was leaping and jumping everywhere! Was very cute to see him playing.

Thanks everyone for the tips (and support)! Tomorrow, I will (hopefully) be able to talk to my volunteer organization. This week I'm going to work on trapping after I talk to my SPCA and get everything figured out.

I've read that it's good to get a cat used to eating inside of an unset trap before actually attempting to trap them, as it would be less stressful since they'd be used to it. Can anyone vouch for this, or is it best just to get him out this situation as quickly as possible and not worry about that?

I know either way he's not gonna be happy, though! I'll post tomorrow about what the organization tells me. It's through people like me that they get their cats, and I don't think they're particularly low on fosters at the moment, so I have high hopes!

☆ ☆ ☆
"time spent with cats is never wasted."
[
edgar | michonne | novalee | oliver | kosmo | pumpkin ] <--- my cats
[ grumpy | big poppa | lily | cj | peanut ] <--- my ferals
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