Well, I did it. I chipped one of the ferals that is living in the garage with Squiggy. Squiggy is next when/if I can catch him. This should elevate me to the "near insane" status of feral cat caregivers.
I trapped him when he was quite young (about 3mos). When he was set loose again he was basically on his own. He didn't do well. About 2 mos later he showed up again looking really bad. I don't think that he ever learned to fend for himself. He hid out in a corner of the garage w/Squiggy and has been slowly coming around, but he'll never do well on his own (a feral with no feral skills). I take care of him and part of that is making sure that if he gets picked up I can find him. A beautiful and well-behaved cat, but unfortunately like Squiggy he has FeV and I can't let him in the house with the house cats.
I learned a lesson. Don't trap feral kittens before they learn how to survive as ferals.
Lyle, it's apparent you have really thought this through and are doing whatever you can for the kitty. Three months is very young to be out on his own; what happened to his Mom and littermates, if any?
What's this cat's name? Any photos of him or Sqiggy?
Welcome to the "near insane" status of feral cat caregivers. I am a card-carrying member.
That was the problem. I hadn't thought it through (sufficiently). I had good intentions, but..... My "prime directive" was TNR. Everything else was not important. It is so hard to trap ferals that I swore that if I ever got one I'd "fix" it no matter what. Well, in hindsight it was a stupid thing to do. He was way to young and I knew it. The poor kitten (Joker is his name) never returned to his family after he was released and for some weeks was out on his own. He came back much the worse for wear and without the necessary skills to make it in the feral world. He hid in the corner of the garage scared to death for about 8 months before I ever saw him. He is slowly becoming more friendly and approachable. He'll be a dependent feral forever I'm afraid. His two sisters who were TNR'd much later are doing fine as ferals.
I've resigned myself that I'll have to take care of him to some degree. I have an overly developed sense of responsibility, particularly when I've interfered in their lives. That makes me Jokers care-giver and protector hence the chip. That's OK as he is a cute cat and very friendly (in a feral sort of way). His pic as well as Squiggy is in my album.
Done and done. Joker the feral lives in the garage w/Squiggy the stray. It's a BIG garage and the (cat) door is always open. Joker is good with it as he's never known a house. Comes and goes as he pleases which isn't far. Squiggy is Squiggy and wouldn't be completely happy 'till the Apocalypse and he's the only cat on earth. One funny thing. Joker the wild feral hasn't bit/scratched me not once. Squiggy the ex-house cat stray doesn't let a week go by without drawing blood.
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