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Discussion Starter #1
"Trysh" and I have been resocializing four stray/dumped/feral cats since January/March 2011. They live with Trysh.
"Buckley" is a sweet, docile, moody cat, male, approximately two years old. Neutered (of course). In March he became more distant we think, in retrospect, because she was picking him up too quickly in the resocialization process. We discovered he loves Fish Flakes and will do anything for them, including letting us pet, hold, brush him. Fast forward to early October when he was ready to go into a Forever Home. Adopters met him October 15, liked him, Trysh went to put Buckley in the cat carrier, and he freaked out. Buckley has not been seen or heard from since. He has limited to no access too food and none to water. We think/hope he is hiding behind the eves or crawl spaces/floor boards or maybe escaped from the house. We fear he is somewhere in the crawl spaces, dead, from being so scared.
Is this possible? Any suggestions how to find/see him, get him out of hiding. We know it will take a long time--if ever--for him to get us to trust him. And any idea why the strong reaction to the cat carrier?
Thanks.
 

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Do you or a friend have a dog that could show where the cat may be hiding? If he doesn't get food soon, he could well die. Is it possible he made a clean run and got outside? Yes, Buckley will be very difficult to catch him again if that is the case.
 

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Update on MIA cat

:shock:Buckley returned to the colony from where he was trapped in January 2011. It took him about two weeks, he had to cross several busy highways, walk/run along busy streets, and through some dense bushes with thorns. But he made it. A little thinner in the face, but fur in decent shape. I had my suspicions when he knew right away what fish flakes were (his favorite when he was being resocialized). I called the co-foster, Trysh (he lived with her), she came over, we took pictures and compared them to the ones were know are Buckley. And she said, yup, that's the guy.
He's hyper-aware of the other cats, figuring out his place in the colony; he is at ease eating in front of humans. I can of course pet him.
We are not going to attempt to socialize him again; he's made the decision that he is more comfortable outside I guess. Timing sucks; it gets colder from here on out (Washington, DC). But at least we know he's alive and I'll make sure he gets a little extra food. Still, I'm kind of sad that he won't know the joys of a Forever Home. Though that of course is the human perspective.
I'm fascinated by how he knew where to go back to; Trysh is more interested in knowing how he escaped from the house (cause what can get out, can also get in).
 

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I'm speechless. He said either at Trysh's or back to the colony...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I was dumbfounded.
I'm trapping again next weekend. My thought is that if I trap Buckley to let him go; he's decided he'd rather be an outdoor cat or a permanent resident of Trysh's (which isn't possible).
What do you think?
 

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I wishI was as strong as Trysh to stand firm in face of such love! I didn't, and adopted Prince when he wouldn't leave my house. I was lucky he persevered, because a few days later my dad, last relative, died, and Prince is all I have to live for. I have always been grateful to this forum for the people who kicked my axx and told me to keep Prince. The night I adopted Prince there was a huge storm and he was crying in the street, all wet, shaking from cold and hunger. He was begging for help. As I type this, there's a huge storm and Prince is crying at my feet - because he can't go out on his evening stroll as usual, so he's bored. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ritz has given me a new reason to change my old behavior and reexamine myself. She is my priority, not so much my addiction(s).
On Friday, 11-11-11, I rescued what turned out to be a healthy (but starving) seven week old female kitten, gray tabby with white mittens, scared out of her mind but friendly. It was about this time two years ago that I first started seeing Ritz. Same place, too.
My friend is currently fostering her but may need me to do so.
Is this karma or what?
 

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Re karma...I think cats come to us for a reason. I don't normally believe in these things, but the timing felt just as if my mother, who died 2 years before, was sending me this white angel from heaven so I wouldn't remain all alone. I didn't know the first thing about cats back then, and I was sure I would never want to adopt a cat. Prince climbed 7 floors, risking himself because of the cats that owned the area, all the time his mind set on only one thing: getting to my apt and staying there. I thought he'd go berserk when I closed the door. He didn't even notice (or pretended not to).
 

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Yes I now believe cats chose the owners. I have an eating disorder. And Ritz is teaching me that not all meows mean FEED ME. Sometimes they just mean, love me.
 

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I have a stray that, each time I make to leave the feeding station, starts eating again. She grasped at some point that I leave when the last one finishes eating, so she'll eat forever so that I don't leave. Her only safe moments in life are those hour or two a day when she's sheltered between my huge bag and her huge bowl of kibble, the back of the park bench and me. Even on days that I don't feed kibble (Fridays) but meat in different bowls, she asks me to place her huge bowl of kibble in front of her. She goes to hide if I remove the bowl. She's even scratched me and bitten me for taking it away when I'm leaving, so I have to wait for her to leave before I can go. Food, safety, love...are often sides of the same coin. Even when she's had more than enough of fresh chicken and all kinds of goodies, she'll stuff herself from that bowl, like mother milk.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Surprising, sad update

There were four cats in the cattery, now one, Mystique. She is really depressed, she has no one to play with. So I was able to scruff Buckley and take him back to the cattery. Less than 10 hours later, he has once again escaped into the crawl space, probably (hopefully?) back to the cat colony where he originated from (in front of the building where I live).
Should he have a change of heart and re-enter the cattery, I suspect he may attempt to escape again.
Before we moved Buckley back to the cattery, I re-scruffed an inordinately friendly male cat (Precious Boy) to keep Mystique company and hopefully show Mystique that it feels good to be petted. Though neither Mystique nor Buckley have seen PB, they have heard him (he's very vocal). Note that Buckley and PB do know each other; they were in the same colony together these past two weeks.
Any advice. We're wondering if we should attempt to retrap Buckley and move him safely back to the colony, or take a chance of him making it two miles away through busy streets.
Thanks.
 
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