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Today one of my strays (they're all born in the streets), whom I've been feeding and caring for during a year now, allowed me to stroke her forehead for a few seconds for the first time. I never thought it'd happen. I'm elated!

Another stray, who had been the terror of the colony and used to be wild, sat on my lap last week for the first time. I had invited her only once some days before, and I was sure she didn't even understand what I meant. Turns out she'd been thinking about it since the invitation, and a couple days ago she just very timidly started, very slowly, to climb my lap, first her front paws, then her chest...and then she was visibly gathering the courage till she went for it and just sat on my lap full body.

The dynamic with the strays is they watch bolder, friendlier strays act with me for months, then one day they decide to be brave and try the same thing for the first time.

I love how cats take the time to trust and don't just rush to contact with humans just because other cats are doing it.

And I enjoy my "victories" all the more because they're so hard-earned. A full year, day in, day out, under scorching sun and under hail, and then one day out of the blue, I get my dream!
 

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How's the timid cat that the bullies ran of the food doing?
I can't get him out of my mind and the relief he must have felt when he turned for 1 last look at the food he couldn't have and there you were with more food just for him.
It really touched me, I feel for the forsaken ones who would starve if not for the kindness of people like you.
 

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Oh that happens to many of them at some point, that day was just one more... :) It usually happens to cats that don't belong to the given colony / feeding station, so they're blocked / chased from the food by the resident cats.

It's now 1 am and there's a huge storm. It reminds me of last winter, there was this poor little stray, born of a stray mother, she was very friendly and used to sit on my lap for hours while I fed the colony. I'd wrap her in some rags and seat her on some old cushion so she'd be warm and comfortable at least for a couple hours a day. Then when I had to leave to go back home, each night the same thing, I had to pull the rags and cushion from her while she cried from the cold (so I would have them for her for the next night), and I'd look back and see her run to her hiding place in fear while I went up the stairs back to my home. I remember that once I had a spoonful of old, wet food that my cat didn't want, and she went crazy for it, but it was so little and I never had any more to give her. She would wait for me for hours downstairs, I'd see her through the window, for those little moments each day when I'd wrap her up, feed her and pet her. Right now, I just went to check, she's deeply asleep all curled up inside a nest of goose chest feathers (my heirloom duvet) in my double bed. I petted her forehead, she yawned, stretched and went back to sleep. She doesn't even know it's rainy or cold outside. She eats only wet food that I bring her from the best brands in the world on my business trips. And raw meat. Now we both sleep peacefully, because I adopted her 5 months ago. We both wear pink fleece pijamas to bed (hers I bought in the US, and I drape it around her shoulders in case she gets out of the duvet during the night and gets a chill). :)
 

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Oh that is so wonderful. One of mine will sniff my hand and arm but he runs if I try to touch him. It will take time but the reward is so great.
 

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I always feel warm and fuzzy when I read your stories Staysmommy. I am thankful that this world still has people like you. Much love hugs and great wishes for you.
 

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That's awesome progress! Bless you for looking after them and making sure they are well fed. They are beginning to be able to show their thanks now.
 

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Thank you all, I just wanted to share that the reward does come at some point. I think the trick is not to sit waiting. I had given up all hope when it happened. Almost at the same time it happened with another stray too, another one who I thought would never let me touch her.
 

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Took me about a year to begin to touch Midnight, the wild cat. He did touch me first - resulting in a trip to the ER - but now I can pet him and even pick him up. It's a matter of mutual trust. As you know, some strays have suffered nothing by abuse from humans, so they have a deficit to overcome. The reward for our efforts makes everything else worthwhile.
 

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LOL that was hilarious! But Midnight hangs with foxes, so humans would be a walk in the park in comparison??
 

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I have several stories but I will speak for Ginger. She was a feral that like all of our stray/ferals that have come into our lives lived outside for quite a while. I noticed when I first saw her she was quite thin and is a rather skinny cat to begin with. She would never come near us and would only eat when we were gone. Several weeks go by and she would feed while we were outside. Thats when I noticed she was pregnant. Great, more kittens. She didn't show for some time until one day my wife noticed her and her kittens all of about 2 months old.

I could write volumes on these cats but let me say this ALL of them are in the house now and Ginger after a year is sleeping peacefully on the arm of the love seat and goes out of her way to have me pet her. She chatters and rubs on my legs as I stroke her back, chin and tug her tail. Her offspring, One is under the bed one on top and one in the mancave. All is well.
 

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Awww, thanks for sharing and most of all for adopting this family!!
 

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great to hear of yet another feral transitioning to to the good life.
 

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That's wonderful! You really have to work to gain their trust, and it makes it all so worthwhile when they finally start to trust you.

Blacky took a year as well until she'd let me close enough to pet her, it was all slowly a lowering of defences from there (after that initial one) , and perseverance, and not giving up the first... Many, many... Times she bit me and kicked me when I'd do something she didn't like. :p I love that cat, taming her was just slight trial and error along the way to future years of countless kitty cuddles.
 

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You guys know more about cats than I do. I have never actually owned one that lived in the house. I have only encountered and provided for them over the past 35 years of living out here in the sticks. Strays that have wandered through might have been dropped off or made the trek from some other area. In any event they have all suffered from some trauma/abuse. I mentioned before that I fed one under the porch for 8 years and he never let me touch him or stayed in the house I provided. I'm sure he had a story to tell about humans.

This is the third Winter for Midnight, the wild cat. It has taken a while, (including numerous frantic claw attacks, and a trip to the emergency room for intravenous antibiotics from a nasty bite) for him to trust me. But now I can pick him up, pet him (he purrs and slobbers :smile:) and I think he feels safe in his house in the garage (which he is using almost every night now that it is cold). I know he doesn't like brooms (not hard to figure out how that happened). He is also afraid the lady that lives on the next place down the road. She takes in strays also, but she must remind him of someone in his past.

My rule is simple - hurting children and animals is not tolerated.
 
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