Top 5 Formerly Feral Felines!
It’s Tuesday and that means time for another “Top” list – and today, with some added alliteration, it’s about…
Our Top 5 Formerly Feral Felines!
Here’s the background: It all started 8 years ago, over the months of September and October 2009, when we started seeing these little kittens around our yard. They weren’t even as big as the gray squirrels who frequently steal birdseed from all the feeders we have. The first one we saw was the black and white kitty in the picture above – then the lynx point kitty, on the far right in the photo. Then one night around dusk, we looked out the den window into the backyard, and FIVE kittens were all scrounging fallen birdseed and shells.
With a cold Maine winter not too far away, and many predators around in the woods behind our house, we knew we couldn’t let these little ones fend for themselves. We rented a “safe” trap and one by one, caught them all, over the next few weeks. Hubby Dave built the “kitty condo” next to his desk, with a screen attached to it, so we could provide a safe environment for them, and us, until we could get them to a vet and socialize them (at the time, we also had one adult cat and one dog). We thought we would keep a couple of these feral kittens and find good homes for the others–but after a couple weeks of cuddling with them, and a clean bill of health from the vet, we just couldn’t part with any of them and they became part of our ever growing furry family! 🙂
So here they are! Allow me to introduce you, in the order of how we caught them back in 2009, to …
Our Top 5 Formerly Feral Felines!
Cali was our first capture! Probably not a really original name, since she’s a calico, but it seems to fit her, especially when we call her Miss Cali! 😉 She has become a very affectionate kitty, who loves us and all the other fur babies in the house. She seems to have no fear of the dogs, and will let them know if they get too insistent on sniffing her or trying to play too roughly! Her daily routine when Dave comes home from work and after his shower is to follow him into the bedroom to be the first one in line for attention!
Smokey, who the vet said is a lynx point (similar to a Siamese), was our second capture. He was quite the little spitfire at the time, especially the first time he managed to escape and hid in the deepest corner he could find under some furniture! Since then, this blue-eyed handsome boy has become Dave’s little buddy, particularly after we nearly lost him a couple years ago to a urinary blockage. It’s like he knows we did what we had to in order to save his life by taking him to the emergency vet for surgery. He visits Dave every night after supper, flops over belly up for a good belly rub and then nuzzles under Dave’s chin for awhile.
Tiger is one of three sister kitties in the litter. She is a beautiful black and gray striped tiger cat (yeah, another “original” name 😉 ) with tan fur on her tummy and chest. She reminds Dave of a cat his grandmother used to have, also named Tiger! As we’ve noticed with our other kitties, they all seem to have their specific “purr-sonalities” and habits. Tiger sleeps on Dave’s nightstand for a good part of the night – sometimes she’s still there in the morning! She likes the scratches and petting she gets from him, and sometimes when he stops as he’s falling asleep, she will nudge his hand for more… or get down on the bed and sniff his forehead like she’s checking to see if he’s asleep!
Our tuxedo kitty, Lu (we’ve changed the spelling a couple of times!) is really our favorite (shhh, don’t tell the others!), although we wouldn’t part with any of them! We at first didn’t know she was female, and Dave thought she looked like a Louie – but upon learning she was NOT male, she became Lulu, or just Lu – or more often, Lovey Lu, because she is the most loving and affectionate of them all. She has demonstrated such an amazing “purr-sonality” from the beginning and is very talkative! Dave said if all kitties were like Lu, we would probably have a dozen more of them! One of Lu’s little quirks is to get on the back of the couch behind us, or in bed, and “groom” us–effectively making us part of the litter, I guess! 🙂
Mr. Tabs, our big yellow tabby cat, was the hold out! About a month went by from capturing the other four, and we thought we wouldn’t see him again and were very sad. Then one night, we heard the snapping sound of the trap — and there he was! He started out as Tabby or Tabs, but as he got older and bigger, Mr. Tabs seemed to fit him! He was what I called the original “window kitty,” because he was the first one to look up at the window and see us, the night we saw all of them outside. He even walked toward the house, looking up at us and crying, as if to say, “Help us!” So it’s ironic he was the last one captured!
We had an incident with him, too, when our older cat pushed the cellar door open and Mr. Tabs followed him downstairs. We retrieved Mack, the older cat, but Mr. Tabs was quite elusive and kept hiding. We’re sure he was just alarmed at this new situation. He spent the night down there, and Dave went to work the next morning only to return in about an hour, because he couldn’t stand the thought of Mr. Tabs being down in the cellar. We finally found him, WAY underneath a false floor in a section of the cellar that floods at times. Dave ended up ripping up the flooring above Mr. Tabs and pulled him to safety. We now have a lock on that door! Like Smokey, Mr. Tabs is now much more affectionate since his second rescue!
Now 8 years old, our five formerly feral felines are very much part of the family and are safely indoor kitties only. We are glad we never gave any of them away, as we can’t imagine NOT having them in our lives! It was rather ironic — and fitting — that our feral cat adventure took place in October, since Global Feral Cat Day –begun by Alley Cat Allies in 2001– is on October 16th! 🙂
So What About YOU?
Do you have any fur babies?
Have you ever rescued or fostered any animals, and ended up keeping more than you originally planned?