Archive for May, 2017

We’ve been adopted by a pair of once feral cats!

May 29, 2017

We have always said there was an invisible paw print on the wall in front of our house letting lost and abandoned animals know it was a safe place.  Over the thirty years we’ve lived here, we’ve had several dogs, puppies, cats and kittens and one even a domesticated rabbit find their way to our house.  Many of them stayed and adopted us and gave us much love and pleasure for the remainder of their lives.

In the past seven years there has been a slowing of our visitors.  We’ve had several deer hounds find their way here and with the help of the wonderful people at Hanover Animal Control got them back to their owners.  Once in a while, we wondered if the paw print had been washed off, but we had a full crew of cats and dogs many with special problems due to age or injury so we were glad not to have to turn anyone away.

The last few years have been very difficult.  Three of our dogs and three of our cats and our bearded dragon died due to chronic or sudden illness.  All were elderly but it is still very hard to lose them and they left big holes in our hearts. Strangely after these losses, the paw print seems to have reappeared.

There was a neighborhood cat who was abandoned when our next door neighbor moved.  Another neighbor was thought to be watching out for her and her brother but as we have learned this year, she was never spayed and has never had shots.  They said, she wouldn’t let them near her.  She started wandering across our yard more often over the last year and a half.  She is a cat with ATTITUDE!  If we were walking the dog and she was on the side of the road or sitting anywhere near, she’d stay perfectly still and give us a look that clearly said, this was her space and she wasn’t moving for anybody.  She’d hop up to our birdbath to take a drink and sit with her back to us.  Then she’d strut across the yard making a point of not looking our way.  We started looking for her and calling her Foxy Lady and saying hello.  Last year about this time, she had a litter of kittens.  We saw them up around the neighbors once they were several months old.  As they got bigger, she started spending more and more time around our house.  I could empathize.  There were many times when our boys were teenagers that I’d have liked to run away for a day–or more.

Then she started coming up on the back stoop and sitting on the railing tapping on the mud room window.  That is where Zeke, our dog sleeps and it was driving him crazy.  So one night, I went out with a box of cat treats that our cats could no longer eat due to one having renal failure, one diabetes and one obesity. I sat down on the top step and talked with her, tossed her a few treats.  She listened, ate the treats and gradually followed the treats up the steps until she was eating one step below me and she allowed me to pet her.    Once.  Then she quickly ran back down to the bottom and the steps and gave me her look.

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Soon she was sleeping on our porch in one of the wicker chairs or on the glider.  Then one of her kittens joined her.  Slowly they became friendlier and came for treats and would come into the house, briefly but would freak if we closed the door.  Our plan was once they became used to us, we’d take them to the vet for shots and to be spayed.

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Olivia is the younger one and she is a mouthy little cat.  It took her a long time to let us pet her.  By the time they both would let us pick them up, we realized they were getting rounder and rounder.  Yep, both were expecting kittens.

Foxy had her litter the beginning of April while we were away visiting our son at college.  She had hidden them we think under one of the sheds until just a week ago.  They are definitely feral.  Once they were more mobile, she moved them under the back of the house in the crawl space.  So they can drive Zeke crazy at night.  If they caught a glimpse of us, they’d scoot back under the house.

So we are slowly trying to get them used to us and more domesticated so they can also get shots and be adopted.  The life expectancy for outside cats around us isn’t good.  Foxy has beaten the odds so far (supposedly she is 11) but she is the exception.

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There are four kittens in Foxy’s litter.  Two black and whites, one black with a tiny spot of white on his chest and the striped one.  Have no idea what their sexes are yet.

Olivia had her litter when we were at our son’s graduation the beginning of May. (Coincidence?  I think not.) We haven’t seen them yet but are hoping they will be out in another week.

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This is Adolph (see the moustache).  Pretty sure he is the father.  He is truly feral and runs if he even sees us through a window.  Which is why this picture is so blurry.  Hopefully we will be able to trap him and get him neutered too.  We have seen him watching the kittens while Foxy eats so he is participating behind the scenes.

And yes we have been feeding them.  After all they have kittens to feed.

Any body need a kitten or two?

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