Feral in my garage

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Bitsy's Mom

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Thank you. It was the worst - I mean I felt so very powerless and after worrying about him for months in end and to finally have him “home” and safe - for a chow hound like Oscar to be 2 ft from his favorite stinky fish - from warmed baby food and KFC - all of it and not moving or drinking or eating. My heart broke. I was sure he’d eat overnight when all was quiet.
 

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Thank you. It was the worst - I mean I felt so very powerless and after worrying about him for months in end and to finally have him “home” and safe - for a chow hound like Oscar to be 2 ft from his favorite stinky fish - from warmed baby food and KFC - all of it and not moving or drinking or eating. My heart broke. I was sure he’d eat overnight when all was quiet.
I was praying for that to be so!!! and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. But all is not lost. He may reconsider. Cats aren't stupid. He may have time to think about it while he's out scrounging and being always on the alert. IDK if you follow Jcatbird here, but one of her little feral girls, Thrasher, escaped somehow and was at large for weeks before she made herself available to Jcatbird and came in from the cold. She is glad to be back within the safety and love of her family.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Thank you for saying that. I’ve been crying most the day. But he was outside just now in his spot waiting for me. A bit skittish - but still there. I said hello and told him I was sorry but I loved him and want to give him a home. I’m sure he’s still in shock but he wolfed down a can of food and some dry and some water.

I won’t be moving until December/Jan and will put the trap back down there next week and start again. I will also search for another feeder for the future and offer to ship them food monthly.

I would like nothing more than to bring him with me and even rejected some small houses since they didn’t have a separate place for him.
 

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Thank you for saying that. I’ve been crying most the day. But he was outside just now in his spot waiting for me. A bit skittish - but still there. I said hello and told him I was sorry but I loved him and want to give him a home. I’m sure he’s still in shock but he wolfed down a can of food and some dry and some water.

I won’t be moving until December/Jan and will put the trap back down there next week and start again. I will also search for another feeder for the future and offer to ship them food monthly.

I would like nothing more than to bring him with me and even rejected some small houses since they didn’t have a separate place for him.
OH wow! That is wonderful!!! Thank you for feeding him and watering him, and for planning to try again!
I lived in 332 sq. ft. for a year with my then three cats. The secret is that if you can't build out, build up, with cat trees, window seats, etc. We had few windows there, but with a screen door and the few windows we had, we lived successfully that way.
*PRAYERS* continuing for Oscar to make the best decision and decide to become your cat! You have reason to hope.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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I really think the problem was my dogs. They were not in the room with him but walked by “his” room 20 times a day. 8 big paws on the hardwood and smelling them, hearing them bark. I think if they weren’t here - he would have adjusted. Dogs are predators and in the wild he has probably steered clear of them and so to hear them breathing and barking must have been awful.

A house I’m looking at has a small room in the garage witb a window. If I could trap him again and bring him with me - that might be great for him. No dogs and noises and a window. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I pray I’ll be able to trap him again and bring him with me. It’s a long shot but I’ll keep trying.
 

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I really think the problem was my dogs. They were not in the room with him but walked by “his” room 20 times a day. 8 big paws on the hardwood and smelling them, hearing them bark. I think if they weren’t here - he would have adjusted. Dogs are predators and in the wild he has probably steered clear of them and so to hear them breathing and barking must have been awful.

A house I’m looking at has a small room in the garage witb a window. If I could trap him again and bring him with me - that might be great for him. No dogs and noises and a window. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I pray I’ll be able to trap him again and bring him with me. It’s a long shot but I’ll keep trying.
I would definitely have the same reaction to dogs!
*Prayers* continuing for very handsome Oscar. I just went back over your posts and saw him -- just amazingly gorgeous! There was a fluffy black male cat in my life when I was growing up. He was first seen sitting beside his mom, who was the victim of a hit-and-run driver. He was a kitten and all alone. We adopted him and he and our first cat, another longhaired male, got along very well. He was always quite fierce. We love him very much. He was murdered by a coyote because at that time, my parents didn't know not to let cats outdoors. I'll never get over that.
 
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Ohhh I’m so sorry about the coyote. And yes, black make cats are wonderful. My beloved Senior I had to put down a year ago yesterday and so it was a very rough day.

When the Vet came to my house to do it; I had to drag my German Shepherd out of the room. She adored that kitty as he would groom her everyday. Anyway A I miss him desperately. Oscar showed up a few weeks later and is solid black like my late male kitty was. Needless to say - he has my heart.
 

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But he was outside just now in his spot waiting for me. A bit skittish - but still there. I said hello and told him I was sorry but I loved him and want to give him a home. I’m sure he’s still in shock but he wolfed down a can of food and some dry and some water.
I think you may be right. The dogs must have been stressing him out. If he would have escaped, likely he'll disappear somewhere BUT he appeared outside and waiting for you.

There is hope for him as I think he still trust you and more importantly, he wolfed down the whole can of food together with the dry and drank water. Guess that getting out was a de-stressing time for him.

A house I’m looking at has a small room in the garage witb a window. If I could trap him again and bring him with me - that might be great for him. No dogs and noises and a window. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
You have a wonderful idea here and I do hope you work on this and bring him along with you. I think both of you are meant for each other.

Hopes and prayers for both of you that things will work out good. All of us here are hoping the best for the both of you.

Hugs and prayers
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tarasgirl06

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Ohhh I’m so sorry about the coyote. And yes, black make cats are wonderful. My beloved Senior I had to put down a year ago yesterday and so it was a very rough day.

When the Vet came to my house to do it; I had to drag my German Shepherd out of the room. She adored that kitty as he would groom her everyday. Anyway A I miss him desperately. Oscar showed up a few weeks later and is solid black like my late male kitty was. Needless to say - he has my heart.
Lots of trauma. My heartfelt condolences for your loss. I believe the soul is eternal and I know that very often our loved ones who have gone on ahead not only watch over us, but they also want us to share the love we have for them with others in need. Sometimes this can take the form of coincidences that are not coincidental at all. I have written of several of them here on TCS. Oscar may very well have crossed your path because your beloved Senior arranged for it.
 
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My beloved senior I had found him dumped in the woods with his litter. It was winter and they were tiny black kittens. They were not feral - they were clean and cuddly but dumped in a cardboard box in the middle of the woods.

Anyway- that was 18 years ago. He was a true gift - the sweetest animal I have ever known. Loved everyone and everything. I miss him so.

I have often thought that Oscar was sent here by him because he knew I would try to help him. No one else around here cares. Yes; that is why letting him leave today was so hard.
 

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My beloved senior I had found him dumped in the woods with his litter. It was winter and they were tiny black kittens. They were not feral - they were clean and cuddly but dumped in a cardboard box in the middle of the woods.

Anyway- that was 18 years ago. He was a true gift - the sweetest animal I have ever known. Loved everyone and everything. I miss him so.

I have often thought that Oscar was sent here by him because he knew I would try to help him. No one else around here cares. Yes; that is why letting him leave today was so hard.
It would tear my heart out. We had to drive our truly feral little girl back down to our former neighborhood after bringing her up to our barn compound when we lived in the Mojave. It was 2 12x12 barns and a cat-fenced compound, a work in progress. We hoped she would adapt, but she kept trying so hard to get out that we thought she might do herself harm, so after talking to some experts, we made the very hard choice to bring her back there. There were at least 2 households besides ours that fed the community cats, but did nothing else for them. My ex had been able to catch her and we got her spayed and basic innoculations, at least. But I will never get over having to do this. She never let us touch her except for that time and she did not have any bond with us. She was truly wild. The first time we saw her was in our woodpile, where she must have been living and possibly even born. She was a pretty little shorthaired grey/black tabby girl. I never forget any cat I've known, and I love all cats. My life is advocating for cats and educating people about them. I know that if people were raised like I was, with cats from birth, and by parents who taught me compassion, gentleness, respect and protection, almost everyone would love cats as we do. There are a lot of us on earth doing this work. But we have far to go. No cat should ever be abandoned!
 

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The fact that he came back to you already is such good news!!! He trusts you.

If you do plan to trap him again, you may need to disguise the trap. Cover it completely and add something to the bottom too. I often use puppy pee pads for the bottom. This would make it look so much different than a trap. A drop trap is another idea.

This boy loves you and trusts you. I am so amazed that he is back already. Your new set up would be wonderful for him. If it doesn't work out, you could have a catio built for him.

Vibes that all will be well. You and Oscar are in my thoughts.
 
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I’m sorry. This has been hell for me and I tried so hard. But no bodily functions for 4 days in a healthy cat was very scary to me. No water or food or movement. I did the best I could at this point and didn’t want him to get sick like you didn’t want your girl to hurt herself. It’s so hard.
 

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Just concentrate on moving forward. Have a plan and have back up plans. He wants to be with you. There are many ways to get him again, but you have to plan ahead. You might look into a drop trap. I have even seen videos on how to make one. Keep trying!
 

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I'm so sorry that things didn't work out as you planned. No matter how much experience people have with feral cats it's impossible to predict what will happen with them or how they will respond. I think if I was in your position I would have done the same. I know you're heart broken, but that fact that he came back the very next day and was waiting for food shows that he has forgiven you. It must have been confusing for him, but no harm came to him so I think he will get over being crated for 4 days.

I think it might be a good idea to wait until you have a new place with a catio and room set up for him before you try trapping him again. You might be able to get someone to feed him for the period between you moving out and being ready to trap him again. You never know how things will work out.

When I moved my colony to my new house I made several trips back and forth over a period of about 2 months. My new house was only 10 miles away from my old place, so it was easy enough to trap a couple of cats every day and move them as I was ready.

One of the cats I didn't trap first time around was being fed by a neighbor for almost a year after I left. I would go down to see her once or twice a week, but she had her buddy and a shed to sleep in and food every day, so I didn't think I needed to move her. Then her best friend got hit by a car and she just seemed so heart broken whenever I saw her. I trapped her about a week later and brought her home. The first few weeks were scary for her, but she settled in really well.

So please don't see this as a failure. Whatever happens you know you've tried your best for Oscar.

:hugs:
 

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I'm so sorry that things didn't work out as you planned. No matter how much experience people have with feral cats it's impossible to predict what will happen with them or how they will respond. I think if I was in your position I would have done the same. I know you're heart broken, but that fact that he came back the very next day and was waiting for food shows that he has forgiven you. It must have been confusing for him, but no harm came to him so I think he will get over being crated for 4 days.

I think it might be a good idea to wait until you have a new place with a catio and room set up for him before you try trapping him again. You might be able to get someone to feed him for the period between you moving out and being ready to trap him again. You never know how things will work out.

When I moved my colony to my new house I made several trips back and forth over a period of about 2 months. My new house was only 10 miles away from my old place, so it was easy enough to trap a couple of cats every day and move them as I was ready.

One of the cats I didn't trap first time around was being fed by a neighbor for almost a year after I left. I would go down to see her once or twice a week, but she had her buddy and a shed to sleep in and food every day, so I didn't think I needed to move her. Then her best friend got hit by a car and she just seemed so heart broken whenever I saw her. I trapped her about a week later and brought her home. The first few weeks were scary for her, but she settled in really well.

So please don't see this as a failure. Whatever happens you know you've tried your best for Oscar.

:hugs:
The same plan was in place when my ex and I moved to the Mojave. After work, he'd stop by the house we'd moved out of and replenish food and water and take anyone who showed up (of our spayed/neutered/innoculated community cats) into carriers and drive them up to our new place, to the barn compound. The one little feral girl had to go back to the original place (see my Post #351 here) and one other escaped the cat-fenced barn compound. We put up posters, put ads in the local paper, and looked for a long time. We never saw him again, and I choose to believe someone scooped him up and adopted him. He was a gorgeous big black-and-gold shorthaired Classic tabby, neutered, with all his innoculations, and very sweet.
 
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That is great to know about those trap covers. Thank you.

I will keep trying and I agree, I have got to know where I am going to put him. I may be moving 7 hours away and so it's going to be tricky but I am going to do my very best. He is still here and so all is not yet lost. I have to believe it will work out and I can bring him to safety; it's too hard to think about leaving here without him.
 
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