Feral in my garage

tarasgirl06

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My biggest fear is that he’s gotten heat stroke up in the top! I hope he’s drinking at least. I ordered a fan and am also bringing up an air conditioner on Tuesday to run an extension cord from the house and put in the window since he doesn’t yet have catio access. It’s not going to be as hot luckily but that first two days tues wed in there is was very warm. Ugh. Worrying about this long-haired boy is going to do me in!!
Cats rev high and love warmth. Of course there's such a thing as "too hot" for them just like there is for us, so TYSM for ordering a fan and running in AC for those times when it's needed! As long as Oscar has cool water (you can put ice cubes in his water bowl) he should be okay. He'll come down from the heights if it gets too hot. If he has a concrete or other smooth floor, he'll take advantage of that if he feels too hot.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Cats rev high and love warmth. Of course there's such a thing as "too hot" for them just like there is for us, so TYSM for ordering a fan and running in AC for those times when it's needed! As long as Oscar has cool water (you can put ice cubes in his water bowl) he should be okay. He'll come down from the heights if it gets too hot. If he has a concrete or other smooth floor, he'll take advantage of that if he feels too hot.
I’ll just feel better when he eats so I know he’s alive. The first two days I doubt he moved from the loft up at the top and it must have been sweltering - and he’s long hair. There is a carpet on the floor with plywood underneath.

The fan arrives tomorrow but I won’t put in until it’s super hot since I don’t want to put anything moveing in there right now and scare him.
I hope to report tomorrow that he ate!
 

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You are doing such a good job of making Oscar's life better! Just a few thoughts as I read the latest postings....

If it is still hot when the fan arrives tomorrow, you might want to put it in the shed sooner rather than later to make him more comfortable until the air conditioner is installed. You could put a bowl of ice in front of the fan and it will blow cooler air across the bowl. Also, I have never used one, but Amazon has several cooling mats for cats and dogs that might be worth exploring.

I am thinking that Oscar might benefit from your coming and going. He might be scared at first, but frequent friendly visits might get him used to seeing you in this new environment! You can sit and talk to him, spray a little Feliway, bring special treats, play calming cat music, just hang out with him!
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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It’s going to be cooler until Tuesday and then I can put the fan or air conditioner in when it heats up. The fan is tall and oscillating and so can’t put ice in front of it. His loft is 8 ft up and so I’d have to intrude on a ladder to get a cooling mat up there.
 

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I know you are worried about upsetting him but a little bit of sound from you might be a good thing. Going in and announcing yourself as you enter will let him know to expect you and he will learn the routine. Announce when you leave too. Cats are all about routine. I am so very glad you have him a night time light. Cats see well but not in total darkness. Bravo for thinking of that. A cooling pad and a bed with a blanket can be put on the floor. I know his past history was to stay up high but he may decide to come down at some point but also his scent will begin to permeate the items in the shed and become things that are not as scary. You could also try adding some leaves or grass from the old house if you have to go back there for any reason. A box of dry leaves off the ground from home will carry a familiar scent for him. I had one cat that always stayed by a particular kind of tree. He stayed up and away from me but had always been on the ground beside that tree when he was outside. It finally hit me that he felt safe under the branches of that particular tree. I actually dug up a small tree of the same type and potted it for his room. He came out and rolled around beside it! I was blown away that it worked! It was just something familiar to him.
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Great news! He’s alive!! I was so worried due to how hot it was the first two days he was in there. I am getting the air conditioner on Tuesday and running an extension cord from the house.

So this morning the paper plate of wet food that I’d put on a ledge was on the floor and I didn’t see food on the floor with it. My hope is that he ate the food and as he did the plate got pushed off the ledge onto the floor. So he must be alive. Fingers crossed.

I will report back tonight. Thanks everyone for your prayers for him ❤
 

tabbytom

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It'll take a little while for him to compose and eat and most likely he'll eat when he thinks it's safe to eat.

Glad that you are bringing in the fan and A/C to cool him down. Great suggestions from the above posters.

Have you thought of installing a second door to the first one?
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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It'll take a little while for him to compose and eat and most likely he'll eat when he thinks it's safe to eat.

Glad that you are bringing in the fan and A/C to cool him down. Great suggestions from the above posters.

Have you thought of installing a second door to the first one?
There are lots of things that I would like to install. The problem is getting anyone to do it. The only reason I got the catio built is because the fellow wanted to date me. I really liked him but couldn’t date anyone with my focus on moving and trapping Oscar and cleaning out my house of 18 yrs! And doing it all alone. When my timetable didn’t match his - he disappeared so I no longer have the help. Craftsman and people in the trades are hard if not impossible to find. When you are single with zero human family - it’s hard to get things done. I still have the roof that I bought for the catio propped up against the side of the building. I can’t find anyone to install and it’s too big for me to attempt.

sorry for the long explanation but I’m doing my best. I would love a safety door for the shed and electricity but even if I was made of cash - it’s hard to find people to do the work. I am just hoping that Oscar doesn’t run at me to get out of the door. I don’t think he will as he most likely will not run at me - but stay away in the loft.

The suggestions of bringing some dirt and leaves is a great one. There was “his place” under a canopy of plants - he was always there waiting for me. When I am down - I will see what I can dig up or bring back. Keep the suggestions coming! Thank you!!
 

rubysmama

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How high up is the loft? Any way to get a good look at him? I'm sure he's scared, and it's not unusual for scared cats to hide in the smallest corner they can find. There's been threads where cats crawl in spaces behind cupboards, and air ducts, etc. So at least where Oscar is hiding, he's safe.

You mentioned in a post the other day about ways to keep yourself safe from him. Couple ideas: wear long sleeves and pants, shoes that totally cover your feet, and glasses or googles. I don't think you have to worry about him lunging at you, but if you did startle him, you might get in the way of a sharp claw.

Speaking of claws, and thoughts from Jcatbird Jcatbird 's post, maybe next time you're at your old house, see if you can bring some branches to put in the shed for him to scratch.

If he hasn't used the litter box yet, I'll mention again Cat ATTRACT litter. Whenever someone uses it, it always seems to work.

I totally understand the difficulty getting little jobs done. It's just Ruby and me, and though I do have other human family, most of the things I'd like to get done are out of their league. Luckily, though, I have a neighbour who's helped with some small jobs. Maybe once you're there longer, you find a helpful neighbour too.

Amazon has several cooling mats for cats and dogs that might be worth exploring.
Just checked, and there's a lot of different ones, in varying prices.
Amazon.com : cat cooling mat
 
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tarasgirl06

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:crackup:@rubysmama. :flail:Yeah, you want THAT kind of litter, Bitsy's Mom Bitsy's Mom , not the other kind. ;)
Great suggestions from everyone!
Slow, steady, and patient will win the day. He's being very careful. But he will eventually need to come out and do normal cat things. Love the leaves/branches suggesion! and even a potted plant/tree if possible. Many of us, myself included, and almost all cats, are creatures of pattern. We love familiarity and security.
I'm with you and rubysmama--and one thing I've had to learn since my divorce is that if I don't speak up for myself, no one else will. So I've learned to be forthright and stick to what I know is right/what I need. In almost all cases, it works. Dealing with contractors is no exception and unfortunately, some will try to take advantage of single women. But if you let them know you're not stupid and not a soft touch, it may help. I'm fortunate in that I come from a family including some very strong women, and I've learned much from them. Friendly but firm!
I've had some good luck here: thumbtack.com -- not one of the sites that does so much advertising, which I try to avoid as they spend a lot of other people's money on those ads.
 

shadowsrescue

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You are doing so well. I second Jcatbird Jcatbird idea to announce yourself when you go in. Tell him hello and that it's time for breakfast/dinner. Or that you are checking the litter box. You can even just sit for awhile and talk with him. I believe in the power of talking to my animals and telling them what is going on.

I am so happy it appears he ate. That is great news. Keep the updates coming!
 

tarasgirl06

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It’s not a matter of speaking up - people don’t want small jobs - so you just can’t get anyone. It’s a affluent area and so they go to the big lucrative projects. I’ve been trying for over a month to get a plumber.
OUCH. This is a wealthy city, too. But hoping you get a good plumber and someone qualified and reasonable who can make a good environment for Oscar.
 

Jcatbird

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I understand it is not speaking up. I can’t get help either. Are you handy at all with tools because I know a simple and easy way to make a safety door to just add to the existing door. Fairly inexpensive too. If you can use any kind of saw, a drill , tape measure and a screwdriver this can work. I bought a sheet of vinyl lattice. Some of the pre made frame for it and I bought some hinges and a bungee cord. I cut the lattice to the door size. Does not have to be exact except no giant gaps. I screwed hinges onto the existing door frame put the vinyl frame around the cut panel ( you could probably glue it with pvc glue) and hung the door on the hinges. That gives you the original outside door AND a lightweight panel in the interior with a way to see inside before you open it as the safety door. A bungee cord can be wrapped around a hook inside and then hooked the hold the lattice door shut. This is not secure enough to permanently keep him inside it is just a safety door. I use these inside to help socialize new cats but this could be a simple barrier for you. An eye screwed into the door frame can add a second latch by simply running a small dowel run through lattice into the eye. I actually use a piece of bamboo from my yard. Lol
When you gather leaves from the old house, if you know where Oscar used the bathroom, you can also get some soil of leaves or whatever he liked as bathroom material. Add that to his box and it will start to look more like home. You may not need that with the cat attract litter but it has worked well for me. Once they use the litter box, it carries their scent.If he poops somewhere else, put that into the litter box to help him understand that this is the new bathroom.
I have been trying to load some photos to show you the lattice panels but they aren’t loading. We are in the middle of some bad storms so maybe it’s a signal issue. I will try again later because it is something I wish I had thought of years ago! Lol
 

rubysmama

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Since Jcatbird Jcatbird is having internet signal issues, I'll post some of the pictures of the lattice panels that she's previously posted in her own thread. I'll also copy and quote her descriptions.

The key to these lattice panels is using the frame work that is available for it. That keeps the panels from being too flexible or having edges that might be sharp. The framing is just attached with screws.
1657322956151.png



At the bottom of each panel corner I used a simple eye screw to act as a fastener. A simple dowel through the panel opening and into the eye holds the bottom secure to the original doorframe. The middle section, about doorknob level is simply held shut with a bungee cord.
1657323180369.png


All panels are attached to the door frame with hinges. The panels fit exactly into the frame but can fold all the way out into the hallway.
1657323232278.png


If I need to keep any cat inside a room, the dowel at the bottom and the bungee further up are enough to keep all cats inside. If I used this for small kittens, I would put screening on the exterior do that they could not get out of any of the gaps in the lattice.
1657323345669.png


Simple. I can still shut the wood door too. Nice thing about the lattice is that air flow is unrestricted.
1657323402034.png
 

pearl99

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Oh my stars I’m away for a few days and look what I come back and see!!!!!
Oscar you are a brave kitty and you will be well cared for!!!!
I’m so happy and grateful.
I so agree with going in frequently and announcing and talking to him. Every time he will learn he is safe with you in there.
Wow what a way to end the day!!!!!
 
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Bitsy's Mom

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Good morning Jcatbird and everyone - that door suggestion is great. Thank you. As soon as I am moved out of the other house (hopefully in the next two weeks now that I have Oscar) - and it sells - then I can focus on making this home and some projects for Oscar like the safety door. I need something there for sure.

I am going down to the old house Monday and will bring a box to put dirt and leaves in. He hung out in the same place all the time - and so I will get it from there. Should I just put the whole carboard box with everything in the shed?

I also had to buy a new air conditioner. Ugh. I have one at the old house but I didn’t want to take a chance on it not working. It’s going to be 90 on Wednesday and I am scared for him in the shed. So will hopefully install with a extension cord coming from my house to the shed. I will get electricity at some point in there but not until things have settled down and I have the resources. I have all these things I need for myself and other animals But could not wait on buying the air conditioner for him. If he overheated - I would never forgive myself.

And now for the good news. I went in this morning and he had eaten one small can and two tablespoons of the fresh salmon that I left him! And peed in the litter! He left two small cans untouched so not his normal appetite 😩 but still something at least.

I may never see him since he’s up in the loft - but for now - he ate something which is encouraging.

I also opened the top part of the double hung window more. I don’t think he can get out anyway with the placement at the top part of the window and there is a screen there.

keep the suggestions coming! I love the safety door idea since I need that. And bringing some leaves and dirt for him.

Also - the nightlight in there now is key.
 

rubysmama

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And now for the good news. I went in this morning and he had eaten one small can and two tablespoons of the fresh salmon that I left him! And peed in the litter!
:yess::clap::woohoo:

Excellent news! The eating, of course. But also the litter box usage. All good signs that he's getting more relaxed and confident in his new home.
 
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