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Happy Ending...domestication Achieved!

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by Miss_Kitty_Noir, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Miss_Kitty_Noir

    Miss_Kitty_Noir Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Dec 12, 2017
    IMG_1147.jpg It was a long road and I experienced a lot of anxiety and worry as I made this journey. As it turns out, many of my fears were in vain.

    My former feral is neutered and his respiratory and eye infections are cleared. He uses his litter box like a champ. Turns out, he's a lap cat, my very first. He won't leave my lap until I physically move him. He loves to be held and carried. He has accepted the other members of my family at last. Right now, he is peacefully sleeping in his window seat right now atop a fluffy blanket as the snow piles up outside.

    When I took him to the vet and found out that he was already 8 years old (with only 2 teeth left), I was doubtful that I could stop the territorial spraying inside the house but he has completely stopped! I doubted that he would ever learn to use a litterbox, but he watched my other cat and followed her lead. I thought he would hate me for neutering him at this advanced age, but he bounced back the same day and has only been sweeter. My senior cat doesn't seem to mind him being here, either. I think she was bored and it has added a little interest to her days.

    I am sure he prefers this to the woods he was living in, woods inhabited by packs of coyotes that howl all night. He was so skittish, so fearful. I did not think we would ever get here, but here we are. People doubted me and even questioned my judgment about taking in a feral. I am glad I did not listen to them. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

    Good luck to all of you who love a feral, or many ferals. Thank you to all the people who help colonies. You are heroes to me.Thanks for having this forum available for support. It is the best resource that I have found.

    Also, I just wanted to share a tip that some might find helpful. I spent $300+ on this cat's medical care and money is/was tight. He was spraying in the house and I could not afford expensive enzyme cleaners (also they are not readily available in my rural community) but I do use Tide detergent which contains 4 types of enzymes. I put a very small amount of Tide in a spray bottle with some water, shook it up, and sprayed it on the areas he had marked. I was completely satisfied with the results. It really seemed to erase the scent. I am glad he has stopped. He now has full reign of the house and is no longer confined to the basement.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2018
    Antonio65, sabian, walkingrock and 17 others purraised this.

  2. tabbytom

    tabbytom Happiness is being owned by a cat Staff Member Mentor

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    Looks like all your hard work has paid off @Miss_Kitty_Noir. Thank you for all your love and patience. He’s a nice looking kitty. Bless your heart.
     
    sabian and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  3. Miss_Kitty_Noir

    Miss_Kitty_Noir Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Dec 12, 2017
    Thank you. I adore him! I am just so happy and I wanted to share. I remember being so consumed with worry a couple months ago and I was here reading all the time! Hopefully, a happy ending will help someone who is also feeling overwhelmed with concerns.
     
    lavishsqualor, WonderY, tarasgirl06 and 4 others purraised this.

  4. surya

    surya TCS Member Top Cat

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    That is inspirational, thanks for rescuing your new buddy.
     

  5. trudy1

    trudy1 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Great testimonial for feral adoptions. I love a good story with a happy ending. I think you’re example will provide a “it can be done “ moment for lots of adopters going through trials trying to see “happy” at the end of the tunnel.
    Great picture, by the way.
     
    sabian, tarasgirl06, LifeWithOliver and 3 others purraised this.

  6. Miss_Kitty_Noir

    Miss_Kitty_Noir Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Thanks! I have never owned a cat who wasn't a stray, but this one was a different kind of challenge. It has been challenging and incredibly rewarding. Every time I see him curled up in a warm place (like in front of the fireplace) I think about the fact that this is what I dreamed and wished for him and together we made it come true. I give him half the credit! He's been an excellent learner with great adaptability.
     
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  7. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Thank you for sharing your story and providing an update. You are an angel for saving him and allowing him to find love!
     
    sabian, tarasgirl06, Shane Kent and 2 others purraised this.

  8. walli

    walli TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Aw! He's precious! Thanks for sharing, I get discouraged sometimes, I'm going on 2 months with Walli
    I don't know how old she is, so it's encouraging that your older Feral has warmed up to you.
    How long did it take, 2 months? I kind of get discouraged when I hear how fast others are doing it.
     
    sabian, tarasgirl06, Shane Kent and 2 others purraised this.

  9. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    Between Massena & Potsdam NY
    I think you're a hero. Thank you for helping a feral. :) :redheartpump:
     

  10. Miss_Kitty_Noir

    Miss_Kitty_Noir Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Walli, I fed him for a long time, over a year. We have a barn which is always accessible and he was finding shelter in there. He was terrified of people, but he would come up to the porch to eat. I was not able to touch him or really even look at him without him running away. I made him an insulated cat house so he would not have to travel from the barn to the porch through deep snow to get his food. I put that up in September. After that, he changed and started to allow petting. It seems that by giving him the house, I had earned his trust. I started to lure him into the house with saucers of the best, most irresistible food but he was very uncomfortable at first. I had to leave the door open as an escape route or else he would panic and scratch at the door with fear. Eventually, he let me close the door and he would eat. We just kept building up, little by little. By the time Christmas rolled around, we had freezing temps and heavy snow. One day I opened the door and bolted in. He ran downstairs and found a nice little hidey-hole under some furniture in the basement.

    He stayed in the basement under a couch from Christmas until mid-February. I went down there every night to pet him, but he was terrified of other people, televisions, music and even me if I was holding any kind of object, like if I was sweeping with a broom. He did not use a litterbox at that time. He went outside for the most part like a dog, and occasionally he would spray indoors.

    Now, his behavior is pretty much identical to my other cat except that he actually scratches me less than my slightly sassy Queen. In fact, he never scratches. He's just a regular house cat, now. I am amazed, honestly.

    Sorry for the long answer! Best of luck to you. I think it takes a long time for many cats to warm up, but the most important thing is that they are warm and cared for. The rest will fall into place eventually. It's a whole different world inside a house. There's so much for them to process. Once your girl calms down from the sensory overload, hopefully, cuddles will commence!
     

  11. Miss_Kitty_Noir

    Miss_Kitty_Noir Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Dec 12, 2017
    Thank you, Maggiedemi! That is so sweet. I am one happy Cat Lady today!
     
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  12. Miss_Kitty_Noir

    Miss_Kitty_Noir Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Dec 12, 2017
    Thank you for all that you do! I am totally in love with him. I just wish I had been less afraid and scooped him up sooner. I will make up for it with lots of kitty spoiling.
     
    tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  13. walli

    walli TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Jan 31, 2017
    Thank you! I bet he's a super happy cat, how wonderful for him!
     
    tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  14. rubysmama

    rubysmama Forum Helper Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Canada
    Thanks for posting. I love happy endings. :heartshape:
     
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  15. tabbytom

    tabbytom Happiness is being owned by a cat Staff Member Mentor

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    May 12, 2016
    Garden City, Singapore
    It take some lots of love, patience and routine. All situations with the cats are different. Some faster and some longer as in a year or even longer, but don’t give up. Bless your heart.
     

  16. walli

    walli TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Jan 31, 2017
    Thanks tabby tom! I won't give up, good to hear some take longer!
    I'm going to try and stop thinking I'm doing it wrong.
     
    tarasgirl06 and furmonster mom purraised this.

  17. tabbytom

    tabbytom Happiness is being owned by a cat Staff Member Mentor

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    May 12, 2016
    Garden City, Singapore
    There are many successful stories in this site.

    Feel free to ask questions and don’t be shy in asking questions you think that are stupid. It’s better to ask a stupid question than not asking. At least it’ll clear your mind and you learn something new.
     
    tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  18. Norachan

    Norachan Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Mount Fuji, Japan
    What a wonderful story.

    You've just made my day, I have tears in my eyes after reading this.

    Thank you so much.

    :grouphug2::catlove:
     
    sabian and tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  19. walli

    walli TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Jan 31, 2017
    what is his name? That photo speaks volumes!
     
    tarasgirl06 purraised this.

  20. tarasgirl06

    tarasgirl06 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Sep 19, 2006
    Glendale, California
    @Miss_Kitty_Noir good on ya! He is quite adorable. Has he disclosed his name to you yet? :winkcat:

    Two houses ago, there were a lot of "community cats" in our neighborhood and over the years we were there, we were able to earn the trust of all but 2 and even one of those we were able to get spayed/checked out and vaccinated. The matriarch was understandably wary and it took me over two years to earn her trust enough to befriend her, but eventually I did. All of her progeny were spayed/neutered, innoculated and adopted by us (she was as well). Yes, it can take years to earn the trust of a cat who has had no reason to trust humans. But it is so richly rewarding to finally be able to get a cat to safe haven and good care! You know this, of course.

    Just for your information, if you're in the US, you can order Nature's Miracle Just For Cats enzymatic cleaner, one of the very best according to many and my long-time favorite, on drsfostersmith.com and they will deliver right to your door. Shipping is no charge for orders over $19. They have excellent, human customer service both on live chat and telephonically. A gallon will last a long time. You can also buy smaller sizes. I buy a gallon and put it into smaller bottles including spray bottles, keeping one wherever I might need one.

    Please give your cats some love from us! :lovecat3:
     
    sabian, walkingrock, rubysmama and 1 other person purraised this.

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