Writing Contest - Share Your Feral Cats Stories

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ldg

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Fighting for ferals in NW NJ!
Good question. It was meant as a guideline, basically, to show what we consider a minimal story. I haven't really put much thought into what might be too long, but yours is fine as in Jikerfest. I guess as long as the editor can accept it as one post, it's fine :)
:clap: YAY! :clap:
 
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Anne

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Anne, could you please add my pictures to my story, I can no longer edit it.....

Maybe, in future, you could be more specific about the rules. Give an absolute minimum and maximum, and state whether or not pictures are allowed. I now realize I exceeded the number by adding the subtitle, so maybe you had better remove it.

I had to omit things to stay within the allotted number of words. If I had known we could exceed it, I probably would have written it differently.

As far as my story is concerned, I hope you will take into consideration that I am not a native speaker. I liver in the Netherlands and my native tongue is Dutch. So if I made any mistakes in grammar or idiom, I hope they will meet with some leniency.
Yes, I will take that into consideration and re-write the rules for the next contest. I think this is our second writing contest, so hopefully we'll improve over time ;) If you feel like changing your submission or editing it, please feel free to do so until the closing date.

We have a committee of judges and myself and one other judge are also not native speakers of English. As far as I can tell, you're English is absolutely great, so I wouldn't worry about it :)
 

zohdee

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I am orange kitty.

I had a home..well, what you might call a home.  My owner's live there.  I have been on my own finding food and shelter for many years.  I had fleas and tics all over me.  My owner's didn't care.  They didn't care that I was left alone in the sub-zero temperatures.  I lost part of my ear because of you. 

I came across a house one day.  A house where I saw other cats in the window lounging on a cat condo.  I sat on the other side of the glass looking in thinking "Why can't I have that?"  Just then, a human came out of the house.  I have a hard time trusting humans.  After all, it was humans who left me alone to fend for myself.  I keep my distance from the fat, happy one who wants to pet me.  Her voice is very soothing.  She holds out her hand without making quick motions.  She gave me cream and kibble to fill my empty stomach.  She reaches out to me to fill my empty heart.  She really cares about me.  She worries if I don't come by everyday.  I really didn't know what it feels like to be loved.

My owners, you lost a wonderful cat.  You didn't think I was worth your time or money.  Someone else thinks I am.
 

I have a new "family".  I am safe, fed and loved. 

I am orange kitty...hear me roar.
 
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Anne

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Two more days for submissions! Bumping this thread!
 

phaedrav

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My story starts with a kitty; we guesstimate was about 8 months old, who showed up on our back porch. He was your standard kitty, domestic short hair, but the one difference was he was feral. He sat on our back porch and stared into our sliding glass doors for about a week. It was mid September and a chill started descending upon the air. You see, we live in Minnesota. We knew the winter weather was fast approaching and started to take pity on this kitten.

After a week of this little face coming around and peering into our house, looking at our gurl kitty, I couldn’t take it anymore and started leaving food out for him. He was petrified of me…would run and hide whenever I opened the door. I would give him food and water and heat up a little bowl of milk. We were a bit concerned with whether or not we would be able to integrate him into the household, if we were able to earn his trust, especially with my lil old lady SwizzleStik.

After about two weeks of feeding, I started sitting on the deck with him when I would feed him. He had this little purr/question sound that he would make when he would see me, and I would replicate it when I was feeding. He still stayed as far away from me as he could, but hunger overcame fright. I would sit with him while he ate, and then a few moments afterward.

He eventually began to trust me enough to come up and let me barely pet him on the head. I worked on gaining his trust for a few days and then we moved him into the back porch. We would open the door and feed him in the back porch where I could sit with him, and talk to him while he was eating. He would sit on my lap and purr, and let me pet him. He was stills cared of my husband, but I had gained his trust. After a couple weeks of back porch feeding, we began to slowly integrate him into the house. We kept him in the basement and closed the door so he and SwizzleStik could get to know one another. We had the doctor come and deworm him and neuter him. It took quite a while for SwizzleStik to accept him as a member of the family but her life and our lives have become more fulfilled since CorkScrew came and choose us as his family.

 
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CorkScrew is adorable, thank you for submitting the story and welcome to TCS!
 

chaoscat

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I'm brand new to this forum and I'm really not used to these so forgive me if I posted this wrong.

I have a kitty story.

Actually it might even be considered a tail. . .

First you should know my occupation. I build haunted houses for a living. I'm the production manager for Castle of Chaos haunted house in SLC. Two years ago a family of feral cats moved in to a woodpile behind our building. . .they were all black. ;) Anyone who sees the irony in this I'm sure will be amused. Anyway, we started seeing mom first in the fall of 2010 and would feed her scraps here and there when we saw her. Pretty soon she would show up almost every day. We started buying real cat food thinking she was here to stay, to this day i'm glad because apparently she was ready to have kittens and probably needed the nutrition. After our busy Halloween season we spent the winter just busying around and finding things to do at the show. One night, my production assistant was scared, by a rock.

My co-worker went to his car one night after it had been snowing. He was walking through the small parking lot toward his truck when he saw what looked like a little black rock in the middle of the lot. He thought it was odd that there was snow on the ground, but none on the rock. . . quickly he changed his assessment. The rock moved. He screamed. The rock ran away leaving little tiny pawprints in the snow. . . and so it begins.

We soon realized that mom had had kittens. Three of them. All three as black as she was. One was a long hair, two short. All three as cute as buttons. . . or rocks. ;) They showed up every day and as far as we could tell the kittens were barely old enough to have their eyes open. They were absolutely tiny. We started buying food for them and feeding them at least once a day. Mom, three kits and one other cat were the regulars. We fed them through the winter. They showed up every day and after a few weeks would show up quickly when we would go outside and meow or call them. I guess our voices meant food. We were prepared to keep these beauties as official mascots (what better mascot to have for a haunted house than black cats) and planned to catch and release them through No More Homeless Pets of Utah.

In the spring we stopped seeing mom and the long haired kitten as often. We suspect that she moved on and left her kittens and perhaps that the other kitten was male and went off to his new territory. We saw another black cat in the neighborhood but couldn't confirm it was mom. . . soon she stopped coming altogether. Her other two kittens stayed though and by the end of winter had started to grow up. Like two tiny panthers they prowled the perimeter of our building and chased away intruders, dogs and took their pay in tasty mice. It was a splendid arrangement. . . and Friskies made lots of money on us. . two cans a day each was the norm.  

In April we were given the sad news that our building was purchased by a major gas station company to be made into a truck stop and we'd have to move, suddenly we realized that our parking lot staff were about to be evicted. We set a plan in motion to capture our little predators and give them a good home.

Over the time we'd been feeding them the cats had gained a certain level of trust. They'd never let us pet them, but they would get really close. One night i lay on the ground with a spoon full of cat food and they would alternately come up and lick it off the spoon. I never made a move to pet them, just let them eat. The game went on for awhile, food, lick lick, refill spoon. . . until one of them came up, took the entire plastic spoon in it's mouth, food and all, and ran off with it over the fence. It was all i could do to not scare the other kitten by laughing so hard. Her companion remained to finish the food, sans spoon.

Finally the plans were in place to catch the wild creatures. We borrowed the traps from the NMHP and set them in place. We got our first one within an hour. The larger of the two, now about 8 months old. It was upset, obviously, but we covered it and kept it in a dark bathroom till it went to the vet the next morning. . . Kitten 2 was much more trouble. She had a knack for eating all the food and not setting off the traps. It took another day to trap her. It made my heart ache because she was a whole day without her littermate. She was much more wary. Finally at 5:30 in the morning, after watching the trap most of the night from my truck, i watched her go in and the trap go off. I instantly covered her cage with a thicker blanket and headed home. Both GIRLS were picked up from the vet the same day, within minutes of each other, and reunited in a room of their own at our show. I couldn't let them out of the cages until i got them home, but they were put side by side and covered with food and small boxes with sand in them. it was a messy business but we managed to get them home. . .and released them into the wild. . . of my downstairs bathroom.

It was an interesting evening. Resulting in two kittens hanging from a window, see my profile pic, and having to rescue one from the top of my shower curtain rod.

All in all it was a successful rescue .. . . but that was just the beginning.

The kittens, now named Sybilla and Bagheera (i know she's a girl but i love that book) had been introduced into their own space and allowed to live in a whole apartment by themselves. I had planned on remodeling it but hadn't started yet. I moved downstairs with my mom and let the cats move in since there was minimal furniture and no chance of them destroying anything.

Things went well the rest of the summer. The kittens were caught on July 21 and 22 respectively and they lived happily in their own space except when i invaded a few times daily to check on them and take care of necessities. It seemed that i could start getting them more used to me and living as domestics. . . but then we hit a snag.

I had been busy with my haunt across the last week of october. My boyfriend was checking on the kittens for me and they hid from him. I didn't see them for over a week. Almost two. When i first caught sight of Bagheera i immediately panicked. She had a huge lump on one leg that was CLEARLY not good. I immediately caught her and took her to the vet. Later that afternoon, i got a call back.

Cancer.

The worst thing we could think of.

I'd hoped it was an abcess or growth. Maybe infection from a fight with her sister. But lab results confirmed it. Cancer.

She had surgery to remove the lump but it left her with a long scar and at least 20 stitches going from her shoulder to her paw. Given the extensive nature of her wound we thought she'd be a bit more passive. . . no chance. She escaped from everywhere. She took her cone off. We had decided to keep her in the bedroom away from her sister until her stitches came out, we didn't want to keep her locked up in a crate for two weeks. The vet said to just keep her from jumping up on things so we moved everything out of the room except soft bedding and a box for her to use and hide in.

My mom and i were planning a trip out of town the second week after he injury. My co-workers were going to stay at our house and tend the kittens. Everything was fine, until one night, Bagheera disappeared. . . into the wall.

There was a place in the wall that had been opened up during the remodel. The kittens had had access to the room for months and never given it a second thought. It was a small crack about 1-2" wide. We had seen insulation behind it and thought that there was solid wall on the other side. . . apparently it went straight into the attic. My little escape artist made her break for it.

So, a week before her stitches were to come out, three days before i left for Disneyland, my Cancer Cat disappeared.

And Catwatch 2011 began.

Here's where my job came in handy.

As part of our show and security we use night vision cameras, sometimes to show the crowd an area in the show where people are getting scared and it's funny to watch. We also use them in our ticketing and concessions areas because of the money kept around. So since they weren't in use, we borrowed them and a monitor and began our kitty surveillance.

Bagheera was still in the house. After the first two days we opened up a hole in the wall large enough for her to easily get through and closed the door so her sister wouldn't get out too. We left a litterbox, plenty of food and water, and waited. . . sure enough she came back. Every day she used the box, ate, drank and went back into the wall. So my co-workers decided to set up cameras and see what happened.

We laugh about it to this day.

I had had to leave for California, extremely worried but pretty confident that my crew would catch my fugitive feral. These were trained special effects techs and operations gurus. . .

They used a screwdriver and some string.

And it worked.

The video surveillance began and ended on a single night. They set up a small door flap of plastic that once fell down couldn't be pushed back through. A one way cat door. They propped it up with a screwdriver and ran string out the window, down the side of the house, and to the back door. They guys watched the TV for hours that night. . . just waiting. At around 4am they spotted her. She came in and went for food. . . One of the guys ran out the back door to pull the string but she ran back when she heard the door open.

So they waited again.

Just before 6am they spotted her again. . . and used the front door to run out. This time they pulled the string, the door shut behind her, and my little Bagheera was safely caught in her room.

Catwatch 2011 was brought to a successful conclusion.

I got the text in California the next morning that she'd been caught and the hole in the wall patched. She was resting comfortably and would be ready for her stitches to come out. . . the next day.

To make a long story. . . . um . . . slightly longer.

Sadly, Bagheera's cancer was aggressive. . . but not invasive. After an agonizing two months of weighing difficult decisions regarding her care, we decided amputation was the only way to save her life.

WE NEVER ONCE CONSIDERED PUTTING HER DOWN.

This cat had been through cold, pain, panic and walls to survive. We had to give her a chance.

Sadly the only option was to amputate her leg.

Other options were available but all were temporary. One involved her being sent to another state to undergo chemo treatments, but even that was temporary for her condition.

And she'd only been in captivity for a few months. She wouldn't have been able to handle that, especially without her sister. They'd been constant companions since birth and to be suddenly separated for 8 weeks for a painful and extensive treatment seemed like torture.

It broke my heart the day we took her to have her leg removed but it was our only option. And the vet assured us that she'd be fine.

It was a LOOOOONG day.

But i'm happy to report that Bagheera, now known as Pegleg Fish-Face, is healthy and happy and $5000 later, cancer free.

Our biggest challenge now is keeping her off the fridge.

Much thanks to anyone who takes in a stray or abandoned cat. I can't imagine what would have happened to my little Fish-Face if i hadn't brought her home. We have a long way to go in the trust department still, but that's another story.

Allegra
 

jean-ji

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I joined TCS almost seven years ago when we brought a stray cat inside.  I needed help fast and was panicking.  

The cat was a tabby that had been in our yard over the summer, hiding under and blending into a birch tree.  That tree had a bird feeder, which is why she was there.  She had been communicating with my husband, according to him, in the mornings when he went by her on his way to work.  He started putting food out for her as it got colder.  It was now the week of Thanksgiving and the temperature was predicted to go way below freezing, so we decided to bring her in.  We rented a Havahart trap to catch her and were successful after a few attempts.  She was a very savvy cat and we were clueless people.

My husband, for whatever reason, decided he needed to transfer her from the trap to a cat carrier for the trip to the vet's office while I was at work.  He did have work gloves on, but still was bitten by her in the process.  No big deal we thought, until we got to the vet's and they had to report the bite to the state and we waited an hour to find out whether the state wanted her quarantined or destroyed! Quarantine it was, and we foolishly thought the vet's would keep her during that time, but no, they would see us back in 10 days.

We had a wild cat in the spare bedroom in a steel wire cage with who knew what diseases and pests on her.  We isolated her from the other cats and then wondered what we were suppose to do next.  She was clearly unhappy and I was tempted to set her loose,  she was so miserable.  It seemed wrong to keep her inside.  I searched the internet and found The Cat Site and the information I needed, thank goodness!  I read the entire stray and feral forum, learning about ferals/strays and how to deal with her.  I had a starting point and support now.

I put the lights on low, put a small carrier in the cage for privacy, a small pan with litter and dirt on top  so she would know what it was for.  I was starting to feel better and relax.  We stayed out of the room for the first few days, other than to giver her fresh food, water and change the litter.  Imagine my surprise when my husband announced on the third morning that she wasn't in the cage.  What?!?  How could that be?  Upon close inspection of the cage, one of the bars was bent and she had squeezed out.  I could only imagine how desperate she was to be able to bend that metal.  We found her hiding under the futon in the room and that's where she lived for the next few months.

After the 10 days in quarantine, it was time to go back to the vet's again.  I helped my husband catch her, we both had gloves on.  If I hadn't been there, I would not have believed it.  She literally ran up the walls to the ceiling, bouncing off the corners, running around and around the room.  She was incredibly fast and frightened.  We finally cornered her and got her in the carrier.  The vet checked her out, drawing blood and doing a physical exam.  She needed nine teeth extracted.  We scheduled her for that after the labs came back and no other problems were present.  Her bloodwork was good, the teeth were taken care of and we now had a probable five year old cat.  She was so small we had thought she was a young cat.

Over the next few months, I followed advice on the Feral Forum.  I went in the room and read aloud from a book to her.  I started singing the Beatle's Dear Prudence to her and Prudence became her name.  I loved singing "dear Prudence, won't you come out and play?"  I was getting her used to human contact.

I started pulling back the futon mattress to talk to her and she became accustomed to that.  We were coming onto the two month mark and my husband took off the door to the room and replaced it with a screen door.  For the next month, she could see, hear and smell my other two cats.  At the end of the three months we took the screen door off.  She promptly ran out of the room and under the sofa in the living room.  

Over time she came out more and more.  She wouldn't play with toys and she made no noise at all.  The other cats meowed like crazy going in the car to the vet's.  To this day, Pru is quiet and behaves at the vet's, she knows not to draw attention to herself.  In bed upstairs one night, I heard a screeching, rasping sound from downstairs.  Pru had found her voice and was learning to use it.  She now has a plaintive mew, but that first night, it was not recognizable.  

Ferals/strays survive by being cautious, which is where they are different from other cats..  Pru covers her business in the litter box so much better than the other two cats, her scent is buried completely.  Meowing or making a sound would mean being found or caught by predators, so no meowing.  Playing with toys is not something they do, they hunt and survive.  Being very still is another of their skills.  Pru escaped into our basement early on.  It's an old basement with rafters and full of the usual junk, it's not a finished one.  We only found her because the flashlight caught the reflection in her eyes.  She was up in one of the rafters.  The basement door has never been open again since that hour of searching for her.

Pru was coming along so well and coming out more and more.  She was  becoming part of the family and interacting with us.  Then we adopted a rescue Springer Spaniel.  He chased her back under the sofa. She made him crazy because he never saw her like the other two cats that he would nose around.  This one was having none of him and he would go wild when he caught a glimpse of her.

Great, we had undone all our work in a few short days.  What kind of a life was it for a cat to be under a sofa all the time, only coming out at night?

I started staying up late, knitting, and Pru began coming out again.  She learned that creaking on the stairs meant the dog was coming down.  He liked to go sleep upstairs in the day and she would pop out from under the sofa as soon as she heard him on the stairs.  She also would come upstairs at night when my husband would use the restroom.  He found she would come up to him for a pet if he was sitting on the toilet, not standing, so that's what he did.  He also shut the bedroom door so the dog wouldn't hear.  I would see a pile of fur on the floor in the bathroom the next morning and knew she had been visiting.  

We were now at a standoff:  the dog chased the cat when he saw her and she ran under the sofa or under the washer when she saw him.  Would they ever get along and would Pru ever come out in the day when the dog was on the same floor?  

We bought a house this year in Florida to be near our grandkids, and their parents, for six months a year, doing the snow bird thing.  We drove down with all the pets a month ago. The first night in the Florida house we had a blow up mattress, nothing more.  The cats only had their carriers, nothing to jump on, no where to hide.   They didn't know what to do. 

We got some furniture over the next few weeks, but there is no basement or upstairs like our old house in New York. All the pets are on one level and no squeaky stairs for alerts.  Pru and Fergus the Spaniel have a truce going on.  She still runs, but she'll go into a wicker carrier in a closet.   When the dog sticks his nose in, she hisses and he leaves.  He sees her more and the mystery is gone and she isn't as fun to chase.  Pru is very cautious, one doesn't trust a dog overnight, but she isn't as afraid of him.  Cats are not fond of change and I was really worried about the move, but it's been good for all of them, especially Pru and Fergus.  They may never be friends, but they can co-exist.

I have to admit that Pru has a special spot in my heart.  On those late knitting nights when she came out from under the sofa, she would jump on the back of my chair and give me the hardest head butts, she is my girl!  She is extremely affectionate, but still wary.  Fast movements or different sounds will send her running.  She learned to survive by being cautious.  Whether she was a feral or semi-feral, I'll never know. She is one of the sweetest, most affectionate cats and I'm so happy we didn't give up on her and let her return to the wild.  We would have missed out on one wonderful cat.

 
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bobcatadh

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I'll tell you a story of when I was 16 and went to visit my grandmother. I had worked as a part time waitress (while I was in High School) the previous year to save money to by my first car. My parents had told me if I saved half the money they would pay the other half. They eventually bought me a yellow Honda Civic. I lived in a small town (in Texas) of about 2500 people and it was 78 miles away from where my grandmother lived. Her town was even smaller. I went to go visit my grandmother the weekend I got my car. I wanted to show it off. My car did not have air conditioning so I drove everywhere with the windows down.

My grandmother has always been a cat lover and has always fed all the strays in the neighborhood. She has always had 20 to 30 cats at her house at any time. I loved playing with them when I was little. The ones that would let me anyway. Most of them were wild but there were always kittens around! I loved to go find the new kittens. For me, finding kittens was like a treasure hunt. I love cats too, just like my grandmother.

When I got to my grandmother's house that weekend, it was bright and sunny out and I left the windows down. Later, it started to rain so I went out and closed them. The next day my cousin came in the house and told me that there was a kitten crying in my car. I didn't believe him. How could a kitten get in my car? The doors were locked and the windows were rolled up. However, my cousin insisted that there was a kitten crying in my car. So, finally I went out and looked. Sure enough there was a little tiny kitten sitting on my back seat screaming its little head off! I was amazed. It couldn't have been more than 3 to 4 weeks old.

We finally figured out that the mother cat must have moved the kitten into my car sometime the day before, sometime before I had rolled the windows up! It was as if the mother cat had given me the kitten! We searched and searched to find any other kittens and never found any. We did however find the mother can sitting patiently outside the car waiting for me to give her her kitten back. We named the little guy Horrible Huge after my cousins invisible friend that he had when he was little and because that little kitten wasn't afraid of anything! He would follow me all over and hiss an spit at all the other cats no matter how much bigger they were than him. He lived a long happy life with my grandmother because my mother wouldn't let me take him home. However, he was mine when I was over at her house. :eek:) It's a happy memory! 
 

jiskefet

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That's why the lady is a tramp

We first met Tosca on a Saturday afternoon in the quarantaine room of the local shelter. She was about 16 weeks old and had been brought in the evening before. A little feral girl, who had been caught in the polder, together with her brother. She had nowhere to hide in that little cage, but tried to blend into the wall. Hubby took to her at once, he said: let's take her, she's a spunky little lass.



So we reserved her, and on Monday, when they took her to the vet, I came along and held her during the examination. She kept very quiet, but I could feel her tremble. I could take some time off work a fortnight later, so that's when we took her home with us. She hated to be picked up, but she would be fine sleeping on my shoulder, where she could feel my warmth but not see the big, scary human.

She and Jiskefet, my other feral, got on like a house on fire, and she took her lead from him. He adored me, so she tolerated me. He loved to be stroked and cuddled, so she would lay next to him on the sofa and allow me to come close enough to cuddle Jissy. I could even briefly stroke her, too.

Once she was allowed outside, she and Jiskefet would roam the park together and hunt. Then disaster struck, and Jiskefet was killed by a car. Poor Tosca was the only one who didn't see his body before we buried him. I think she must have been looking for him in the park. She sat on the surf board in the neighbour's roofless shed for a week, waiting for him to come home, and our other tom, Catweazle, often kept her company and urged her to come home to eat.



After Jissy's death, she became more feral again, spending most of her time in the park, only coming home to eat. Jiskefet had taught her to love and trust us, though, for when we tried to catch her, she would  try to escape at first, but once she felt we were serious about it, she'd give in, as if to say: 'if it is necessary, I will accept it, you know best.....'  She would keep still and not try to escape while we gave her a spot-on flea or worm treatment, and at the vet's she would be really good.



Then she went missing.....

She did not come home for two whole weeks, and I was convinced we had lost her. I went looking for her, called her, searched the park and the river bank.... I even contacted an animal communicator, who told me she was locked in a dark place with a small,rounded window. There was a smell like rotting plants, and she told me Tosca had an injury to the left side of her head. The communicator urged her to escape and come home, but she could not actually 'speak' with her, she just picked up what Tosca saw and felt, so there was no way to tell if Tosca could 'hear' her.

Then, miraculously, two days later, at 11pm, she came in, meowing loudly. She was horribly thin and she had stretched her collar and stepped through it with her left paw, causing a festering wound in her left armpit and across her chest and neck - the injury and rotting smell the communicator had described....

I rushed her to the emergency vet, who examined the wound and immediately gave her a glucose drip and antibiotics. She had to stay the night and they would clean and treat the wound the next morning. I got her home the next afternoon, with a cone to keep her from licking the wound and several syringes of antibiotics to give her every other day. We kept her in a cage for a week, and then gave her the run of the house. She wasn't allowed out until the wound healed, so the cat flap was set to let cats in but not let them out. But one night, she managed to break through the cat flap, and off she went, cone and all. I put op posters all around the park and at the adjacent retirement home. The next evening, I got a call from a geriatric nurse on her way home from work, she had spotted 'the cat in the cone' strutting determinedly in the direction of our house. The next morning, she was sitting on our fence, waiting to be let in.



Unfortunately, the wound kept getting inflamed and wouldn't heal at all, and after 3 months, Tosca got really depressed at being locked in. The sad look in her eyes was really heartwrenching. So I begged the vet to at least attempt to surgically close the wound. Her skin was still rather loose, as she had not regained her former weight after her ordeal, so they performed a skin transplant. They cut away the edges of the still inflamed wound, removed a triangular flap of skin from her flank and transplanted that into the new, clean surgical wound.



After 10 days, the stitches were taken out, and our little wildcat was set free. She was ecstatic at being back in her park, and whenever we take a walk in the park with the other cats, she will run up to greet us and walk along, playing with her feline friends.



Her involuntary stay in the house has made her more social towards us, though. We will receive head butts, she will wriggle her entire body against our legs and we can stroke her and tickle her behind her ears. And if she comes in at night to find the food bowl empty, whe will come into our bedroom, waking us with her loud purring and meowing, and she will even jump on the bed and push her head against my hand.

She is now 8 years old, strong and wild and free as ever, and we celebrated her birthday by renaming the park - her park - Tosca the Wild Park.


 
 
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snuffy's mom

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I had just moved into an apartment complex when I noticed a little white kitty wandering around. I tried to get her to come to me but she wouldn't. I think this the first time I had ever met a feral cat. She was all white with two black spots on her head and very afraid of people.

I started leaving food and water out for her, and she would come to eat as long as I wasn't around.

Finally I noticed that she looked like she was pregnant. I kept feeding her and watching where she went. She seemed to living in the woods behind my apartment. I watched closer as I knew her due date was coming soon. Then all of a sudden she was skinny again and I knew she had her kittens. I watched her even closer now as it was starting to get cold out and winter was just about over. But living in New England like the old saying goes "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute it will change" and I was worried that we might have late snow storm as this was in early April.

Anyways, I finally figured out where she was going and discovered that she had dug her self a little cave out of old dead wood and leaves. So I figured if I got her kittens she would follow because by now she was trusting me a little. I really hated doing it to her but I went up to see where her kittens were. And sure enough there were the 5 cutest little bundles of fur in there. They were all white with various spots of grey and black on them and all with colored tails. She was there also and she didn't hiss or try to keep me away or run as I took her kittens. She did follow me and I brought them up into a spare bedroom upstairs, well when she heard her babies crying she overcame all her fears of humans and ran right up stairs into that room to her babies. I shut the door and left food and a litter box for her. Occasionally I would open the door and leave the door downstairs open for her and she would run down and out the door. Then she would come to the door and I would open it for her being sure not to stand too close to it as she wouldn't come in if you were too close and she would run upstairs for her babies.

Then after about 2 or 3 weeks of doing this I guess she had had enough and one day when I went up and opened the door there was a hole in the screen where she had ripped the it and jumped from the second floor to the pavement below. She wouldn't come in anymore so it was up to me to have feed them. This wasn't so bad as they were about 5 or 6 weeks old by this time. That was a good 10 years ago. It took me 6 years to get her to come in when it was cold out and she was still afraid of humans but trusted me a bit more. We had her TNR'd and she spent another 3 years in relative comfort.

Unfortunately, she developed a tumor behind her right eye and it was pushing her eye out. I waited until she wasn't looking and threw a towel over her, got her into a carrier and took her to the vets. They told me it would cost over $1000. to have it operated on but they thought that she had some sort of terminal disease and that it would be better to put her to sleep.

I held her in my arms for the first time crying like a baby as they put her to sleep. That was the first time I had ever touched her or held her. I felt so bad for her but knew it was for the best. They made a paw print of her for me and I had her cremated. I figured that poor cat had been through so much hell in her life that was least I could do for her.

I found home for some of the babies but kept 2 my Hefner and Snuff. They are both about 12 now and doing well.

People around here have no heart when it comes to leaving their cats behind and for some reason they seen to find me, which I don't mind. I have 4 cats now and wouldn't change anything in the world for them.


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Anne

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Thank you so much everyone for your wonderful submissions!! I am closing the thread for further submissions now.

The TCS Literary Committee will be reviewing all submissions. We hope to have our final results by Tuesday.

Good luck and thank you!
 
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Anne

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Update: we're having a hard time judging this one - too many excellent entries! We may need a couple more days for all of the judges to enter their votes.

Thank you for your patience!
 
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