About two weeks ago, my wife, daughter, and I were home watching a movie when our cat, Gadget, let out an awful howl. At first I thought she had done something to injure herself. However, as I got into the room, I could see Gadget and Scamp at the screen door looking at another cat on the back deck.As I approached the screen, the cat quickly ran off the deck. I didn’t get a great look at the cat, but I figured it was just a neighborhood cat that had strolled up to our house and discovered the other cats.Over the next few days, we would get quick glimpses at the cat, however as soon as the cat saw one of us, it would dart off into the brush and woods to hide. I started to think the cat was feral. At the recommendation of our Vet and the local Animal Shelter, we decided the best course of action would be to at least trap the cat and have it spayed or neutered to avoid having more feral cats running around.With my daughter home from college for the summer, she decided to work at capturing this “feral” cat. She started leaving a bowl of food and water for the cat in the hopes that we could eventually lure the cat into a capture trap from the animal shelter. We never saw the cat much for the first day or so, however the cat was eating the food and drinking the water. Our only views of the cat were still of it running out into the brush when it saw us. My daughter established a regular feeding pattern for the cat and could see him in the fields near the house around feeding time, cautiously waiting for food. Over the next few days, my daughter was able to gain the trust of the cat to the point it would let her sit on the porch while eating. She would sit and talk with the cat while it was eating. A few more days, she was able to pet the cat a little. She discovered the cat was male, fixed, declawed, and not feral, but just scared, hungry, and severely underweight.As the cat became more and more comfortable, it warmed up to my wife and I. We would sit out each evening, feeding the cat and then petting him. We would even get a soft purr once in a while. The cat was still very skittish and would bolt at any unexpected noise. At that point, my wife and I decided that we needed to find out if this was just a “lost” cat. If not, we decided we would keep that cat, making him and indoor cat, living Gadget and Scamp. We figured that this might be a tough situation for the cat since it seemed to really be more settled to being outdoors. My daughter gave him the name “Joey” since calling him “the cat” didn’t seem fit anymore.On Wednesday morning we came up with a plan. My daughter was tasked with getting the cat into the kennel and taking him to the vet. In yet another surprise, my daughter called me that afternoon, while my wife and I were returning home from work. Joey was in the house, exploring, and completely happy. She had moved Gadget and Scamp to a room to separate them from Joey while he was in the house to avoid any issues. We called our Vet and made an appointment for 8:00pm that evening. Arriving home, Joey was sitting on the rug enjoying himself and quite happy.. When we brought the kennel out, he didn’t have any issues getting inside.The vet did a full examination. Joey is somewhere around 6 years old. He didn’t have a microchip, so there isn’t a way to trace him back to the original owner. Although severely underweight at less than 60% of his ideal weight, he was otherwise doing OK. His only big problem was ear mites. It sounds weird, but Joey seemed to enjoy the attention at the vet. The only thing he got slightly miffed at was getting his temperature taken. Other than that, he was purring and completely content with being messed with. The vet provided a recommend diet, tested for feline leukemia, treated him for the ear mites and did a de-worming treatment. The vet wanted to make sure we gave him an exact measured diet to avoid overeating. She said often cats that aren’t used to a regular feeding schedule and supply will overeat and develop that into a long-term habit. The vet didn’t want to do any other vaccinations until he was in better health, however she said he probably has had rabies vaccinations since he has been fixed and declawed as most vets would require that as well. When we returned, we set up Joey with his own room at the house, separate from Gadget and Scamp. With the ear mites, he needs to stay away from direct physical contact from the other cats until the mites are cleared up. The vet will check him again in about 2 ½ weeks. He is very happy to be indoors and doesn’t seem content with his surroundings. We let him out to wander the house from time to time, while segregating him from the other cats. So, they all know about each other through smells, however they haven’t seen very much of each other, which has avoided any big problems. Scamp will sit up by his door sometimes. I think she just wants another cat to play with as Gadget doesn’t have the patience for a 1 year old rambunctious kitty. Gadget is a bit more upset, even voicing her protest at both Scamp and my daughter. Scamp looks at Gadget like she’s being stupid when she hissed at her. As my daughter puts it, Gadget has never thought she was a cat, so she’s probably also decided she’s just not a cat person either and not thrilled to be around cats.Joey has settled into his room. He doesn’t want to dart out of the room and has been enjoying the quiet and safe environment. He is certainly not the frightened cat we knew a few days ago. He had a lot of signs muscle weakness when we first got close to him, having trouble getting up and moving at times. A lot of that is going away as he spends more and more time on a regular diet and feeding schedule. His eating is starting to settle down a bit where he doesn’t always eat everything available. He wasn’t thrilled about getting a much needed bath; however he looks much better now. He looked so skinny when he was wet; it almost brought us to tears. Today, he came up to me when I entered his room this morning, purring and rubbing up against me. I was able to get him to play with a string today. A lot has changed in the days since he first showed up. Joey is certainly a very docile and loving cat. He will be a great addition to the house.
Pictures! We want pictures!How wonderful that he has become so close to you so quickly.Nancy
That sounds so much like how I obtained my Princess. She was a "lost" kitty, who hung around one of my neighbor's condo. He fed her, and called me. We decided that the next time she showed up at his door, he could call me; I would bring my cat kennel and take her immediately to the vet before bringing her inside. First, I was going to try to find a home for her, but she loved being in my house so much, I kept her. She also was spayed, and was a docile as a sweet kitty can be. The vet decided she was about 8 years old and had been someone's pet. She also did not have a microchip. My 12-year old does not like her too much, but Jessica stays upstairs and Princess stays downstairs. Jessica only comes downstairs when it is feeding time. Strangely, they can be in the same room, eating, but that is the only time. Princess was also severely underweight, but that did not last too long. All of my pets (1 dog and 2 cats) are on a routine as far as feeding, that was no problem. She now is as healthy and happy as she can be.Congratulations to you on your new pet. God will reward you.Donna
Here are some pics:Joey - outsidehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jplenny/7806376920/Joey - just after he came insidehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jplenny/7806376564/Joey - after the vet and cleaned uphttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jplenny/7806376284/
A friend of mine did the same thing - gradually won over an outdoor cat that looked unhappy with food and affection. The cat is now indoors and has NO interest in going out. Clearly she associates outside with bad times.Unfortunately, the other cat in the house has no willingness to get along with the new one. So they stay on different levels and my friend feeds them separately. There will be changes this year though because my friend is moving to the first floor bedroom. So she will have to find a way to get them to tolerate one another.
A friend of mine did the same thing - gradually won over an outdoor cat that looked unhappy with food and affection. The cat is now indoors and has NO interest in going out. Clearly she associates outside with bad times. Joey is pretty much at that point right now. He hasn't made one move toward the door and really doesn't have an interest in the outside. Of coarse, it may only be that there is more interesting stuff inside at the moment.
Good work with Joey! Heated floor? I'd stay forever, too! Bless you and Joey, he obviously was an indoor cat, probably got lost and became "feral" in order to survive. He wasn't doing it so well, it appears. So glad you and Gadget spotted him, keep us posted on how they get accustomed to each other,Rita
You might want to try posting something on Craigslist and your vet's office about a Found Cat, in case the original owners are in the area and looking for him.
You might want to try posting something on Craigslist and your vet's office about a Found Cat, in case the original owners are in the area and looking for him. We did the Craigslist ad and posted some flyers around the neighborhood. The vet also took pictures of the cat and sent them over to the animal control office, so they have them on file.So far, there hasn't been any responses.
A short little update:Joey is slowing getting better as he continues his new life on a healthy diet. He is still seperated from Gadget and Scamp. We take turns letting them roam differnet parts of the house, so everyone knows each other's smells. Baby steps...I think my daughter got the whole story on Joey today from a neighbor. From what the neighbor told her, Joey's pciture looks like a cat that was owned by a couple about a block away. Well, they ended up moving back to the lower 48 in June, which meant a pretty long-haul drive down the ALCAN highway. Our neighbor said they mentioned taking the dog and "having to do something about the cat" because they didn't want to take it with them. The dog part makes sense. During out vet visit, we noticed that Joey seems at ease around dogs.Anyway, I guess "having to do something about the cat" means just leaving it back in Alaska to starve to death. With no front claws, I doubt he had a chance fending for himself. Even if he surived the rest of summer, which is highly doubtfull, there is no way he could have survived the harsh winter here. It just disgusts me how some people can throw out a pet as if it is just some unwanted toy.
What a wonderful story! And what a wonderful family of humans who were willing to get involved and then add the intellignece to see what a gift this stray cat was for them.Poor Joey - declawed! He had no chance of survival without you. But he scored when it counted.May you all have years of love and purrs with each other.mhtruck
What needs to be done now is to grab the original "owners" and declaw THEM!Regards,Grumpy
What needs to be done now is to grab the original "owners" and declaw THEM!and then leave them to fend for themselves, living off the land for an Alaska winter.(Riki has decided there's some connection between scratching and food...while i'm fixing her breakfast or getting out her evening snax, she runs to one of her scratching boards...only now ..when i sleep too late she scratches the carpet in the bedroom to wake me and remind me of my Duty <g> )
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