I’m beginning to notice a trend in life — Telling me something is “impossible” is a sure-fire way to get me to try it.
I first mentioned this a few months ago when I recapped our anniversary vacation . . . Never put a “Do not __________” blank sign in front of me or Brad, unless you actually want us to do it.
And, I told you about my favorite quote that I keep posted in my office about defying the impossible.
The latest impossible feat :: Our adventures in cat-charming.
Depending on who you ask, socializing a feral cat older than 16 weeks is either (1) impossible or (2) requires several months of daily effort and is not recommended.
Last year, several litters of kittens were born in our neighborhood. We caught one and found him a good home, but we always wondered whether we should have done more, especially when the cat population in our neighborhood plummeted. I can’t shake the feeling that people are relocating the little guys or (even worse) calling animal control to have them removed from the ‘hood.
So, when I saw another kitten in June, I knew we had to save him. You’ll remember this cutie-pie from one of my Friday bits of bliss. After a little TLC, we quickly found him a great home and hear that he’s adjusted nicely.
The 1.5 year old cat we caught about one month ago is a whole different story . . .
She has spent her entire life outdoors afraid of everything, especially people. She fought like hell when Brad first grabbed her to put her in a large crate. I’m not exaggerating here; she shredded a heavy-duty welding glove with her teeth!
Initially, we only wanted to trap her, have her spayed, and release her. In a hilarious twist of fate, during the process of investigating our options for low-cost spay/vaccinations for feral cats, we learned that the notch she has in her left ear means that she’s already been trapped and spayed.
The more we thought about the sudden disappearance of cats in the neighborhood, though, the more determined we were to socialize her as much as possible in the hopes that we could find her a good home or (maybe) stick a collar on her and keep her as an outdoor cat.
For the first two weeks, we kept her in a crate and couldn’t get near her without a lot of hissing and swatting. We decided to let her loose in the garage to see if having room to roam made a difference. (FYI, we do have A/C out there so this wasn’t a cruel as it sounds.) Gradually, she started to come around and let us pet her without too much drama. But, still, every now and then, she would run or hiss when we tried to approach her.
Last week, we made a pact to let her go that weekend. She must have sensed that we were about to give up because, over the next four days, she completely changed. She starting walk up to me in the morning, instead of me having to chase her down. She let Brad hold her and sat contently in his lap while we checked for fleas. And, she didn’t show any sign of aggression when we brought one of our other cats into the garage to say hello. (The other cat? Well, she’s just a brat.)
This week, we brought her inside. Yes, I realize that this is the complete opposite of our pact, but we couldn’t help it. We were convinced that by giving her a more comfortable space, we could make even more progress in our quest to convert her into a true pet.
Today, just two days into what I’m calling “Phase 3” of the Adventures Cat-Charming, she melted my heart. I opened the door to the upstairs bathroom where she is staying, and she was curled up in the sink begging for attention. As soon as I started petting her, she purred like crazy and flopped over. Each time I stopped, she head-butted me and begged for more.
She has no name — unless you count our loving reference to “The Prisoner” — because we didn’t want to get attached. But, for this to work, she needs to find a forever home . . . and fast.