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Feral Cats 4: Wooper, the Odd Duck, er, Cat

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  This is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in  feral cats .  General information (from pervious posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish closer and closer to the house and walking less and less far away, until they are eating at ou

Feral Cats 2: The Case of Happy Cat

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  This is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in feral cats .  General information (from pervious posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish closer and closer to the house and walking less and less far away, until they are eating at ou

Feral Cats 5: Bobolink

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  his is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in  feral cats .  General information (from previous posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall, and Intrepid , closely bonded to Murjan, died three years ago from the same kind of cancer), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish clo

Feral Cats 3: The Persistence of Snyezhka

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  This is a series of Caturday posts on the topic of taking in  feral cats .  General information (from pervious posts): For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas,  Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish closer and closer to the house and walking less and less far away, until they are eating at ou

Bringing in Feral Cats: The Case of Simone

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 For a few decades, we have rescued feral cats. In fact, with only one exception, our "domestic" cats have been ferals that we brought inside to join other ferals, already domesticated, as part of a bonded cat family. Right now, we have five cats (alas, Murjan , the single non-feral cat we had, died from cancer last fall), all of whom get along pretty fabulously. Of course, all of that is easier said than done, and the bonding took time -- lots of it. Here are some of the things we did to create our cat family, some of which is not at all typical of what others have done, but it has worked for us. We don't trap the feral cats at all; we win them over and invite them in. We do this by feeding them a distance from the house and walking away, then moving the dish closer and closer to the house and walking less and less far away, until they are eating at our feet, at which point they will usually let us scooch or kneel beside them. To get to this point may take weeks. Getting

Adopt a Furry Valentine, Suggests NYACC

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  The New York City Animal Care Centers suggest adopting a shelter pet for Valentine's Day. There is now an adopted shelter pet in the White House. How many households would it take, following suit, to empty the shelters? Often, shelter pets come from people who are too ill to continue to care for them or who have died. They are housebroken, domesticated, socialized, and usually loving. What a good companion that might be! Personally, I (MSI Press managing editor -- I am generally the one who writes our blog posts) "adopt" my pets from the street. Five of my current 6 cats were feral rescues, just picked up and brought in. As far as I know, none were abandoned but had been born "in the wild" and had scrapped for food. They did not know a kind touch, and vets wrote FERAL in big red letters across their charts. That is mainly because the cats hissed at them and either scratched or bit them or both. It takes some effort and TIME (not days and weeks, but months and

Feral Cats and MSI Press Staffers (and Authors) Carl and Betty Lou

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 Murjan, born in Jordan, traveled to the USA when he was just a couple of years old. He is the only domestic cat among the six cats, but he quickly established himself as the alpha cat. He sometimes thinks he is human and likes soft and warm sleeping spots. Other times, he is certain he is a dog, likes to be walked on a leash, and rolls over to have his belly rubbed.  Murjan loves to communicate, especially having night time discussions with his human.  He will even listen to and obey little ones.   For many months,  Happy Cat hung out in the bushes, waiting for the other feral cats to finish eating the food that had kindly been set outside. Then, one day he became very ill, climbed the 17 steps to the Leaver front door, where he fell, exhausted. Betty Lou discovered him there, scooped him up, and took him to the vet. Happy Cat had a serious lung infection. Once healed, it was not safe to let him outside. That did not matter because he was delighted to have found a home and will not ve

Save a Feral; Build a Shelter

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  It is cold in most of the northern hemisphere now. Snow, ice, and temperatures below zero can result in feral cats being in dire straits, trying to find places to be warm, especially in the winter. Fortunately, it is rather easy and inexpensive to build a feral cat shelter for your neighborhood visitors from coolers.                                                                                                                                                                  There are a couple different versions, but the one above, from a foam cooler is the one recommended by the ASPCA. Get instructions from the ASPCA HERE .

Alley Cat Allies - A Godsend and More for Cat Rescuers

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One of the most impressive cat advocacy and assistance organizations, Alley Cat Allies , may be far less known than their ability to help those who are casting about for help -- or for cats languishing or being killed in shelters. They are a wealth of information, connections, and guides to resources.  They also truly advocate, especially on behalf of cats in kill shelters. It is so unfortunate that many pet owners who can no longer care for their cats for reasons of health, finances, regulations, and the like often turn to shelters, assuming that their cat will be re-homed. All too often that does not happen, but, rather, the cat is euthanized. SPCA, for example, euthanizes, yet most people I know do not think that they do. People tend not to check out shelters in detail but operate on hope and assumption as if it were fact. Alley Cat advocacy is so needed for these situations. The following is from their "about us" page, but all their pages are equally rich. If you love cat

Grandma's Ninja Warrior Diary: The Power of Adrenaline

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 Yesterday, a newly adopted feral cat hid himself under our very large, 7-section sofa. I pushed the sofa out a bit to reach him and found that by doing so I had trapped his paw under one of the heavy bars that held the sections together in the back of the sofa. Concerned for his safety, I instinctively reached out with my left had, lifted up the end of the sofa (about three sections) and pulled the cat out with my right hand. My goodness, I thought, after letting the sofa back down, I have become quite strong from my training over the past seven months. Quickly, though, the reality set in. It as not my muscles alone that lifted the sofa. It was adrenaline pouring into the muscles, making them stronger. Very quickly, my wrist began to throb. Oh, oh! I made it through the night, sleeping though the pain -- I can do that. In the morning, the pain made it clear that I needed to confess to the doctor my foolishness at thinking I might be superwoman. I wrapped an ace bandage around