Sorry for the delay, I originally started writing this Wednesday evening, but school is back in session and has taken up a huge amount of my time in the past few days.
I got an update about my relocated cats Tuesday. Nancy, who owns the barn, called me to say they were doing well. I want to ask what this means, but it being only their third day there, not even their second full day there, I figured there wouldn’t be much progress with them and they would still be acting scared and shy. Nancy also mentioned that she plans on patching up the barn this spring or summer. She talked her husband into getting some new boards to patch up some of the larger holes in the loft, which will really cut down on the draft up there. She also mentioned that she is going to buy some straw to make nice dog house type shelters for the cats come winter. They already have the large bales of hay to hide in but those are located in other sheds on the property and not quite as sheltered from the weather as I would have liked. So having straw for them to snuggle in the nice protected loft, sounds wonderful! Nancy told me how concerned she had been about me on Sunday, and told me she really hoped I felt comfortable leaving them with her. She promised to take care of her as well as she could, which I assured her I believed. I explained that I wasn’t uncomfortable leaving them with her, just that it was so hard to leave them behind. As I mentioned in my last post, it was so hard for me to accept that I was leaving them behind. After all the time, energy, money and worry I put into them, it was hard to drop them off some place different, even if it is a good place.
It has been hard going by their garage too, it feels so lonely and empty without them sitting around outside it or running out to see me when they hear my car. And it is heartbreaking to see Poosh out there all alone. The poor baby. He is finally starting to make some progress trusting me again. I went over with food on Monday and sat a distance away from the food, watching for him. After a few minutes he finally stuck his head out of the garage at the delicious smell of food. He looked around, saw me and POOF! his head disappeared back into the garage. About five minutes later he stuck himself out again, this time a little further, and, again, the second he saw me he was gone. He didn’t come out again. Tuesday I decided to just put some food down and take a walk around the block so he could come out on his own and actually eat, since I was worried about how much food he had actually eaten in the previous days. I attracted my big Papa cat, and a raccoon, but I don’t know if Poosh actually got food. I left the food, in a cheap plastic bowl from the dollar store, hidden between two garbage cans so he could come out and eat on his own without having to be scared of people. When I came back an hour later the bowl was gone. Now this bowl was far too big for an animal to have carried off, so a human had to have picked it up; and it was hidden well enough that they had to have been looking for it. That pissed me off; far more than it should have. But it was the principle of the thing.
Wednesday was the worst. It was heart breaking. I put the food down between the garbage can and the wall of the garage, some place where he would have enough room to hide and eat, but where I could still see him. Then I went and hid in my car down the block. After what seemed like ages he appeared! He came out and he ate. I was so happy. Of course Papa showed up at the same time and chased him away. Male testosterone, *sigh* Poosh did get some food, he came out of the garage two separate times, approached the plate of food, stretched out, grabbed a bite and retreated with it. I felt so bad, because it was obvious he thought something was going to spring down on him like a mousetrap. After he ate a bit, not much, but something, he ran away down the alley. I saw him slink into a neighbor’s yard, and then I lost him. I nearly started crying on my way home, he was so scared and, I imagine, terribly confused and lonely. I think I am starting to make progress though. When I pulled up last night after class, around 10pm, he was sitting on the sidewalk taking in the sniffs and maybe enjoying the beautiful weather. Again he ran away as soon as he saw me, but it didn’t take as long for him to reappear for food. He did the same reach for the food then back away bit, but he came further out, made himself more visible and didn’t take as long to appear at the smell of food. He didn’t eat it all, completely disappeared after two grabs at food, but I figure it’s good progress. Since I have had better progress with him later at night I am going to try that again tonight. Hopefully he just feels braver at 10pm than he does at 7:30 pm.
As much as I would love to try to trap him tonight or even this weekend, I don’t think we are there yet. I have decided to try for three nights in a row of just getting him to eat without being too scared. Once I get three nights in a row (hopefully tonight) I am going to try just putting a trap near by. Not setting the trap, not putting the food in the trap or even close to the trap, just within eyesight so he can get adjusted to it. Once he gets comfortable with that, then I will try putting food and trap closer together, then just inside trap, then all the way in trap without it being set, and maybe, with any luck, by the end of next week, will be able to trap him again. That would be wonderful if I could manage that. *Fingers crossed*
In other news I also received one call back from the fliers I put out almost two weeks ago. He called the Chicagoland Stray Cat Coalition, his info was passed on to me and I recently called and left him a message. Hopefully he will call me back in the next day or so. *Fingers on other hand crossed!* I have also been helping a friend with a friendly cat she found just down the street from me. Fortunately, kitty, Tiana, was already spayed and tested negative on her combo (FIV/Feline leukemia). Not sure what is going to happen with her, she is a sweet girl, but is at least six-years-old and chipped to Anti-Cruelty Society. Obviously at that age she can’t go back there, I think Veronica (different Veronica than the one that helped me feed garage cats), is going to call the adopter on file at ACS and see how his cat ended up way out by us. But beyond that not sure what we/she will do.