Caring for Feral Cats Teaches True Meaning of Unconditional Love

I am extremely excited to be updating today!  It has been such a busy feral cat week for me!  On one of the coldest days of the year I bundled myself up and set out to walk the neighborhood with my community appeal letters.  Giving fliers to the neighbors is hard for me, because I am a little too unassuming and I like to avoid conflict at all costs. I went out with the letters with a high level of trepidation, terrified someone would confront me and ask what I was doing, or that I would get people calling to complain about the cats and demand their removal. Fortunately (fingers crossed) I have yet to receive any angry calls. I did receive a call from a neighbor who occasionally feeds the cats.

Papa when he was caught

When I went to meet him and his wife  I learned that Papa cat, the big ol’ tom I trapped this summer after three years of trying, hangs out on their porch. I thought for sure Papa was gone, so it is good to know he is still catting around somewhere. But more importantly they are allowing me to trap in their yard come March. Yay! On a sadder note, they started feeding cats after they found one dead next to their dryer vent. The cat was not “one of mine” but I was aware of this cat, I had heard about him, though I only saw him once. It breaks my heart to think I wasn’t able to help him or ease his suffering. I just have to focus on all the good I have done for the 11 cats I have caught, and all the litters I have prevented.

I have also been working with my Little Black for the past two weeks, getting her used to petting so she can come inside.  I allowed her to come inside a few times and she never strayed far from the door way. She liked inside, especially on the bitter cold days that followed the blizzard. She was especially excited when she saw my cats (note, this was a time she slipped past me when I was going out to feed her, otherwise my cats were locked away to avoid any cat fights).  She has continued to make great progress with touching, especially now that I don’t let her inside. I am allowed to pet her tail without any apparent concern on her part, I can almost run my hand down her back/side without her complaining. Last night she made the motions of rubbing her cheek against my hand, she just forgot to actually touch my hand. But it is great progress.  I have temporarily halted the journey inside for her, since she was making a big game of it.

 

Momma Kitty on Wednesday morning, looking a little less muddy

I wonder how much interest she will actually have in coming inside though, now that her buddy has returned. That’s right, my beautiful Momma kitty has returned! I opened the door Monday morning, Valentine’s Day, and to my great surprise found a very muddy, traumatized and hungry looking Momma cat standing on my deck. My heart swelled with excitement, love and joy at the sight of her. I had almost written her off, but I knew if anyone could survive it would be her. So all my kitties are now accounted for.  Her return was the best Valentine’s Day present I could have received. It reminded me what true, unconditional love is, a fitting reminder on Valentine’s Day.

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