I just combed my feral cat.

little-black-19I just combed some clumps of matted fur out of the coat of my feral cat. That’s right. I just combed one of my feral cats. She confuses me so. She refuses to let me touch her, but I can comb giant mats of fur from her sides and play with her. She tries to follow me inside, yet disappears for hours at a time while she explores the neighborhood. Little Black is the strangest cat I know. She runs to see me when I come outside, and follows me around, yet I cannot touch her. I cannot get too close to her. I have certainly been on the business end of her claws a few times when I got too close.

I have no doubt that one day Little Black will be my “formerly feral” cat. In the mean time I have to wonder what she is thinking. I comb her, she screams and walks away. I turn around she is following me. I try to touch her or comb her again and the scenario repeats itself. If I hadn’t known her from way back, I would  think she was someone’s shy, abandoned cat. However I know at one point she was feral. Not as feral as her mom/sister/cousin/friend/whatever their relationship is, but still within the definition of feral.

Now I have a cat who is happy as can be outside, very bonded to me and very bonded to her buddy who is still as feral as can be and wants NOTHING to do with people or inside.  And  thus presents my dilemma. What do to with them. I am sure with enough time Little Black would come around to be a friendly, happy indoor cat. Mama I have my doubts. I know she will never be a loving snuggly lap cat. I wonder, however, if she would adjust to life indoors. She has come to tolerate us, she knows who we are and trusts us. Still she stays on the far end of the deck when the family is outside, as far away from us as possible if she decides to show herself at all. Would she ever adjust to indoor life or would she be one of the perpetually stressed out, unhappy indoor feral cats? I won’t ever know till I try.  Yet, I don’t want to put her under stress if it is not needed.

There is also the sticky situation of my two 17-year-old cats. They would SO not accept two new cats into the home. Oh cats. What do I do with you? Can’t you all stop behaving like cats for once and make my life simple?


One thought on “I just combed my feral cat.

  1. ScottG says:

    Thanks, I love this story! I actually have a feral cat who has lived indoors with us for the past 12 years, she was young when we tried to TNR her but the location where she was refused to have her back so we tried to socialize her. Didn’t work, she was too set in her feral ways. But now 12 yrs later she is still feral lives entirely indoors, plays with the other cats, takes food from our hands but will not allow us to pet her. When needed she allows us to comb her but we too have lost some blood trying. Through it all she is a member of our family and is as loved as the other cats (I suspect our vet feels differently) so it sounds to me like you are in the same boat, that your relationship with her is perfect, it’s right where SHE wants it to be.

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