Monday, April 13, 2009


Sadly one of the nasty things about living in the country is that we become the dumping ground for unwanted pet. Maybe it’s because our animal shelter is often burdened by animals that are rescued from collectors.

The photo above is of my cat Abby. One day I saw this tiny kitten skulking across our deck trying to get out of the rain. Being feral, she tried to make herself really small and I thought she just had really short legs. I thought she was a wiener cat. After seeing her hanging out for a couple of days I put some food out for her and she soon became comfortable eating what we provided. I couldn’t get close to her.

Knowing how short the life span of feral is, I wanted to habilitate her; she showed some nice personality traits, but she was shy and frightened. I caught her in my Have-A-Heart trap and I brought her in the house to get her out of the cold. We kept her in one of our bathrooms for a couple of days with food, water and a warm place to sleep.

We were able to get her into a cat carrier to take her to a vet to make sure she didn’t have feline leukemia. The vet found her healthy and guessed her age at six to eight weeks. We brought her back home and let her have run of the house so it would be imprinted as her home. After another week of good feeding she went into heat, which made her about six-months old. It was her lack of good nutrition that dwarfed her. She was and still is a tiny cat now that she is nine years old.

Abby is still squirrely. She will not allow us to touch her as long as we are standing up. She has no problem hopping up on our laps if we are sitting down. She has no vices as far as clawing the rugs or furniture. She is quiet and she hides well. The funny thing about her is that she always looks like she is angry, even when she is purring contently. I know she isn’t angry, she just has one of those scowly looks about her.


Blogger MissKris said...

Our neighborhood is loaded with feral cats. About 20 years ago a neighbor bought a cat for his little girl, never bothered to have it fixed, and most of the cats running around here today are a result of that, coming down thru the generations. My neighbor and I try hard with any new batch of kittens we happen to spot to get them caged and taken to a woman who specializes in finding homes for feral kittens. We're not very successful, tho, because there are so many spots the mother cats can hide. It breaks my heart that each new generation of kittens most likely won't make it. But we're also dreadfully tired of them messing all over the yards as well. If only pet owners would be RESPONSIBLE!!!! Same goes for all the dog walkers who allow their dogs to poop in my grass and never clean up afterwards. People can just be so crass sometimes.

4:37 AM  
Blogger MissKris said...

Oh, and another neighbor took in a feral male several years ago, named him Barney. You want to talk about one squirrely cat, he's it!

4:38 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Beneath that (sometimes) grouchy exterior of yours lies a heart of gold. Abby sounds like a sweet cat. Perhaps she learned to put on that outward scowl from observing her owner? ;)

5:42 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

IF....i ever get another cat, it will be one like abby, an inny/outy type cat. The only reason our cat is a totally inside cat is because our kids pediatrition said so. with the twins allergys ..keeping a cat totally indoors reduces the rick of outside allergens being brought inside onto pillows and sleeping areas. harder still is dealing with de-clawing.

5:53 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Although the wife and I both love cats, she is allergic and we can't keep one in the house. Pity. We have two wonderfully idiotic dogs that we rescued from a shelter down in Arkansas, right before they were going to be put down. They were the only two who survived out of a litter of eight and spent the first two months of their lives in an animal shelter. Daisy is loud and gregarious and friendly to everybody. Daphne is skittish and shy around strangers and will only come up to someone who is not my wife or me if they are sitting down. Our daughter has lived with us for over three years now and Daphne is still afraid of her if she is standing up. But if Megan is sitting down on the couch or the floor, Daphne will come up and allow Megan to pet her. And she does this cute little Elvis grin when she's nervous. Curls up one side of her lip like she's snarling. But it's a nervous grin. Strange dogs.

8:00 AM  
Blogger weese said...

yay for ferals.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

yikes! Is this turning into a cat blog? LOL

4:38 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...

I feel your pain, Auntie.
There is only one thing that grosses me out worse than pot-lucks and that is cats or dogs in the house! :-Q
OH MY GODDDDDDD!! Imagine eating food at a pot-luck that was prepared in a house where filthy animals are allowed to freely roam?
I'm getting sick just thinking about it.

7:33 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Kris, if only they could be irradiated.

Beth, Grouchy? Thanks ; )

Lopy, declawing is like taking off the ends of your fingers to the first joint. I'm surprised any vets still do the procedure.

Darev, Odd they are even related when they behave so differently coming from the sane environment.

Weese, sorry about your wild cat.

Auntie, this is all about the Mom Blog comment, eh?

Gearhead, I agree for the most part, but somehow I can't help but think you are bitter because your wife won't let you have chickens.

10:36 PM  
Blogger MissKris said...

What?! You wrote about Mom Blogs somewhere? I missed it?! I hate them! They're as boring as when I was a young mom and the women would gather together in the kitchen to talk about baby bowel movements and sleepless nites. I'd go out with the men in the living room and talk about the REAL stuff, ha!

4:52 AM  
Blogger MissKris said...

I try REAL hard to keep my blog not too much of a Grandma Blog. I hope I accomplish that! In case I forget that I commented on this, if you DID write something about Mom blogs, would you email me the link? I'd LOVE to read what you had to say!

4:53 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Kris I didn't. That was an inside joke for some locals.

5:38 AM  

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