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Another breakthru for me with Lucky Pierre

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Lucky, born feral about 3-1/2 years ago has been coming in the house at night every night for the last few months. I think this is in part because it has been getting colder, but also because he realizes how cushy all the beds, sofa's, cat perches, etc are inside. I've also spent a lot of time touching him, stroking him, and picking him up when he allows it.

This morning I woke up at 5:30 to let the dogs out. Lucky usually goes back outside first thing in the morning with the dogs. The house was dark (no lights on yet), and I have other cats that like to slip out the door. So this big cat comes up to the door wanting out. I reach down and start to push him back (not sure which cat it was), then started stroking the length of his back.

My breakthru: I realized that I've got to know him so well that I could tell by the feel of his fur that it was indeed Lucky. So I open up the door, let him out with the dogs.

A small thing, but I realized that I can tell who he is by touch. A feral cat (getting more and more semi-feral) at that!!
post #2 of 31
There isn't enough money in the world to buy the wonderful feeling you get when you make a breakthough of any kind with a feral. The warmth starts at your toes and goes all the way to your hair.

Good for you and wonderful for Lucky. You both have worked very hard.
post #3 of 31
That is wonderful!
post #4 of 31
Awwwww Congratulations on another break through and wishing you many more
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Lucky is such a large cat for a feral (probably 14-15 pounds) and solid muscle. The other night he was sleeping on the dining room chair when I had to herd the cats to the non-construction area. I walked up to him and gently picked him up. His claws went into the chair cushions and I had to extract them one by one. He stayed still as I carried him to the sun porch and placed him into a cushy chair in that room. He curled up and went right back to sleep. That was another defining moment for us and the moment when I realized just how big he has grown this year.
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 
You know how cats follow you in the bathroom and have that strong need to "help" you go potty? It's just hubby and I at home and we rarely shut the door behind us and our bathroom is pretty much the parade of cats.

Lucky has been inside the house enough times that he's witnessed the other cats come up to me for scritches while I'm sitting on the throne. Last night, for some odd reason, the other cats didn't see me go into the bathroom. Lucky followed me and started rubbing against my legs. I obliged him by reaching down and stroking the entire length of his body like I do to the others. He let out a purr and just stuck around until 2 cats realized I was in the bathroom and came in to investigate. He got nervous at that point and left.

I told my husband about it and he let out a "no sh*t, you are the cat lady". He knows Lucky well enought to realize this was a big breakthru.
post #7 of 31
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww he keeps coming around and coming around .......... keep posting his progress Way to go to you, you Cat Lady
post #8 of 31
simply marvellous cat lady

I love hearing stories about Lucky
post #9 of 31
Love it..these little breakthroughs mean so much.
post #10 of 31
Amy, I saw this thread at the top and got all excited hoping there was another big breakthrough - and there was!!
post #11 of 31
I have followed the posts about Lucky and I think he is a great cat and you are wonderful to be so caring about him. And he obviously knows it!
post #12 of 31
I didn't see the beginning of this thread when you started it, but it's such fun to read through!

Sounds like Lucky isn't really so feral anymore. Pretty soon, you won't be able to get him out of the house!

post #13 of 31
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Pretty soon, you won't be able to get him out of the house!
and what a wonderful thing that would be
post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
I don't push this boy and have left it totally up to him to socialize at his own pace. When I watch his behaviors, it enforces my ideas that cats learn more from each other than they ever do from us. What would prompt a feral cat to walk into a bathroom and rub against your legs? Watching other cats do it of course!

I do wish someday that he decides to never leave the house and live indoors. If that moment comes, you bet I'll be doing cart wheels.

Come to think of it, when he first started coming in the house, we'd be woken up in the middle of the night by loud MEOWLS and hissing. Lucky was always somewhere in the middle of it. That hasn't happened now for a few months. Hmmmm.....he's got friends inside!
post #15 of 31
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
.......I do wish someday that he decides to never leave the house and live indoors. If that moment comes, you bet I'll be doing cart wheels...
Now THAT I want to see!


...And you are SO right! All of our kitties after Lazlo unquestionably learned from watching him (or others) interact with us. Especially when it came to brushing. It was a hassle with Laz - but others took to it after watching him loving it!
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
About 8PM last night I sat on the sofa and thru my feet up. Lucky hopped up on the other end of the sofa, curled up and fell sound asleep. My dog Sam usually sleeps in that spot and came up to jump on the sofa. Good dog that he is (OK, well conditioned dog that he is), sees Lucky, puts a paw up on the sofa to ask permission and I tell him he can't disturb the kitty. He lays down on the floor with a humpff. But he did wake Lucky up in the process. Lucky looks at me, looks at Sam, then goes back to sleep.

About half hour later, Sam again asks permission to join me. I tell him it's OK but he has to lay in the center cushion of the sofa (between Lucky and I). At 75 pounds he's not entirely graceful and manages to jump up and only nudge Lucky a little bit. Lucky looks at me, looks at Sam, then goes back to sleep.

At 11:30, Spike needs walkies and comes over to wake me up (we were all asleep by that time). I stand up, Sam jumps off, and Lucky finally decides hes had enough disturbance.

But we got about 3-1/2 hours of time together on the sofa. I even tested him by resting my toes against him and he still didn't budge.

Another first in this house!
post #17 of 31
Awwwwwwwwww it seems like hes coming along at a faster pace
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Even thought it's almost summer, Lucky still likes to come inside the house in the evening. Although he is a short-haired cat, he gets knots on the top of his back where he obviously has trouble grooming himself (he is a very large cat).

So what the heck, I grab a brush and rub it down his back. He looks at me, lays down and let's me continue. Pretty soon he is purring with his eyes half closed, only to open them when I stop to pull the fur out of the brush. He didn't want me to stop.

After a few minutes, he rolls onto his back and spreads all 4 legs wide. Alrighty then, I start brushing his stomach, from his neck down to his rump. He only closes his eyes tighter and starts to purr louder.

He rolls back on his side and we brush some more. He stands up and walks around but never out of arms reach as he wanted to be brushed!

This went on for about 20 minutes. There's one little clump that I couldn't work out so will need to get the scissors on him his next venture inside.

Would you believe that a semi-feral cat loves to have their bellies brushed ?!?!?!?

It's not quite a cartwheel moment, but DH and I did do the big high 5.

I will need to keep the camera ready for the next time.......
post #19 of 31
Wow, thats amazing, I am soo happy for your and his progrees! Congratz
post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Lucky has just spent the better part of the last 48 hours inside the house. Actually, in the last 2 days, he went outside late last night when we walked the dogs then came back in this morning and hasn't left yet.

I picked him up and carried him to our scale to weigh him and he's close to 18 pounds. Solid muscle. He wasn't that big a year ago and he just turned 4 this year. I hope he doesn't become a mush-butt now that he has decided to lounge inside the house. But if he does, I'm not sure that I care right now - better for him to lounge inside than for me to worry about him outside.

I need to get more pictures......
post #21 of 31
MOM, that is sooooo wonderful !!!

I want to have the same thing for my William, and hopefully also with Ace! I have to get my indoor cats used to them being inside all at the same time though.

Your story gives me hope. Today I sat outside with William and he came over to me for petting, which is a breakthrough too, but we are outside.

I want to try some of the things that you are doing too. I am still on the mend but I hope to work with the kits this summer and will look at your threads for guidance .

Your kitties are so lucky to have you.
post #22 of 31
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by BarbB View Post
I have to get my indoor cats used to them being inside all at the same time though.
The indoor cats have watched Lucky thru the window for the last 4 years, so by the time he started to venture inside, it was usually nothing more than a good sniff then they would walk away.

My Spanky has started to groom him when he's inside, although I will admit that Spanky grooms everyone as he is my little house ambassador.

Last night Lucky and Pinky were giving each other massive head butts. Lucky, Pinky and Bob (my indoor/outdoor boy) actually share a mother - a feral cat that I couldn't get into a trap that would disappear for long periods of time then show up with another litter. Bob was her first born and Lucky her last. Pinky was somewhere in the middle. I honestly believe that they sense the relationship between them, as that is the natural bonding process that occurs in the wild. This also works in my favor.
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 
I opened up a thread with pictures here:

post #24 of 31
Those are GREAT pix MOM. I posted over there too. Lucky is one gorgeous kitty! I love the pic of you holding him :-)
post #25 of 31
Amy, Lucky is one amazing and lucky feral! And a beaut too!
post #26 of 31
Thread Starter 
Yesterday I tried to get on the computer and Lucky was sleeping in the desk chair so I simply picked him up and plopped him in my lap. He sat in my lap for about 5 minutes (WOW).

Right now he is sleeping on the floor about 2 inches from my feet. He wasn't there when I sat down, he just walked up to me, laid down and is now sound asleep.

I think Lucky is finally learning complete trust!! WOOHOO!!!!!
post #27 of 31
That is incredible! I am amazed you could pick him up. He is such a dear cat too. I think it must make him feel all warm and happy to be loved back too.

I love hearing this because it helps to keep me motivated to take little baby steps with my kitties and not just go "on hold" having reached a certain threshold.

I still have an indoor kitty (Pixie) who is in many ways more feral than my outdoor kitties. Picking her up would indeed be an indoor breakthrough! She has been with us for about 18 months and our main thing is getting her to bond to us as much as she has with our other cats. She is really a "cat's cat". With her it is grooming too. She is a slave to the brush!

This gives me hope for my William. He let me go to him somewhat to brush him outside. That was a big deal. He is so conditioned to run from anyone or anything coming at him. So I guess I am getting closer to where he thinks of me as another pal like Ace. I cannot really touch Ace yet. She thinks it is some alien hand. I think my key with her will be play therapy.
post #28 of 31
I just love reading about your breakthroughs with Lucky! I am so happy for both you (and DH) and for Lucky, who has finally found a way to love and trust someone!
post #29 of 31
Yeah!!! that's wonderful.... Breakthroughs are the most wonderful feeling in the world..........!

and it's nice to hear someone else has cats that "watch them".... on the throne.

I thought something was wrong with mine........ hehe
post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
I haven't posted an update on Lucky for a long time. Since the cold weather began, he has stayed inside the house the majority of each day. More often than not, he'll go outside when we take the dogs for a walk and comes back in when we come back inside. He likes to do his business outside still.

We got about 4 inches of snow yesterday. I can tell when he needs to relieve himself because he'll walk up to me meowling, then try to lead me to the door. He did this to me last night and when I opened up the door, he hit the snow and was obviously distressed by it. So I bet my DH that he would be back in 5 minutes. He took about 3 steps from the door, dug into the snow and squatted right there, then ran back to the door to come back inside. Less than 1 minute! He is turning into my indoor boy now!

And he is starting to come to me when I call his name. Just now I called him over to me and he walked right up and let me scritch his head for a few minutes. I pull out a brush and he is all over me. I even gave him full belly rubs the other night and he actually rolled onto his back and spread his legs when I started touching his stomach.

I doubt that he will ever be what people call a normal, socialized cat, but we have a good relationship going on. I suspect he will go back outside more when the weather warms up, as I can see that he is getting cabin fever in the house.
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