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Worried sick

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'd posted a thread a couple of weeks ago about introducing my feral boy to a backyard enclosure. I was going to relocate him because he was losing the only home he's ever known - an old, unused garage.

This past Tuesday (Nov. 4) the garage was demolished. I'd been trying to trap my little guy for weeks, but he didn't cooperate. The good news is that he got out of the garage before it came down.

Tuesday night I saw him - crouched in the parking lot where the garage had been located. He meowed a little bit - it was different than usual, scared -sounding. Though he usually lets me pet him, he wouldn't come near me or let me approach him. I left food and a little shelter (under the deck of one of the garden apartments at one end of the parking lot).

I haven't seen him since then. I feel terrible about this, like I've let him down. If only I could have trapped him, he'd be safe in my yard.

I'm sticking to my twice daily feeding schedule. I walk all around the area calling him. I leave the food. I know losing his home is a traumatic situation for him, but would he leave an area that's otherwise completely familiar to him? He's lived in the garage 9 years. I've been taking care of him the entire time.

I dread going there tonight and not seeing him again. Just thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. Has anyone been through a similar situation? Any thoughts on this?
post #2 of 9
I absolutely know the feeling of panic when you go to feed a cat you are caring for and they are not there. Aside from trapping him, would he have let you just pick him up and put him in a carrier? Don't give up, it has just been 2 days and he may just be hiding. After 9 years, he is depending on you and will be expecting you. I will be praying you can get him. Please let us know.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great news! Saw my boy tonight!!!

My little guy is still acting frightened, but he's eating. He talked to me a bit too, though not with his usual meows. I think I can pretty much guess what he's saying...

Just getting a glimpse of him would've been enough, but to know for sure that he got a good meal...let's just say this made my month!!!

KRZ, thank you so much for your kind words. Originally my plan was to pick my kitty up and drop him in a carrier - I've done it before when he was sick or hurt and needed to go to the vet. This time, he got away from me, and it really set back my plans to get him out of the garage. After that, I couldn't make any sudden moves without him bolting. I had no choice but to try to trap him. But I ran out of time with the demolition on Tuesday.

I'm hoping there's still a chance that I can get him to my yard before the weather turns bad.

It was so great to see him!!!
post #4 of 9
I am so glad he is ok!

Sending good trapping vibes you way!
post #5 of 9
Oh, I am so happy you saw him and he had a good meal! I know how you were feeling, you don't know where they are and you imagine the worst-and then they show up-and you are right-such a feeling of relief. I am going through a similar situation right now-it is a long story-but I am hoping to trap soon. This particular feral only comes to eat between midnight and dawn-but I know it is definitely her and I am determined to get her. Good luck with your boy, I am sure he will love his new home-you are working so hard for him and he will love you for it.
post #6 of 9
I am SO glad he's back! We ALL know that heartache.

When you're sure he's coming regularly, I'd give it a week of regular feeding at a particular time. Then I'd put out VERY LITTLE FOOD - like almost none - one night so he's good and hungry the next day. I'd wash the trap, spray it with feliway, put some REALLY stinky food in it, cover the bottom with potting soil (so he doesn't have to walk on the wires and it lifts right up through it), and put either sticks and leaves over it or a light blanket. Then put a REALLY stinky food in there - salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring - something like that.

You're doing a wonderful thing.

Good luck!

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Looks like this is going to be a little like a roller coaster ride... now I haven't seen my little guy since Thursday night.

The one thing that keeps me going is that I'm almost positive he's eating the food I'm leaving. I can see faint paw prints on the plate and I don't think it's a raccoon. Raccoons wouldn't have even left the plate in one piece, or left behind scraps of food.

I really underestimated how traumatic this situation would be for him. My heart breaks when I imagine him coming back to his home only to find a hole in the ground.

After 9 years I was able to give him tummy rubs and now he's afraid to go anywhere near me.

Thanks, KRZ, KatKisses, and Laurie for all your good wishes and advice. I'm nowhere near giving up, but it sure would be a relief to actually see him again.
post #8 of 9
I am so happy you are not going to give up on him,, he depends on you. But seeing him would definitely help your morale!! The cat I have been feeding every single night won't even let me get near her. She now eats on my front porch, which is covered and gated, she can get through easily. I have a shelter there for her too. Everyone kept telling me it couldn't be her, it was probably racoons or something else. A racoon would have left a mess, and dumped the water bowl. Last week I actually saw her crossing the street in the afternoon-of course she ran when I called to her. But now that I know it is her, I am going to trap her. My concern is that she may have kittens somewhere and I don't want to leave them abandoned. If your guy used to let you pet him, I am sure he will warm up to you again, poor guy is probably confused and scared. Does he have any place else to find shelter? I will be praying for a good outcome for both of you!!
post #9 of 9
I can imagine how you feel, worrying and wondering about the little fellow, especially after caring for him for so very long.

My prayers are with you, KTLynn! I hope you catch him soon.

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