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Here's our Feral Cat Story

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
After reading so many of the posts, I realize now the correct term for our new kitty is feral, not stray. We live in rural Georgia on a 180 acre farm with 3 cats named Dixie, Noel, and now, Casey, a great pyrenees we call Storm, a rabbit named Hugs, guinea pig named Gitchie, five hermit crabs (I forget all their names), 3 mares named Jesse, Sugar, Honey and gelding named Desperado and about 100 head of cattle. In late October of this year, a gray female cat showed up near our home (my husband insisted she was dumped) with what I assume was her litter of three solid black, long-haired kittens. The mother was (and still is) extremely illusive but the kittens were somewhat curious and most likely, just extremely hungry.

At first they were all like little ghosts peeping out of the woods at us, but as we continued to set out food for them at the edge of the woods, they became more and more visible. When the weather turned bitter in December, they took to the barn and in the meantime, two of the kittens struck up friendships with the horses. One remained in the shadows. The male of the three became friendly and playful and took to attending all the riding lessons with the girls. Before long, he was named Black Jack and my daughter's riding teacher took him home with her. He LOVES her horses and is an absolute lover boy, now.

His companion and sister began to follow him into our presence before his departure and bloomed under the extra attention she received my daughters once he was gone. I rushed this a bit at one point and received a panacked bite from her when I tried to carry her to the house. (I have to admit it was extremely painful and I spent the next two weeks being treated for a nasty infection.) However, as the days went by she became more trusting and she developed an extremely affectionate and nutty personality.

In December, I found a home for her with my adult nephew and she has since settled in beautifully as queen of the castle. In the meantime, we made very little progress with the third kitten, and the mother had disappeared all together. She hovered nervously in the dark corners of the barn and bolted if we tried to make any contact with her. She was horrified by our Great Pyrenees in spite of the fact that he made several extremely gentle efforts to befriend her. As Christmas approached, we had moved a retired show horse, named
Sugar, into our barn for our youngest daughter. She is old and
gentle and absolutely precious. A true baby-sitter that should be dipped in gold as far as I'm concerned (but that's another story)

Apparently, there was something about her that lured the little cat in. My Pyrenees adored the new horse two, and when cold weather set in, I would arrive in the barn to find all three animals resting together in companionable silence. I guess it was then that the little cat began tolerate our presence and then to follow us out to the arena when we were riding and linger at the horses' feet and allow herself to be petted....

We were delighted with the unlikelyhood of the whole situation, and her beauty... She is black as ink, with shiny, long hair and deep, green eyes. Petite, and very feminine in a way, with a tiny little,
unassuming chirp of a voice. She was still a ghost in the barn however, until late January - I suppose, now in retrospect, she was in heat - because she initiated contact and wanted to be petted and meowed at us for the first time. Then, the girls were able to coax her into the house and after a week or so, she never left. We talked briefly about finding her home, but no one was very serious. She seemed to BELONG here more than the others....

Its all really pretty amazing now that I'm writing it down...I have taken the sweetness of the situation for granted until now, I think. Its kind-of hard to remember that we had to work at it since she's sort-of taken over the entire upstairs of the house.

I'm so glad she's here so we can take care of her and her little family too....

Well, that's our story.
post #2 of 10
Oh! There are tears in my eyes! What a wonderful story. I am so glad you and your family were there to help socialize these wonderful cats and to find them all good homes.

I can't wait to hear the story of the retired horse. We have lots of horse lovers on board as well. (Make sure you ask Hissy about her horse Racer.)
post #3 of 10
Noelsmama, that is such a wonderful, wonderful story!!!! I'm so glad you shared it with us. And - though this is a cat board, we do discuss lots of other things (especially in the cat lounge). I'd love it if you wanted to share Sugar's story.... if you do write it up in the Cat lounge, would you let us know here so I don't miss it?

Do you have the ability to post pics? If you have them in electronic format but don't know how to resize them for posting or something, I'd love to help. Just e-mail them to me at laurie@savesamoa.org.

Also, a couple of final questions. Is Noel the "ghost" from the barn?

And.... can we have your permission post this wonderful, wonderful story on our rescue website, www.savesamoa.org? (You can click on my e-mail to read some of the other cat rescue stories).

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
It will be fine if you want to post the story. Noel actually has a great story all her own. She's about 8 years old and she came with my gelding when I bought him. LOL.... The couple who owned him were going on the mission field, and they were broken hearted over their animals, so I took her too. She and Des (my horse) are big buddies, but she is also very attached to my Great Pyr.

Anyway, this couple moved an old house out to the country at Christmas time, and somehow, after a one hour drive and setting the house down, etc. They were wandering through the house "pieces" that night and found this teeny tiny kitten in the corner of one of the rooms. She was about four weeks old, so they had to bottle feed her. Needless to say, after hearing her story, I had to take her home with me.

Our other cat, Dixie, was an adult cat at a shelter. Eight months old when we found her. We went for a kitten, but we fell in love with her and .... she too came home with us!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
OOps I goofed up and posted a new thread instead of a reply...

but...Noel is eight years old... her story is on "our cats"
Dixie is three and she is a mess - a goofy goofy nut-
the new kitty's name is Casey.

I'll try to get a good picture of her and send it to ya. She's a very pretty girl when she doesn't look so grumpy..
post #6 of 10
What a wonderful story and has truly touched me deeply . How wonderful of you to care for them and even found homes . Bless you for doing all that .
post #7 of 10
Noelsmama, I sent you a Private Message. Just in case you're not familiar with this system, you can access Private Messaging within TCS by clicking on the button called "user cp" (on the rows of buttons under the Royal Canin ad near the top of the page).

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Laurie - I feel like a dufus, but I still don't see how to access my private messages...
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Never mind...I've got it now!!!
post #10 of 10
LOL! I didn't even know they existed for like a year!
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