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Xerox, Junior, and Mason (good news)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
For those of you following my feral world, we recently had Xerox and Junior spayed and Mason neutered. It turned out that Junior, who has poor vision, sight, and if you ask me smell too, also had a very advanced middle ear infection. So she is on Clavamox, and while recovering stayed with the woman upstairs (who has a 6 yr old female cat).

Mason recovered with us because we wanted to adopt him. He was the friendliest feral out there - whenever he saw my husband, he rolled on his back and wanted belly rubs. If you go to the link in my sig and see my Yahoo photos, you will see my hand rubbing Mason as a tiny kitten. He loved human contact, but we already had 2 male brothers, and had never thought about bringing him in.

Mason was adapting well to living with us. He is larger but younger than our 2 males. They've been hissing a bit, but he is cool about it. He's still a bit afraid of our small dog even though he can keep her back with vocal cues (growling, hissing). She respects him at least that much! But he was crying a lot and looking for his sisters. Junior is not just his big sister - he drank her milk for almost 5 months after she let her babies die to care for him and his sister (Dixon) when they were 2.5 months old. So it's really quite the bond.

After a few days of crying especially at meal time, my husband and I decided that we should take in a sister, either Junior or Xerox. Junior needed a home anyway. She'd never make it in the wild/suburbs with bad sight, bad hearing, and possibly also a bad sense of smell PLUS she needs meds and attention for her infection. We checked with the woman upstairs, and since she had decided NOT to keep Junior, we said we would. Then we'd know that Junior was cared for, in a home, and Mason has his sister/Mom.

I brought Mason an 8x10 colour pic I had printed of Junior on glossy paper, and he couldn't take his eyes off it. I knew he'd know her by sight, even if she won't know him at first from neutering and he won't know her at first from her being spayed. He came over and smelled the pic, and then he looked REALLY depressed. He was crying and chirping. But Junior was on her way...

Well what a day Friday was! After dinner, Barbara caught Junior and brought her downstairs. Right now, Mason is set up in the basement, which is the only place in the house the dog won't go. He is confident enough to walk around the main level, which is GREAT, but if the pup walks up to him, he tends to run down the steps. Anyway, upon seeing Junior, Mason rubbed up against her. I'm sure he knew who it was. She hissed and swatted at first, but over time, she seems to have figured it out. I haven't seen them cuddling like the old days, but she's not rejecting him. When she walked over to their food tonight (separate bowls since hers had meds in it), he walked away so she could eat. What a sweetie. But I had to get him to his food and her to hers. Once her medication is through, I'll certainly not care who eats what when!

The difference in Mason's behaviour was immediate. He wanted to take a nap, which means to me that he felt protected and comfortable and trusting. He had been sleeping with his head up and he was between two boxes in our basement, kinda hiding. But with Junior there, he laid down on his side in the clear open area. He let us rub him again - he had been running away from us more and more as time went on since I think we were losing his trust. So now we can cuddle with him all the time. And his confidence is way up... today, I played with a teaser with our 2 males and Mason in a little triangle. They are getting to be friends though our dominant cat still hisses at him.

Mason is very interested in these males. He's 9 months old and Mickey and Luke are 2.5 yrs old. He watches them closely when they come down to use their litter boxes. Tonight, he jumped on a ledge over Mickey's box and watched him cover over his poo. I really think Mason is trying to learn from them. He's had no real males in his life - he was the only boy born who was still around. And yes, both Mason and Junior took to litter boxes IMMEDIATELY, and they are using them perfectly. I think Mason stays only in his, and Junior goes in whichever one she's wandered into.

Anyway, I've just been accused by my husband of writing a book and not a post, so I'll end for now. I just wanted everybody to know that we took in the 2 ferals, Barbara upstairs may take in a third from this family (Xerox the 6-month-old), and it's SO easy. Even Junior Cat, who we thought was grumpy and not friendly, LOVES rubs. She seems really happy, and I don't know if it's the meds clearing her problem, being in a home, or both!!! It can be done, and it's easier than I thought it would be.

Lots of love, and pics soon.

post #2 of 19
What a wonderful outcome! Thanks for brightening up my day!
post #3 of 19
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Here are some pics - sorry for download times for people dialing up.

Mason, sitting up tall, where the basement stairs meet the main floor.

Mason smiling when I give him a rub. I have big hands for a woman, so his head is easily grapefruit-sized.

This is Junior cat. You can see her bad eye, and you can probably tell she is holding her head off to the side. This is her hiding under a piece of IKEA furniture in our kitchen - she was trying to get away from the dog, who just LOVES her. This piece is 15" across, and Junior is 6.5 pounds, so you can get a feeling for how small she is.

They have the same Mom, which is why they have some of their look in common, but Junior looks JUST like her Mom and Mason looks 95% like his Dad.

post #5 of 19
What beautiful kitties!
post #6 of 19
Beautiful Kitties!
post #7 of 19
Deb - your stories warm my heart. You and hubby are such angels for caring for this little family group. They re sooooo fortunate to have you in their lives. Keep up the good work oh Feral Queen & Feral King! Maybe we need to make your neighbor a Princess? The pics are magnificant. I wish you well with your family of cats!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
I told my neighbour she was a saint. She took in Junior when we thought Junior was untouchable. She ended up spending NO time in the cage, and just lived as a house cat and had LOTS of fun. Now, we can touch her, though we have to make sure first that she sees us coming and recognises us. Otherwise, we get hissing, spitting, and swatting.

The only problem we have with Junior is that she STILL doesn't recognise Mason - not too surprising with those senses - and hisses and swats a lot at everybody. She just tried to kick Mason off of his food bowl when they just spent MONTHS sharing the same bowl. I hope over time she figures it out!

Mason is doing really well, and now living more upstairs than in the safe basement. Junior is only coming out at night when the dog is asleep. Hopefully she'll get more comfy with living upstairs too... it's not our intention to have 2 cats on one floor and 2 cats on another! Our guys only go into the basement for litter and some exploration, and we hope the same will be true for Junior and Mason.

post #9 of 19
Is Junior recognizing Mason yet? Just wondering about your brood.....
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi other Deb. Things are going EXCELLENTLY here. By now, everybody is pretty much friends with everybody else. The only exceptions are sometimes our dog gets too excited about Junior and rushes her. Junior hisses, tends to lose her balance, and runs away. We also still get a bit of static between Mason and Junior. He clearly wants to be close to her, and sometimes she's OK with that, and sometimes she sounds like big fighting cat.

So I am not sure if she knows who that is. They are not cuddling up like the old days, but they can eat right next to each other without a fight. I just can't really tell - I only know it's not like it was. It was an all-day cuddle fest between Junior and Mason for basically five months out there. Maybe it's also that he's growing up and doesn't need her anymore as a surrogate Mom.

Here is a funny pic of Junior sleeping on our couch, cuddled up to the remote control.

But everybody is great. Luke and Mason are playing at night. My husband caught Mickey licking Mason's head today. And Mickey and Mason share food. It's going very well, and you'd never believe Mason and Junior were outside cats. They want more rubs than our indoor guys, and react so over the top to rubs... purring, cooing, rolling around, smiling. They are just lovies.

post #11 of 19
Deb - I am so thankful that things are going well for you and the kits. I don't know if it is something about these feral babies, but Rip and Smudgie (who were feral) are the most loving and kind kittens ever! They are 9 months old now and have just had their surgeries. I captured the last of Goldies kittens tonight. Scampi is 5 months old and Rip and Smudgie have been over to the condo welcoming her to the house!
Keep me posted....and What a great pic that was of Junior. She will be fighting your hubby for the remote! It looks like she sure has made herself to home!
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Yes they sure have made themselves at home. Junior has been nearly everywhere, and Mason has been absolutely everywhere, including places I didn't think possible. We have this fountain which is a large carved rock art piece. He climbed up onto it, and I have a pic of him sitting on top of it, looking out the window.

Speaking of catching, we caught Little Cat, everybody's Mom, this morning. I bet she was already pregnant, but we wanted her spayed since if we didn't get her, all of this was for nothing. She's a total baby kitty machine, and we knew we had to have her done too.

So unless Mason's sister Dixon (still missing, 2 months now) shows up, we are done with spaying and neutering. We plan to stop putting out food since we don't want the neighbourhood males or local raccoons deciding to now live here!
post #13 of 19
That is great news about Little Cat! She sure has had enough babies, like my Goldie! Will Little Cat live with you as well?
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
We overdid it at 3 cats, and are completely wacky at 4 cats. Little Cat is completely unfriendly, never been touched, and more than that, we don't have the room. Plus we're getting a few "behaviour" problems with our jealous dog. Next animal should be a pup playmate for her.
post #15 of 19

they look so! happy there they are so beautiful.
i was wondering you said something about a dog do they get along your dog doesn't try to bite them or anything like that.
i was just wondering if they did.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know this isn't common, but our dog LOVES cats, and always has. She was born in a private home, not a puppy mill or store, and they had 2 all white deaf cats. When you said "cat" to my dog the first year of her life, she looked UP, like the cat is the animal 'up there.' The day we met our dog, Rita, she was 7 weeks old, and she walked up my body and sat on my shoulder. She loves cats. However, she is a smooth-coated Jack Russell Terrier.

We got our first 2 cats as playmates for our dog. She was very excited about them as first, but they settled into being housecats and won't play with her much. However, the outside cats were always endlessly exciting for Rita. She would demand to be on the kitchen table, on the cat tree, or even to go out the window so she could see them or be with them. Junior Cat was always her favourite, so now that Junior lives with us, Rita tries to play with her. Since Junior's sight and hearing are off, she's not too hip to playing with the dog, and tends to hiss and run away.

Rita doesn't want to bite them. She wants to give them a MAJOR sniffing, and I've seen her lick the cats and do tiny nibbles with her tiny front teeth. No biting or any kind of attacking. Though when she wanted to start things with our first housecats, she would open her mouth over their heads and go "aaahhahhaaahha," kind of a long nasal aaa sound like is in cat (not ah like calm), and it fluctuates in pitch. But she never bit anybody - it was all silliness. And she respects them. If they hiss and swat and make it clear that they don't want her near, she will back off.

I think it helps to have an amazingly smart dog who loves cats.

- Debbie
post #17 of 19
Mason looks just like Jake! Very beautiful kiddens!~!!! God Bless you for taking care of them and the rest of the poor ferals.

Up my neck of the woods in Newburyport (fishing town) they have people who tend to the ferals - the fishermen actually do too, because the katz keep the yucky rats away from their catches!!! I think that it's great that you do this....
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the kind words, Janet. I no longer feel like "we're doing this." It's turned out to be a wonderful thing. Junior gets her medicine and is getting better, my husband gets Mason, the 2 original cats are playing with the 2 new cats and licking heads, and the pup is excited about it all. We have 2 new cats who are afraid of nothing and want constant rubbing. They want more rubbing and interaction than the original housecats do! Interesting stuff.

I'm still photographing them like crazy. But I haven't had time to update the Yahoo site yet. My latest pics are of Junior Cat eating a cooked shrimp, which took her around 15 minutes since she's missing some of those tiny front teeth.
post #19 of 19
i am so happy you are magnificient parents.
take good care for them and remember give them lots of
love. :daisy:
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