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Sharing about Maj. Grey

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Maj. Grey is coming along. Yesterday I
caught him sitting at the entrance of
one of my feral shelters...yayyy! Maybe
maybe he is going in there to sleep...

Thur. Fri. Sat. and Sunday he
was all day in the yard - and
from what I can tell
all night too (didn't leave yard at
all, unless it was after I went to bed
between 11 and 8)

Today it started to rain and storm -
I made preparations ahead of time
yesterday to make the yard
a shelter place - esp. under my kayak -
I put a large piece of wood up against
the overturned kayak (which is up on hangers
on the fence), and used tarp to make
a tunnel roughtly the length of the
yak, that should be dry and out of most

Then I put a board on top of the feral
shelter that is up on hay bales (the
one I saw Maj. Grey investigating...

So now it too has an overhang to keep
dry in the rain where he can sit outside
and yet be dry...

I put a board up on bricks and put a
plastic tub on its side with a piece of
wood on top of it, under the stairs he seems
to favor...

Lastly I put the other feral shelter under the
stairs by the tree... tho he has NOT gone in it
that I can tell...

I went home for dinner today, and called him
just as the rain was starting..

he came
from the gully, poor dear in the rain,
and I fed him.

I looked out and he had
left, but not I think the yard... I think
he's going under the kayak!! I didin't
want to check tho. in case I disturbed him.

Also, this am he was coming up the stairs towards
the top deck, a really first!

now he has made it to sitting on the stair landing!!!

We are ready to start the trapping attempt,
but will wait till it clears...(no rain or snow).

Hopefully we will be able to get this sucker
settled!! He definitely HAS some type of
bond with me (coming when I call for food),
and he has been watching (longingly?) as
I pet my baby Lexi outdoors - and as she
prances inside.. he's figured out that she
goes in an out alright!

see Maj. Grey, nothing to fear about being near me!
post #2 of 14
It's nice to hear how well he is progressing with you. Certainly a lot of careful preparations for him. I'll bet soon he will come to you for petting.

I missed something. Will you TNR him when you trap him? Will he be coming back to your yard?

Nice to hear someone else that spends that kind of time making sure they are safe.
post #3 of 14
Congratulations on your success with Maj. Grey! I read your post with interest - I hope more people read this & see how a little imagination can help in providing ferals/homeless kitties with shelter & comfort in the winter months. you are a true guardian angel for cats! Thank you for keeping us posted! I'll be looking foward to reading the TNR post for this brave little kitty! {{{Prayers & vibes}}} for continued success with Major Grey! Susan
post #4 of 14
Please trap him as soon as possible....today is a beautiful sunny day. It would be perfect.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. Maj. Grey is doing really well! He spends
most time in the yard now. Denning in the shelter
under the stairs - It is a 2 story Indy Feral shelter,
which has pine needles on the bottom layer
that rests on the ground (I couldn't get
straw, and the pine needles were free from the trees,
so I raked up, dried them in sun,
and then put down a nice deep
layer (2, 3 inches) on top of a piece of water heater
bubble wrap - to insulate from ground and reflect
heat back. Maj. Grey loves it!

He even lets me be in the yard looking
at him while he is in his shelter!! Yayyy!!

He has started coming round the front of the
house, a major shock - he didn't run when I opened
front door for Lexi to come in - he even followed Lexi
and I and Diablo on our "walk about" last night!!

Wow. Now he knows I walk my cats. Wonder
what he's thinking about that!!?

He is there for food on time, comes when summoned
by can of cat food and spoon tapping it. somestime
to my voice. Doesn't run now. Letting me get
much closer. Eventually will be able to touch him
as he eats I think...

As to fixing. I will TNR - but I am going to wait till
it is starting to spring - before the mating tho.
I am well aware of what that means - kittens
galore, more fights etc. and I don't want that for
Maj. Grey!!

But I am concerned - he has to defend the yard
against other male cats coming in - so I think
he "needs" all the balls he has! That's why I'm

After TNR - I hope he will stick around for food,
and forgive me the pain etc. of the vet visit.
Then, during spring/summer he will roam away
more - but come back for food etc. Essentially
he will be an "outdoor" cat.

Eventually when my big black guy goes over the rainbow
bridge (heart breaking thought) I will take in Maj.
Grey to the house. He is already on good
/ okay terms with Miss Lexi the youngest cat.

Got my fingers crossed and hoping this plan
of mine works. If it doesn't - he's still getting
Trapped Neutered and fixed and released. And
as long as I'm living where I am, I'll be feeding
and caring for. If I ever move - then it will be
time to tame him, retrap and bring with me...as
best I can manage it.
post #6 of 14
I don't agree with waiting.....as he is intact....if he decides to go off and mate (and this can occur ANYTIME...even before the Spring)...what if he doesn't come back?? (Last year...there was a warm spell in January which caused an early start to the kitten season.)

I think it is inaccurate to think he won't be able to defend himself simply because he is neutered. Chances are he will still defend his tuff. So I would trap him now and get him fixed.

post #7 of 14
I spent $160 on Will, my avatar kitty, due to injuries sustained in fights because I delayed neutering him. He is not a feral, just a barn cat who showed up at our place and took over as top cat. One of his wounds left a hole in his face, where you could see into his sinus cavity. Another cost him the tip of his ear. This guy has some major scars! I have heard some wailing and carrying on since the neuter, but no injuries. (The main kitty he fought with, Tommy, was trapped and neutered before I took Will in.)

I am certain that Will (and Mayor Grey) can maintain the territory despite the neuter. My previous alpha cat was a spayed female, Scout. While occasionally a new feral would show up while Scout was in charge, they never stayed longer than a few weeks.

My only concern would be that you trap and neuter him during nice weather, so the sooner the better. He will not necessarily associate you with the neuter. He will remember that you let him free, and continue to feed him.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
All - thanks for encouragement. I really don't want to trap
myself *and* transport to vet
as I don't want him to associate ME with
vet experiences... trust is not that strong
yet. I

In the far future he might be my indoor
cat, but for now, I am trying to keep him
round as outdoor cat...who happens to 'den'
at night in the yard...

As an aside:

There is another crazy cat lady one townhome row down,m
in our area who has
several unneutered pet male cats - go figure. If
I catch any of HER cats - (no collar or tags
BTW, and lovely chocolate point siameses)
I will DEFINATELY get them fixed!! (Serves her
right - not fixing, no collars and roaming).

I already neutered a totally lovely and
very tame (definitely an owned cat)11 month old
Orange siamese tabby mix (like a flame point).
I gave him the full works - then set him free.
I also put collar and rabies tags. Guess what?
I never saw him outside again. Bet his owner
has kept him in ever since!!

But they are the main competition to Maj. Grey -
who has poor dear, to defend against them.

Also scared to trap as no experience whatsoever with ferals,
tho tons and tons with strays or previously
owned animals. Finally the lady who is resident "cat lady"
is overwhelmed, and does not want to "trap" him either -
as it is she who told me to leave intact till closer to spring,
on advice of others.

Myself - I am going away for Xmas
and for Martin Luther holidays - so I want to do while I am
around to keep in house for a week or so of recovery.

Also currently dealing with old boy's constipation
and bowel disease/illness... which is time consuming.
HE doesn't LIKE Maj. Grey in the yard... AT ALL!!

So, I want to make sure that I can release Maj. Grey
back outside within a few days.... so as not to
start my old guy peeing/spraying in house. Which
he's started to do round the water dish (stress from
the newests young cat Lexi plus Maj. Grey in
yard... I think...he despises
her and he hates Maj. Grey as a rival!)

If I am not able to get assistance to trap by
Feb. 1st (after I return), I am
tackling it myself. I understand the urgent need
to neuter - all my animals have been fixed either
when adopted or as kittens. I would not leave
any of mine to roam unfixed.

As I understand it the basic
way to do, is not to feed for a day, to make them
hungry and then to put food in trap.

Is there a way to get them used to eating in
a carrier - or a trap (without triggering) and
then one day triggering trap? If so that is
what I might try to do...

and if there's anyone on
the board near me in Leesburg,
I'd definitely take the help..
post #9 of 14
You can certainly hinge the trap...but again, I think waiting for the Spring is the wrong action. Today would have been a perfect day to set the trap and we are well ahead of Christmas. As to whether he will associate you with the trap, whether you do it now or next Spring...he probably won't like it much. He will however get over it.

As far as someone in Leesburg...I'm going to contact a friend of mine in Fairfax who traps feral cats and tell her about your situation. She would most likely be willing to come out and trap him for you. I have sent you a PM because I will need your address and a number my friend can contact you at.

post #10 of 14
I don't really think the cats hold it against you when you trap them. As people, we would. But the main thing they remember is you are the one who brings them home and releases them.

Of course it is your decision, but like I said, Will had injuries from fights twice that were severe enough to require vet visits and antibiotics. (Just try to get them into an outside cat! LOL!) If it was me, I would just do it, then he has all winter to forgive you, and you can be sure that he won't be fighting or making babies.

And I think other males are less likely to attack him or try to run him off if he is fixed! I let my feral go the next day after he was neutered. Even Will was let out outside the next day. Its a pretty minor surgery for the boys.
post #11 of 14
P.S. He will get his shots with the neuter, so that is another reason to do it sooner rather than later.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
TNR & Beckiboo - many thanks! I would do sooner ( window
after xmas to start New Years after back from my trip) rather
than later too. He's not going to get the "full works" as
my budget is shot on cats - 1000 dollars plus on
the two seniors last month. Sigh.

but he's getting neuter and rabies, plus a wormer
and flea/tick meds. (I have the flea tick meds
and they agreeded not to charge when putting
it on.) Otherwise, I'm paying full price.

Still, LSB vet is right round corner from my
house, so not hard to drop off/pick up.
And they do my cats regularly so they
know me.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
PS Guys - forgot to mention - Maj. Grey comes when called now, and is following me around outside!! Today I was chasing Ms. Lexi around, calling for her, and Grey came out of the yard, and followed us!!

Yesterday night he was sitting on my sidewalk, looking at Lexi on the front stairs. And he didn't run when I opened up the door, which he almost always would do in the past (he was like a Ghost).

Also is denning in the shelter I made for
him on lower ground level... Would like him to crawl up inside the upper
level of the shelter, but I don't think he's felt safe or the need to (not cold enough

The shelter has been lined insided with reflective bubble wrap,
the kind that goes on water heaters, to reflect heat back inside
to the cat... I also put down a mat of that stuff - with pine
needles on top. He nests in/ontop of it now... Should insulate
him from the ground cold...I put a snuggle disk in there last night,
hope it helped some...

And lastly, much rejoycing (sp!) he let me get within 3 ft of him (arms length and 12 inches) with my hand outstreched. No petting of course, and still might scoot if I move too fast.. but. Doing much better!!
post #14 of 14
Wonderful to read about the progress that you're making with Major Grey! He has a great situation and won't forget THAT, even after his TNR! Even though you can't afford to give him the "works", the neuter & rabies are both BIG health benefits Bless you for caring for this cat!
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