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Just me and my cats

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

My name is Jennifer and I am 48, married with 13 cats.

We live in the country. All my cats except 1 were a rescue. The other were pregnant strays, or just strays and a couple ferals. All are fixed now.

My pride and joy is Star-kitty. I tell her she is my star feral kitty. I have been taking care of her for 16 months. It took her a year to come in the house. She has been coming in through a kitty window for about 3 months now. No one has ever touched her but me. All the other cats are tame. Star is just a little different due to whatever she had been through in her life. I am not sure of her age but probably around 2 or maybe even 3.

She lets me hold her now and even occasionally purrs. To pick her up, she has to be either eating or on her bed. The table over her bed is glass so I look at her through the glass and put my hands under it. Somehow or other, she feels safe that way. And when she purrs, it is such a reward for me. And that makes me feel so good. She has a very high meow. When she wants out if her window is locked, she talks to me. But she is still distant. She might go a month with no progress in her people skills and then wham, she does something totally different. She has never attempted to scratch me. But she hid from me for a long time. When she was still outside, the first 9 months or so, I could not get within 10 feet of her. It terrified her. She watched me from afar with my other cats and that helped a lot. I tempted her with baked chicken and would set her bowl about 6 feet from me. She would slink up to it but I could not make eye contact with her. She would run. I had to let her think she was being sneaky with the chicken. But baked chicken definately helped me attempt to 'tame her'. I would slowly each week move her bowl closer until finally I sat it behind me. This took a long time. Nearly a year of this. She wanted to belong to someone but she was so afraid. As time went on, she would 'allow me' to pet her back while she ate. But at that time, if I tried to pick her up she would bolt. And then there would be a setback in our progress. I still don't consider her tame but she will eventually get there. I doubt she will ever trust anyone else. She accepts my hubby in the house but he can't touch her.

She sleeps on a soft bed in a corner under a table. It is her spot. She feels secure there.

Today, she discovered the joys of playing with a ball. She has never shown any interest in toys until now. She ran all over the house batting this toy. It was so funny. She is resting now and I have her two rattle balls tucked in with her. I heard the balls making a noise and I couldn't believe it when I saw her playing. That tells me she is relaxing.........finally. This has been a joyful day!

This might not seem like a lot of progress since I have been working with over 1.5 yrs but she is truely amazing.

I live for the day she will approach ME and climb in my lap. I have to hold her on my shoulder at this time. She still does not feel comfortable in my lap. But if I hold her secure and support her feet she will relax on my shoulder.

She did jump on my legs once when they were covered up. I was napping on the couch when this happened. I haven't figured out if she knew my legs were there or not. Surely she knew. She stayed there about 3-4 minutes and then got down. I held my breath the whole time not wanting to move and startle her.

She is doing so good now compared to scared little skinny waif when I first met her. I can't imagine life without my Star-Kitty.

There were other ferals in her group but they slowly disappeared. I think people either shot them or trapped them. But I saved her.

A big hurdle was getting her in the house. I cracked the door and put drops of cheese right over the threshold. It took a while but she finally tried some and then glanced in the house and ran like heck away. This went on for a couple months till she came in.

I kept a crate on the poch made out of a Rubbermaid container with a soft pillow in it during the winter because I worried about her.

She has a good life now and a forever home. Our story is not over but is just beginning. One day she will know how wonderful it is to be loved and will relish me petting me. One day.

Nice to meet you all,
post #2 of 32
Welcome, Jennifer. What a great story you and your kitty have. You might like to read about Michele and her cat Pengy, who have travelled a similar road. You'll find lots of friends here, who appreciate that kind of patience and care. I hope you enjoy your time with us.
post #3 of 32
hi jennifer,

with ur love & patience, i'm sure star-kitty will get there somehow..
we'll never know what she has been through so far...
but with ur love & care... she'll blossom just fine...
look forward to hear her progress..

lotsa meOws,
post #4 of 32

Welcome! Star-Kitty sounds very precious. She has really come around nicely.

If I can assist you with any questions regarding the site, please click on user name and send a private message
post #5 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for replying! As I sit here, Star-Kitty is laying in her bed. She scratched her eye today and she actually let me put drops in it. She did not like it. After we finished, she got tuna for a reward.

I have been doing some reading on the portion about feral cats. A lot of neat information there for sure.

I'm going to like this place. I have the forum as my home page now.


UPDATE: Star has hid from me in the house 'somewhere' ever since getting eye drops.... She has came out from her hiding spot twice but I'm not sure where it is. hehe The second time she got in her bed and she let me touch her then as soon as I left the area she got out of her bed, left, and went and hid again. I have no idea where she is hiding and I have looked. She has a cranny somewhere.
post #6 of 32
Wellcome, wellcome and once more wellcome!!!
post #7 of 32
Hello and welcome!
post #8 of 32
Hi! What a fantastic story! I hope you will post pictures in Fur Pics! What about your other cats? Do they have stories?
post #9 of 32
Originally Posted by jcribbs
She has a good life now and a forever home. Our story is not over but is just beginning. One day she will know how wonderful it is to be loved and will relish me petting me. One day
such a wonderful beautiful story

I am so glad you found your way to us as you will find lots of invaluable advice and support as you & Star Kitty begin your next journey together. I for one look forward to hearing of her progress.

Welcome to TCS

Please send me or another mentor a message if you need any help at all in the forums.

welcome again from me and my boys
post #10 of 32
Hi there Jennifer we're so happy to welcome you and your furbabies to TCS. I'm sure you'll enjoy your stay with us - we're one great big family and you'll find loads of friends here. If I can help at all while you're finding your way around TCS just click on my username and send me a Personal Message - I'll do what I can to answer your questions

You're doing a wonderful job with Star-Kitty - you'll find plenty of help and encouragement here on TCS
post #11 of 32
You are a wonderful mama! It is so nice to meet you. I loved reading about Star-Kitty. What are the other names?
post #12 of 32
Jennifer, Star-kitty is so lucky to have a mommy as wonderful as you You are doing such a great job of caring for her.

Welcome to the site, we are so glad to have you
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Star Kitty has finally come out of hiding. I have re-doctored her eye and she did not hide after I doctored her. I put a cardboard box down for her with a hole cut in one side. She loves it. I have it in my kitchen so she will still be in the midst of life in a house. She alternates between the box and her bed.

Someone asked about my other cat names.........

Rocky aka Toe [he has 1 grey toe] I have had him since he was 5 weeks old. He is a beautiful long haired cat who thinks he is a dog. He eats dog food with my dogs. He is a wonderful loved cat and he is the head cat of the kitty pride. He struts when he walks. He goes outside but does not stray. He stays close to home. He loves my hubby.

Yellow Man--He showed up on our doorstep a couple years ago. He has an old break in a front leg and take arthritis meds that is a combo pain med to help him. The vet believes him to be approx 5-6 years old. I don't know what his story was but he was already fixed. When we first decided to keep him, I thought it was a pregnant female and took him to the vet to get 'her' fixed. The vet laughed and laughed since he was a fixed male kitty. hehe This cat has had a pain filled life. I feel so sorry for his little front leg. He loves the outdoors. He is a typical male in all ways. I wish he would stay home but he like to roam even though he is fixed. His nicname is Gimp kitty..... [affectionately said of course]. He also loves my hubby.

Turtle--He was also a stray that showed up. He is a beautiful tortoise shell. He belonged to someone at some time or other because he let me pet him. The other cats did not like him at first. He has no cat odor since he is sterile and they were'nt sure whether he was a male or a female cat. They tried to fight at first but now he is settled in and they accept him. I have been taking care of him for about a year and LOVES being a house kitty. He still goes out but he likes to snooze on the couch. He is probably around two yrs old. I have been caring for him for about a year or so. He is a coach potato cat. He lets my hubby pet him but not in a relaxed way. He stands up ready to bolt. He was never feral or wild. Just afraid.

Mama--This is a female cat that was dumped pregnant. She had her 5 babies on my front porch in a crate. I brought her in and her babies and put them in a back room when they were approx 12 hrs old. She had this litter in the middle of winter and I couldn't let them freeze to death. One baby did not survive and one I had to have put down. I kept two and gave my son one. She is fixed now and is just fat and sassy. She was a tame cat that no one wanted. When she came up to our house all she wanted was to be loved. She was never feral or wild. She loves both me and my hubby. She was not wild at all. She is so beautiful and I can't believe someone dumped her instead of getting her fixed.

Angie and Dovey--Mama's two babies that I kept. They will be a year old in april. They are so precious. Two little grey striped females that look like twins. Dovey will let my husband pet her but not angie. They have been handled by me since they were 12 hrs old. They are extremely tame where I am concered. Dovey is very vocal and knows many many human words and I honestly believe she tries to speak. If I meow, she meows.... Dovey is very small boned with long legs. Angie was the largest in the litter out of all 5 kittens. They lived in a back bedroom till they were approx 6 weeks or possibly two months. They never went outside until they had their shots and we had moved out of town.

Black Mama aka Socks--This is a cat that lived in our neighborhood that kept having litter after litter. Her appointment to get fixed is next Friday. Her kitten days have ended. I am not sure where she came from she is a very dominate cat but also very sweet. No one took care of her but me. All her litters turned feral as they had no human contact. I think she originally belonged to my neighbors but they did not care for her or her babies. The babies from all her litters just disappeared. It broke my heart to see all this happen. She choose to live with me and my husband and we are assuming full responsibility for her as now. We have had her about 6 months. She is beautiful. She is solid black with 4 white feet and a white chin. She likes like an orca whale. The last litter she had was under a car in my yard. I let the air out of the tires to help protect the babies from predators. I wanted to move them and take care of them but Socks would not let me move them. She attacked my head once when I was peering under the vehicle to look at the babies. I left them alone until they were older. Very protective mother. She was not feral or wild. Just had an attitude. She will let my husband pet her.

Cookie--The only one of Sock's kittens I could rescue and save. Cookie is a solid black kitten who is wonderful. She was born probably last May. She was very difficult to tame as she was about two months old before her mother would let me touch her. Now she is a lap cat who loves to play with hair ties.. She will let my husband pet her if he moves slow. She trusts me totally but it was difficult to get her to like me at first since she had not been handled by humans. She would have turned feral if she had not been saved.

Tink--Tink is a young grey striped cat that was born to a feral mother that I could never get close to. This little kitten kept coming to our house to eat and she finally let me pet her. She is about the same age as Cookie and Angie and Dovey. They are all friends. Tink, before I could get her to come in the house, disappeared during a rain storm once for three weeks. She finally found her way back to us thank goodness. I drove and drove calling her trying to find her. One night I went outside and there she was. I could tell she remembered me but she was fearful again of humans. Her mother was totally wild. Her mother ate at my house but I couldn't save her. Tink sleeps on pillow now. She has a stocky body with short little legs. Very low sense of gravity and very fast. Her face is different than most cats. She looks wild in the face. She is just now letting my husband pet her. If I had not saved her, she would also be feral now.

Cleo--Her name is cleo but I call her Patty Cake Kitty. She is the female who seems to take charge of the other cats and keeps them in line. Great big black female. My son found her several years ago and she was feral. He tamed her and eventually gave her to me. She gives our family the appearance of being perfectly tame but disappears if company comes over. Loves my husband.

Kissy--This is my daughters cat I am caring for. Beautiful light grey cat who will be two years old in Sept. Amy, my daughter, found her on a back step of a restaurant when she was about two days old. She was bottle fed and today if I say the word BABA, her heads yanks up and she wants it. She thinks she is a human. She loves my husband.

and Star-kitty........ I don't know who Star's mother cat was. She was just there one day hiding in my yard and started eating with the other cats. She is probably around two or three years old. She got pregnant once and had a miscarriage in my yard. It's not wonder this happened since she was so skinny and under-nourished. She will never had a litter of kitten as she is fixed. That was a job for the vet... He had to put a pillow on top of her to hold her in order to give her a shot to calm her down before he could fix her. I even rescued her once from my neighbors when we lived in town. They put a live trap out to haul cats off. I couldn't find Star but I could hear her. She was in this live trap. I opened it and let her out. Will not let my husband get near her. He has touched her once I think when she was eating but she dodges him. She accepts him in the house [her house] but she is very leary of everything. She has been the biggest challenge and the most rewarding for me. She had a wild friend that I named Blue that I wanted so bad to save. He disappeared before I could get close enought to him. He was so beautiful. I was working on taming him and Star at the same time. I could touch him sometimes when he was eating but something happened to him.

I want to add something here. I have three cats who were never feral or wild. Just misplaced. Toe, Kissy and Yellow. When company comes over, they will greet the company and they like being petted by strangers. All the other cats were either feral or born to feral mothers. I have noticed that when company comes over they run like H**l. or disappear and hide until the company leaves. You would never know coming to my house that I have 12 cats. As soon as the company leaves, they all come in and start smelling in the house at the new odors of the 'strange humans' that were in their territory... hehe Even though they all appear tame now [except Star-kitty], they do not accept other humans at all. They will let no one else touch them.

In my first post, I said I have 13 cats. Well, we actually have 12 and they are listed above. But my dear little husband wants to adopt a stray male cat that eats on our porch. He is HUGH. Probably about 25 lbs. We call him JJ. The other cats like him.

We are fixing to close on a log cabin on 3 acres and more than likely JJ will go with us. He seems to fit in. My husband really adores him. He has been in our house once. That big ole tom cat was so scared inside. He hid behind a TV and all the other cats sat and stared him down. So funny.

In case anyone is wondering. All the cats, male and female are fixed except for Socks and the young ones-dovey, angie, cookie and tink. Socks is getting fixed Friday and then I am taking all 4 babies at once when she recovers. And if my husband keeps JJ, he will be fixed too.

This cats were all acquired when we lived in town. We live in the country now on an acre. All the cats moved with no problem. We are leasing where we live now and our landlord loves the cats. We just bought our log cabin with 2.8 acres and will move them one last time probably next April. The cabin needs a little work before we move in. I never thought I would become a cat woman in my later years but this just happened. I love them all. They are going to have a blast at the new house. It has two running creeks through the back of the property. I want to dam up a small portion of it and put some fish in it to drive the cats nuts. I am going to make them a little dam so they can watch the fish swim.

They all are in/out cats and use a kitty window that my husband made out of plywood. It fits in a regular sized window and has a little swinging door on it at one end. Right now, until we move, I am keeping Yellow indoors. Since he likes to roam, I don't want him roaming until we move so he will know his new house. I don't want to lose him. So I took the kitty window out and am letting them in and out the front door to do their 'kitty jobs'. Their window is propped in the dining area and they sit and stare at it wondering why they can't use it anymore. hehe

We also have two dogs we rescued from the pound. One is a lab mix named Emma. One is a St Bernard mix named Molly. And we also have a dauchaund named Muffin. I have had Emma a year and Molly two years. They were both grown when we adopted them. I chose them because they had been at the pound the longest. Molly was there in her cage for 15 months and Emma was there for 9 months. We got Muffin when she was 3 months old and she thinks she is a cat. She plays in the front yard with the cats and runs with them. She follows them in the woods playing. She wants to be a bird hunter too.

I'm going to go here. Everyone have a wonderful day!
post #14 of 32
Wow Jennifer what a fantastic story! You sound like an amazing person, in fact thats an understatement, you are an angel for everything that you've done for these cats. You must have an enormous heart.
I hope everything with your move goes well and you manage to take all your cats with you. I have a lovely image in my head of your new house with all your cats
post #15 of 32
Thread Starter 
Oh, all my cats are definately going with me when we move!! They will have a wonderful playground and there are very few neighbors where we are moving so I won't have to worry about idiot neighbors who use cats for target practice.

I am lucky where I live now as all the neighbors like cats. I had collars on them in town but when we leased our current residence I took them off as several got their legs caught in the collars trying to climb trees. I was worried about them hanging themselves and these were the breakaway too.

There are people who think it's weird to have this many cats but they are much less trouble than the dogs.

My husband, in our new place, is going to build shelves along the upper living room close to the ceiling. We are going to carpet it and put in a little staircase for them to get up there. It will be their nap area.

When we get all this done, I will send some pictures of them and of their staircase.


p.s. And Pombina, I'm not an angel. The cats are the angels. They just needed a human to help them out. They were all in trouble and struggling except Toe. He was actually our pick of the litter. I'm not sure how they all ended up at my house but I couldn't not feed them or help them when I could see they were hungry and wormy and cold. I think most people would do the same if they had one ounce of caring in their heart. Now they all have a forever home. It just happened! They have taught me much more than I could ever give them. When you get an animal to trust you when they are scared of human contact, well it is just amazing.

I remember when I was a kid, we had 14 cats. When we called the chickens -- all the cats would come. And when we called the cats -- all the chickens would come. I have always had a crazy life filled with animals.
post #16 of 32
Thread Starter 

Today for the first time, Star walked into my bedroom. She has never done that before. I just left her be and didn't interrupt her explorations. I carried her in there once and sat on the bed and stroked her but she did this on her own. It was about a month ago when I took her in there. She stayed in there approx 10 minutes today. Then she came out in the hall and sat at the end watching the activity in the living room. It looked as though she were wondering if anyone noticed her exploring the bedroom. When everything stayed the same in the living room she turned and went BACK IN THE BEDROOM. I would love her to start sleeping on my bed or on my feet at night!! Until today, she has only went in the living room, kitchen, an extra dog room and the laundry room. She has never been in either restroom or the bedrooms. She also meowed at me today as she was sitting on the arm of the chair. I reached out and petted her and she did not shy away. Normally, she turns from me and assumes the flight stance. This time she did not. I petted her for a moment and then she bolted to the floor. She forgot for a moment that she was wild. hehe This is progress. Everything went so slow with her at first. Months passed before I could put her bowl beside me while she ate. More months passed before I could pet her AS SHE ATE. More months passed before she would come in the house. She is a very careful cat. I look back now and it's hard to believe she is the same cat sometimes. I will proably have her really tame one day where I can pet her at will and I believe one day she will approach me to be petted but on the otherhand.... she will always be feral as well. It is in her personality and engrained in her. I guess to tame a feral is just getting them to accept you. It is an exciting challenge.

I also have a toy that the cats really love. It is round [about 18" diameter] with a table tennis ball in a grove that they can bat around this ring. I put 4-5 more kitty balls in the grove today. They are all different colors. They have all enjoyed this. Star would not bat them but she sat in the middle of the toy and watched the balls sitting still. She likes her balls in the floor. I left them in the groove and will watch her tonight and see if she plays with it this way. She WILL bat the tennis ball on the floor but this is new to her. And she only started doing that a few days ago.

Also I forgot. Star is a tortoise shell cat. Black and shades of gold and bright green eyes. I have wondered before if Star and Turtle were related some how. They both look alike. One male and one female. Both black tortoise with shades of gold with bright green eyes. They were the only two tortoise shells in our area that I ever saw.

And that's my update on Star-Kitty.
post #17 of 32
Wow I love hearing about Star and all your kitties. You said you didnt know how they ended up at your house, they come to you because they know you will save their lives.
post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
I never thought of it like that... And yep, I will do my best to save their lives. A kitty life is worth a lot.

A lot of cats never get a chance. Very few people fix them so litter after litter is born and most are destined to a hard scraping life.. Rocks get thrown at them, dogs chase them and they freeze in the winter and have trouble finding food. Most know nothing but fear and trying to survive. Only the strong willed survive and that is only with luck on their side.

I have two cat boxes on my porch now for that just in case scenerio. I keep food and water out there too. If someone gets stranded at least they can eat.

post #19 of 32
You are just fab. The world needs millions more people like you.
post #20 of 32
Hello It's nice to meet you!

post #21 of 32
Hello there Jennifer and welcome to The Cat Site

We are glad you found us...

You will love it here
post #22 of 32
Hi and Welcome to TCS!!!! ....

See you on the forums!
post #23 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much. I also posted some pics of my cats at

Their not all there yet. Having trouble getting them to stay still. hehe
post #24 of 32
Hi, Sierra, Serenity and I welcome you and your family to TCS! So glad you've joined us and look forward to getting to know you better! I would be so happy to help you in any way as you learn your way around the site. Please, simply click on my user name and send me a Private Message or contact me anytime at dawnofsierra@gmail.com!

post #25 of 32
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I posted some pictures of my babies. I just bought my digital camera. It's not a really expensive one but I am still finding features on it. I accidently discovered that I can take little videos and can zoom on a portion of a picture after I take it and then save it. So even if I can't get real close to a cat, I can still get a closeup.

post #26 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you.... I have enjoyed this site very much so far.. I have read all kind of articles in all the sections. I like it a lot. One in particular was a picture story of some people who built a huge cat shelter for feral cats in their yard. It was great!
post #27 of 32
Hi Jennifer and welcome! I think your perhaps referring to the thread that was about the shelter that Hissy and her husband built attached to their house for all of thier kitties........it is something spectacular, that's for sure!
So glad to have you and all your kitties here with us!
post #28 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thank you vedy much!!!! I am glad to be here too.
post #29 of 32
Hi Jennifer! Welcome to TCS, this site is meant to be your second home!
Love the stories of all your cats. You sound like a truely wonderful person. I enjoyed the photos too - I think my fave is Toe the big fluffy boy, he looks good for cuddles!
post #30 of 32
Thread Starter 
We have had Toe since he was 5 weeks old. He is so spoiled. He is actually the only cat that was not a rescue cat. My son choose him our a litter. My husband used to sit and watch TV with toe wrapped in a towel swaddled up like a baby. His given name is actually Rocky but we have always called him Toe because on one back foot, he has 1 grey toe. He goes by Toe and knows his name.
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