While a few of the cats in my feral cat colony were named after Mark Twain characters, and a couple of them were named after characters in the Eloise children’s books, three of the cats in my feral cat colony were named after this famous literary family:
A couple of the ferals were adoptable and found good forever homes. One of the ferals died very young. And, as loyal readers of this lofty blog no doubt recall, all of my non-feral cats have since passed away, as well.
But this still leaves me with 8 (now semi-feral) cats in the cat colony. And while providing a forever home to semi-feral cats poses unique challenges — specifically, they are all very afraid of humans who aren’t me; they tolerate being petted now and then but they aren’t at all cuddly; and, because they will still attack, it’s next to impossible to get them veterinarian care, so they are all strictly indoor cats now. However, they are still extremely dear to me and a joy to have around.
It helps that they’re really cute.
Scottie (named after F. Scott Fitzgerald’s daughter, pictured above), is a very, very sweet little tabby cat. Here she was as a kitten:
For some reason, though, when she was still really young, all the other cats in the colony decided they were going to bully her. For a long time, she hid in a box in the far corner of the basement, in the dark, back in the old house. It was really, really rough. I couldn’t touch her or get hold her because it terrified her, so I couldn’t even remove her to another part of the house. So she lived in terror of the other cats, hiding in an old box in the dark, and wouldn’t even use the litter box for fear that one of the cats would attack her.
It broke my heart because she was just so sweet. I worked really patiently with her, at a distance, and at last got her to at least hide in the rafters near the basement window, so that she could get some daylight and so that I could easily see her every day and make sure she was okay. And I was able to re-train her to use a litter box.
For years, I did the whole routine about praising her in front of the other cats whenever possible, and gave her treats before any of the others got treats (a lot of this took place while she was still living in the basement rafters). It literally took years of patient persistence, but eventually the other cats no longer bullied her. In the rental house and then here in the new house, she always found a place to hide for most of the day, but she would finally come out at meal times and join the other cats — and even let me pet her.
She became a really happy, un-bullied cat!
This new house has been a real blessing for all of the cats, in general. Lots of space for them and tons of windows for them to look out from and see all the birds. And except for the terrifying railroad train (!!), it’s an incredibly quiet and peaceful town. The cats seem extremely happy here.
And, over the last couple days, a real miracle has happened! Scottie has stopped hiding.
Here’s Scottie, yesterday, hanging out in the kitchen in broad daylight! Just enjoying a quiet summer afternoon. I am absolutely thrilled and amazed.
This new development has made me so happy.
Well, okay. Have a thrilling and amazing weekend, wherever it finds you and with whatever it finds you doing. Thanks for visiting, gang! See ya.