Oakheart turned up last summer in my garden. I totally confused him with another feral I was trying to trap wih similar markings – I didn’t realise there were two tabby and white cats, never seeing them both at the same time.
It took months, so I was delighted when I trapped him. But after I’d transferred him to a hospital cage to go to the vets, imagine my surprise when I went back out to the garden and saw him sitting there … I rushed back in – how did he get out the cage? … but he was still in it. Out I went again – there he sat. That was when I realised there were two cats. And the one I had caught was already neutered * headdesk *
I took him to the vets anyway for a health check, because he was a bit bedraggled. He hissed and spat and I’d no doubt he was feral. He had to be sedated at the vets to be examined and treated.
And when he came back I released him, not expecting to see much of him again. But he loved hanging out with my other cats – giving everyone full body rubs and purring with delight. I get the feeling he’d been on his own for a long time and was happy to find a family again.
And he slowly made his way into the house. Hanging out in the doorway initially, then finding a comfy spot indoors and finally moving on to my lap – not feral at all. Oakheart is a total sweetie now. Tho he turns feral again as soon as he’s caged and still has to be sedated at the vets.
I’d love to know his story, but he can’t tell me and no-one has come forward to claim him. One of his ears is mangled and I suspect some human some time has been less than kind to him.
But I am kind to him now – and my heart has filled through the winter as I’ve watched him snuggle by the fire, settle in comfy chairs and eat his fill – I can’t help but feel it’s the first time in his life he’s experienced these things and I’m so happy to be the one to give him the life he deserves – the life all domestic animals deserve.
I have to add – I didn’t go out of my way to tame him. Ferals are often happy enough getting their food from humans without having to interact with them too much. Oakheart decided to move in himself. And I’m delighted he did *purrs*
[Note his lookalike was caught by one of my neighbours, neutered and returned – he did not show any interest in moving in!]