Tag Archives: Feral

Update on Our Friendly Stray and Her Two Shy Kittens.


The stray cat and her kittens have become somewhat regulars at our house recently although their visits are still somewhat unpredictable. They seem to come between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m but some days I don’t see them and some days I do. When I do see them, sometimes it is just the mother. Other times there is one or both kittens with her.

I have learned that the mother is not feral and is actually quite friendly. The other day she even rolled upside down on top of my foot and let me rub her belly. It was very brief but It amazed me at how quickly she learned to trust me. She still hisses at me sometimes but that is usually when I come out with food. I think maybe she is not sure who I am at first.

I noticed one of the kittens has a darker face than the other. That one is shy but he does take risks while the lighter faced kitten stays in the shadows. The lighter faced kitten has a hint of tabby marking which makes her, or him, somewhat unique.

Below are a video and some pictures that I took Thursday morning. The kittens were here at 5:30 in the morning eating and then I noticed them an hour later playing on the other side of the house while the mom lied in the grass watching. Our cats watched too. They seemed just as comfortable at our neighbor’s house than at ours.


cat Floki Cat Puck Cat Floki

stray Siamese kitten

Notice the tabby stripes?

stray Siamese kitten

I wonder how the planter got knocked over.

stray Siamese kitten

I was late for work when this playing was going on which is wy the video is so brief but my wife says she was quite entertained watching them play for a while after I left.

This morning I was able to get another video that shows how friendly the mom is and I captured a funny moment when one of the kittens was torn between fear and hunger.

My wife talked to a person at the TNVR place and he said they only trap on the weekend and put us down for next weekend so cross your fingers that everything goes well. I just fear that we will catch one or two but not all three and that would leave that kitten alone and scared.

Our Unpredictable Ferals


After my last post about the feral cat and kittens that have been coming to our house, I didn’t see them for about a week. I kept food out for them and some days it would be gone when I checked on it and some days it would still be there. We were never sure if the cats were eating it or some other animal was coming around until Wednesday evening when the mother cat and her two Siamese looking kittens showed up.

I wasn’t expecting them to be there when I walked outside to do laundry. I was surprised to see two kittens take off in opposite directions. One hid under my car and the other crawled under the home behind us and one over. That made me wonder if they were living there.

The mother stayed close and hissed and growled at me. Actually, it wasn’t really a growl. It was more of a low pitch sound that I sometimes hear from our cats when a strange cat comes around.

I decided to skip laundry for a while and went back inside. Soon, one kitten was back and I took these pictures through the window screen.

stray kitten

stray cat
I then put a small can of wet food on a plate and brought it outside. The kitten ran away but the mom let me stay out there and take pictures while she ate. She does not seem afraid of me which makes me think she is not feral like her kittens. Even so, she is not overly friendly either.

stray cat

stray cat

I wanted her kittens to come back so I went in the house and waited. Sure enough, one of the kittens showed up.

stray cat and kitten

I took this video which is a bit long but at 4:16 it skips ahead to a new can of food and a kitten eating it. I am unsure if it is the same kitten or if the timider of the two came back for a meal. Perhaps your eyes are better than mine. Also, my wife thinks the kitten’s belly shows signs that he or she has worms. I don’t know. Also, at 2:53, Frankie scares the kitten away by pulling himself up to the open window.

I called the TNVR place on Thursday morning but I am still waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime, I have not seen the cats since Wednesday and I have only seen the food in the bowl get eaten twice since then, including some time last night. Maybe they are being fed somewhere else or maybe some days they feast on rabbit, which is plentiful around here.

Photo Friday: Puck’s Profile


Puck is a handsome cat but he is also difficult to photograph. As a result, he is a bit unrepresented on my Photo Friday posts. When I do manage to capture a good image of him, I feel like sharing.

black cat profile

On another note, the stray and her kittens that I wrote about in my last two posts may, or may not, be gone. I saw them last Sunday evening but since then the food I left out went uneaten until I noticed the bowl was empty yesterday morning, just when I was about to give up. I put more food in the bowl that morning and when I returned from work, the bowl was half eaten. Who, or what, ate it I don’t know.

My wife finally got a call from Meow Now who said they don’t catch kittens before the are old enough to be fixed, about eight weeks or so, because they are a TNVR organization and have no place to hold them. Rose said they were about three to five weeks. I think they might be older but I have little experience with young kittens Can someone help give me a better estimate. Please look at the picture on this blog post and tell me what you think.

Ferals at Our Door Update


On my last post, I talked about the Feral or Stray mother and her two kittens who started coming around our house. I mentioned that they did not come around all day Sunday and I was worried about them. I’m happy to report now that they were back Sunday evening.

Rose saw her with her two kittens but by the time I got my camera out and opened the window, the kittens ran away under my car.

Feral cat

The mom quickly ate the dry cat food that was out there so I prepared a plate with some raw meat cat food. I spread out three teaspoons of meat around the perimeter of the plate so the kittens could eat. I also added more dry food. When I brought the plate out the mom cat hissed and growled at me but she eagerly started eating. I was able to pet her one time but dared not risk a bite from an unknown stray.

She let me sit there and photograph her while she scarfed up all the wet food meant for the kittens.
Feral cat

I went back inside while she fished eating. She seemed very hungry. After a while, one kitten came out but I could not photograph him because it was too dark by then.

That is the last time I saw the cats. They did not come here yesterday and I have not yet seen them this morning. I expect to talk to someone from a TNVR organization today about trapping them if they have not already been trapped. We will see.

Ferals at Our Door


About a month ago I saw a small tabby cat as I drove around the corner and onto my street. I thought she might be a stray or feral because she was somewhat skinny and had no collar. I didn’t see her again until last Tuesday or Wednesday evening.

After I arrived home from work and fed the cats, I walked out the door to put some laundry in the washer and a startled cat ran from my steps to the end of my driveway and turned to look at me. I said a few soothings words and she stayed for a few seconds but then disappeared around the corner. After I finished with the clothes I walked out of the shed and saw the cat was at my back stairs again. I again scared her and she ran away.

I put a handful of dry cat food on a plate and put it outside in case she came back. When I talked to my wife that night, who was away on business, I told her about the stray cat. “Don’t feed him,” she said. “He will spray the outside of our house.”

“I won’t,” I said without hesitation. I didn’t need to, I thought. The food was already out there. The next morning it was gone.

Yesterday morning I put our trash outside the back door. Normally I take it to the trash can but since we were planning on leaving soon I thought letting it sit out there for twenty minutes was better than fighting with the cats to get out and then back in again. Not long after that Frankie was going nuts about something he was seeing out the window. Rose looked out and saw a mother cat and two kittens outside our back door. She called to me to come and take a look.

I looked out the window and saw the same tabby cat I saw before with what looked like two Siamese kittens. “That’s strange,” I said. “It looks like she has Siamese kittens.”

“You need to put some food out for them,” Rose said. “Those kittens are probably hungry.” With that, I put some food on a paper plate and brought it outside. When I got outside the two kittens scurried under the house while the mother stayed where she was. I put the food down and picked up the trash, which now had holes in it. I wanted to throw it away but doing so required me to walk in the direction of the kittens and Mama made sure I knew, with her raised hair and hissing, that I should probably make other plans. I decided she was right and put the bag down and went inside.

I quickly grabbed my camera and slowly and quietly opened the window on the door just a crack so I could take pictures. It wasn’t quiet enough as she knew I was there.

Feral cat

It also didn’t help that Frankie grabbed on to the edge of the window and pulled himself up like a bodybuilder so he could peek out the window.

A few minutes later one of the kittens joined Mom at the plate of food but did not eat any. I tried to take pictures through the open crack in the window and at an angle through the window screen. feral tabby cat and Siamese kitten

feral tabby cat and Siamese kitten

The pictures came out better than expected. The last one even shows that the kitten does indeed look Siamese, very similar to Floki when we adopted him. Siamese offspring from a tabby must be rare for feral cats since there are not many feral Siamese cats out there. In addition, the Siamese features must be quite dominant for a kitten to look like this from a tabby mother.

Rose wanted to do something to help and we knew from past experiences that The SPCA would rent traps cheap but we didn’t know how to trap a cat and two kittens at the same time. She decided to call the community office here and left a message with them.  I thought that was a bad idea since they would probably call Animal Control.

After calling the office, Rose Called the local SPCA who told her about the traps. The woman on the phone said that the kittens often follow the mother into the trap but I didn’t believe that since I had seen the mother without the kittens at least twice.

I then called Suncoast Animal League (where I once volunteered for a short time) who gave me the number of Meow Now, A TNVR organization. I called them and left a message but have not yet heard back from them.

We were away from home for several hours on Saturday and when we returned the dry food I left out was gone. I put more food out and Rose saw the mother cat and one kitten at the food bowl that evening. I moved it closer to the house so the neighbors wouldn’t see it but that also made it more difficult for me to see when the cats were there.

This morning I put wet food out for them in addition to dry and was disappointed that the cats didn’t show up before we left for the beach. When we returned I expected to see an empty food bowl but the only creatures to get a meal were about a hundred ants.

Now I can’t help worry that something happened to them. I hope they weren’t caught by the county animal control. That might be good for the kittens but I doubt the mom would fare well. On the other hand, there may be other people who are putting food out as well and our food is not needed as much. Who knows?

 

International Homeless Animals’ Day


Feral Cat Collage

The International Society for Animal Rights, according to their website, “conceived and began International Homeless Animals’ Day (IHAD) in 1992… Animal protection organizations and concerned individuals from around the world come together on the third Saturday of August each year to raise awareness about the pet overpopulation epidemic.”

I have volunteered at three animal shelters and fed several feral cats at my last place of employment. I see so many good people who work hard to get animals fixed and to take care of the ones living, whether in a shelter or a colony. These people are helping to keep the problem from getting worse, but to really help make sure that all domestic animals are taken care of, many more like-minded people are needed to either volunteer or contribute financially.

Goodbye My Ferals


I am starting a new job on Tuesday so Friday was the last time I will see my feral cats at work. The week and a half after I gave my notice I saw very little of them. Sometimes I would put food out at 8 a.m. and it would still be there at noon. Other times it would be gone but I couldn’t be sure the birds weren’t eating it. I was actually glad about that because it meant that the cats didn’t need me and I could stop worrying about not being there for them.

Then the shy one showed up on Tuesday morning.

feral cat

I was off on Wednesday and the gold and white cat was there Thursday morning, waiting in the parking lot for me.

feral cat

On my last day both the gold and white cat and the grey and white were there waiting.

feral cat 20160526_Feral cats_090I feel bad about leaving them but I do have to live my life too.

I’ll leave you with more recent pictures since I won’t be taking any more. So sad.

20160324_Feral cats_061 20160331_Feral cats_0068 20160413_Feral cats_074 20160425_Feral cats_0084 20160502_Feral cats_0086

The Friendly Feral


My mother-in-law, Elaine, has been feeding several feral cats in her neighborhood for several years now. Currently she has about four, perhaps more, that hang out near her home. Sometimes we go there to visit and there is a cat, sometimes two,  hanging out under her carport. She has even been able to coax a couple of these ferals to come inside at least part-time. Her current cat, Pumpkin, is not too keen on an outside cat coming in and sleeping on the bed, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

We went to visit recently and saw a gold cat she named Benny and I was amazed at how friendly this cat was for a feral. It’s possible he was a pet at one time but that would be unusual since the pattern seems to be feral cats in that area. Thankfully, Elaine has done a good job getting the cats that hang around her house fixed.

Benny the cat

When we arrived Benny was outside and I called him over to me and he came willingly. He loved being pet and rolled around in the grass while he talked to me. It was a very cool experience to see a feral cat so happy to get a little attention. I recorded it for your viewing pleasure. Please forgive the bad framing. I could not see the screen while I was recording and guessed a bit high.

Benny does have a bit of a skin condition on his nose but Elaine is treating it with an ointment.

So what do you think of Benny?

Seven Days of Ferals


Lately, I have been taking pictures of the feral cats at work almost every morning when I feed them. Of course, this isn’t everyday because I work four days a week, sometimes five. Also, there are not always cats around when I put food out, but I wanted to share with you some of the pictures I have taken recently.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016 – These two usually hang out together but not always.

Feral Cat

 

Thursday, March 3 – I often see this one waiting under the palm tree when I arrive at work.

Feral Cat

 

Monday, March 7 – The cat to the far left of the picture below is the shyest of the three and is difficult to photograph because he is usually, but not always, too far away.

Feral Cat

This one is the easiest to photograph.
Feral Cat

 

Tuesday, March 8 – There seems to be a territorial dispute here even though I put down two piles of food.

Feral Cats

 

Wednesday, March 9 – Everyone was around for their picture that day. I especially like the photo of the gold cat.

Feral Cat Feral Cat Feral Cat

 

Thursday, March 10 – The bulls-eye tabby sometimes is waiting along the fence about 100 feet away when I arrive while the gold cat is waiting closer. After I go inside to get their food, she moves in closer.

Feral Cats Feral Cat

I think he was talking to me here, telling me to hurry up.Feral Cat

 

Friday, March 11 – I put food down and then stayed where I was and called this cat to come to me. I could tell part of him wanted to but he wasn’t quite ready for that so I backed away.

Feral Cat

Well, that is how my morning at work starts. What do you think?

Ferals at Work Update


I am still putting food out for the ferals that hang around my place of employment but for a stretch of a couple of weeks I saw them very rarely. The food was always gone when I checked later in the day so I assumed they were just showing up later than usual. That surprised me because there is a school behind my work and activity increases exponentially after I get there.

One day I saw several birds interested in the food.

20160219_Ferals_3846

I worried that maybe the birds were eating it but I never saw the birds after that so I think that wasn’t normal.

Fortunately, I started seeing more of the feral cats again about two weeks ago. Some days I see only one and not always the same one but other days I see all three like this morning and when I took this video.

20160219_Ferals_3844

This fellow usually shows up independent of the other cats. Not sure if he is in the same colony or an outsider.

20160202_Ferals_3842 20151202_Ferals_3832

Today was a good day because the ginger and white cat was waiting for me when I got there this morning and the bullseye tabby showed up as soon as I brought the food out. Normally she (or he) is pretty shy but I think she is getting used to me.

20160302_Ferals_3850 20160302_Ferals_3851 20160302_Ferals_3852

There is one more cat, a white and black cat that I have not seen for a long time. I hope that one is okay.

Feral Cat