Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wild Bill is in the house

Last Friday I decided it was time. I fixed up a little spot in our master bath with kitty dishes, a bed, and toys in preparation for bringing the feral kitten in the house. I played with Wild Bill on the porch, reached out, picked him up, and took him inside.

The first night was a bit rough. Wild Bill mewed for his mama, and I could hear her calling for him several times throughout the night. I tried putting him on a tiny kitten leash so he could eat breakfast with her, but of course he tried to run off and flew into a panic when he hit the end of the leash. He can still see her through the screen door. Smart little guy that he is, he quickly figured out the lay of the house, and figured out where the back door was, knowing that his mama was out there somewhere.

In the meantime, our bitty gray tabby, Belle, took right to the kitten, and he glomed on to her for surrogate comfort. For the first couple of days he mostly hid in our bathroom or under our bed, and followed Belle around like a shadow when she came into the room. But after he figures out how to use the litter box, and seemed ready to explore, I let him roam. This morning he was on top of the cat tower, looking quite pleased with himself.

He still darts off if he thinks someone is about to pick him up, but he's starting to tolerate being petted. He's also playing happily in the living room when the people are around.

Mama still comes up on the deck to eat, but she seems more furtive. Whereas before she'd stick around and watch while I came out to play with the kitten, now she just eats and runs off as fast as she can. I hope that eventually she'll forget her distress and learn to trust us again. It was heartbreaking to have to separate a mama from her baby, but if we hadn't, this kitten would have been as wild as his mother. Watching him now, he seems like he'll be a fine house cat.

49 comments:

Annie in Austin said...

My son and daughter-in-law have taken in several feral kittens, too. They have their hands full, but see gradual progress in the kittens becoming social creatures. The feather on a stick is a favorite toy.
Good luck with Wild Bill!

joannsdaily.com said...

I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for sharing.. :D

infonote said...

This post is interesting. I am more of a Dog lover but i do not hate cats.

BTw, can you post some photos?

InfoNote
http://infonote.blogsome.com

The Bizarre Jokester said...

nice blog

UB said...

congrats on getting into blogs of note! keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

La verdad, parece que están bastante al pedo ustedes!!
Metanlé pata que ya llegaremos y les pasaremos por arriba...
salud!!

Rod Biscoe said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fakir005 said...

I only know about the wild baears who seemed to visit people living in the wilderness areas to raid their houses for food. Now they only visit people who have Hammocks in their back yards because they have discovered napping in the hammocks is more enjoyable. The owners of these hammocks find the watching of wild bears napping in their hammocks better than viewing a good Video. I'd not know since I've never seen a wild bear let alone one taking a nap in the hammocks. As fare wild mama I'm too busy reading about real life Mamas

Duchess Of Austin said...

I tried to tame a feral cat once, but it didn't work. He never forgot being wild, and was a lousy house cat. Too bad, too, because he was a beautiful boy!

I've got a mackeral tabby and a torti now...both fat and spoiled.

Caroline said...

Glad Little Wild Bill (love the name) has a home with you. I would love to catch our little feral baby that hangs around. He (or she) is sooo darn cute. But I think 5 indoor cats is enough for one house.

Heidi on Vashon said...

This is a huge challenge, especially the initial adjustment period. If you garden, how do you keep these cuties out of your dirt? Vigilance?

alphabet soup said...

I enjoyed this post. 10 years ago I 'adopted' a tiny feral kitten from our community garden. He is now a fine middle aged cat who lives inside every day. As a result of his 'deprived' childhood Beau is a very nervous cat and scampers away at the slightest threat. I can see I will enjoy reading your blog

R2K said...

Lol at first I thought this was about "Eating" dirt!

Anyway welcome to the blogger front page, good call on the google add.

roger federer said...

nice story you got here loving it very

AnxietyDreams said...

Twenty years ago, I was feeding a family of feral cats who lived on a golf course our house overlooked. When my husband and I divorced, he kept the house, but was not inclined to keep feeding the cats or to try to tame them. He called my condo and left a message that he was going to have them killed, if I didn't remove them. (Sort of tells you why I left him, doesn't it?). I trapped all four of them (Mom, teenage son, and two eight week old kittens) in humane traps borrowed from the Humane Society. I took them directly to the vet to be checked out, innoculated, and neutered. The mother was so wild,unfortunately, I felt I had to have her declawed, too. Four wild felines in a two bedroom condo made for some exiting times, but we all survived. Mama cat took three years to fully tame! My Mom took the two little kittens and they were her dearest companions for over 15 years. Their ashes are buried with hers and their names are on her tombstone! The other two lived full and happy lives with me. It makes me happy to hear that other people have the heart, time and patience to care for our feral friends. Good work!

anonymous jones said...

One less feral cat will save the lives of hundreds of native fauna. Adopt as many as you can but, sadly, the rest need to be dealt with.

S. Scott Craft said...

Good luck with your blog. It was your blogs name that caught my eye.

Wishing You Good Health And Plenty Of Wealth,
S. Scott Craft

Carlos Juanito :) said...

this is a vry cool blog... thanks. i love it

Jean said...

How does a feral cat look like?
We have two white cats of our own. I don't actually know their specie. One is already big but still loves to suck his mothers breast milk together with the new kittens. He's really a darling to look at nibbling his way with the other little ones.

TTB said...

Cats? I like fish.

Xohra said...

thats so cute :D. I used to give my cat's kittens baths in the tub, and she would sit in the bathroom window meowing :D

Shaun said...

Ahhh Wild Bill!

.

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Anonymous said...

tteste

writing_here said...

When I lived in the Pacific NW, a housemate and I took care of a feral cat we called "Tom Cat" who we did manage to finally catch and get to the vet. Housemate already had a housecat, so Tom stayed outside. When he disappeared we hoped that someone had undertaken to tame him.

(And to Jean - feral cats are not a specie they are just otherwise domestic house cats living in the wild, they can be anything from an abandoned purebreed to a kitten of the umpteenth generation of mixed feline breeds.)

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Cocaine said...

Hi Hi Hi

R2K said...

What a cute cat : )

Bellydancer said...

He is such a gorgeous little thing!!! I hope he will do really well in your family and will give you loads of joy in return!

Minge said...

Aw! So sweet!

Oberon said...

.......here kitty,kitty,kitty.

Senor Cheeseburger said...

This blog should be buried in the dirt. It would be good fertilizer... because it's SHIT

FreeCyprus said...

Congrats on being a blog of note!

-- FreeCyprus
Hellenic Reporter

nouranmi said...

i really love cats...hope you can wite more interesting cat stories!!

pepe said...

I took in 2 feral kittens once, Tutsy and Saby. For some odd reason tutsy stayed feral while Saby was domesticated in no time. You could never come close to Tutsy. In fact I was the only person she would allow to pat but still hated sticking around. She was constantly out and about and a very fussy eater. No cat food was good enough not even mince meat. She loved raw fish, fresh Salmon (the little devil's got class.LOL)and sometimes chicken necks. However that never stopped her from hunting birds. She was extremely clever and sensitive while Saby was more on the slow side, he was very clumsy quite unusual for a cat. He loved being cuddled though and enjoyed eating and sleeping. He would eat just about anything! Saby was very good looking and always got attention. No one picked up on Tutsy's amazing character, she use to make me laugh ! I had to travel and insisted on taken them with me. Big mistake. I miss them......

Mariesaintmichel said...

Hi K.B.!

What a pleasure to hear some cat talk just like at my home! You know, when you observe cats in many different countries, you see that, although they all have the same independent fascinating nature, they preserve the nature of the beast in developing countries and become mild and "civilized" in many aspects in developped countries, to the point that they do not get crazy anymore at the sight and smell of fresh meat, wiggling little fish and things like that. I am living in a developped country now, and I was so surprised to see my cats here do not flip out completely at the smell of a real sardine... Ins't it funny?

Kay Richardson said...

Blimey. Wild Bill sounds scary.

Jammu said...

Nice blog. I have a garden in my apartment. Chives and coriander.

Devdas said...

Cats are interesting. So is my blog.

Kris said...

Aww... I have one feral cat .. the mom always hung around my home and after several litters, she left one feral cat (Louie) and went off to die, it was hard to socialize him, but after being patient, it worked, he is the best cat I have. He is an outside cat 80% of the time, and is close to being 11 years old. I keep him healthy with his up to date shots and he loves chicken. I Could not ask for a better cat, I am sad when I think that one day he will just leave and never return, but until then, he is a joy to have around ---

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slskenyon said...

A few years ago, I adopted three kittens born to a feral mother, and they really are lovely pets. Every now and then, you see some evidence of their "heritage" to one degree or another in each one. Sometimes, one of them will "disappear" on some kind of "cat safari" for a day or two and then come home, or get nervous suddenly at some stimuli that seems to be minor.
One of them just recently was in a fight "with something much bigger than her." We're hoping she'll be OK, and no, she is not going outside again any time soon, no matter how much she protests.

Kimberly said...

It would be a good idea to see if you can trap the mama kitty and have her spayed, if you haven't already. Many rescues and shelters will rent humane traps to you and will spay for little or nothing. Then you just release her back into your yard and don't have to worry about tom-cats coming around and more kittens.

Kimberly said...

And as for the lady below who ranted at you for taking the kitten away from it's mom--she should spend some time in a veterinary hospital or a shelter and see why Wild Bill is now way better off and so is his mother. You've saved him from Feline Aids, Leukemia, FIP, Rabies, intestinal parasites, abscesses, and a host of other sick, sad things that happen to feral animals.

Reading Dirt said...

Wow! All of a sudden traffic exploded! For all who said nice things, thanks! I'm glad you came by and had a look. For those who said things that were best not said or only came to get your blog looked at -- I'll be paying more attention to comment control from here on.

Anonymous said...

aaawww! how cute! I caught a feral kitten where i used to live! There were tons and tons of generations startng with one cat. She is the main mama cat. I caught a 5 week old orange female. I named her summer. She was perfectly healthy except for a minor eye cold. we cured her. she tamed very fast! but a few months later, the got stuck in something, and it scared her so much that she died of heart faliure. :( i still miss her!

Jennifer said...

I want to tell you how much I appreciated finding your blog online. I have 2 ferals and a stray. The olderst is 9 years now and I've had him since he was a baby. He turned out to be quite to lovey!! The middle is about 2, but when I found him he had previously been cared for and tried to look for the owners but with no success. Our newest monster is Oscar the grouch and we affectionatly call him. I found your blog when I started having my encounters with Oscar. A few months later, oscar lives inside with us and is all vaccinated. He also runs away when you come near him as well, but I coax him with food and hold him for a few minutes each time. He definately is not too shy to purr now!! I'm very happy to see that there are other people out there helping these kittens and not just letting them roam and get hit by cars. Thanks again for your posts. I attached a link in my name of my pictures of Oscar. I hope it works. :)