A Tale of Two Feral Cats

I’ve been feeding a couple feral cats. Actually, at first I thought it was just one, but upon closer inspection, I realized it was two (which explains the amount of food being eaten, as I couldn’t fathom how a single kitty, even a single starving kitty, could snarf that much down). In my defense, they look pretty similar, both gray tabbies with white feet:

Kitty 1 (pictured) seems to have hurt her (his?) paw, favoring the right front one. Don’t know if it’s an old wound or a recent one. You might be able to see that she’s holding it to her chest above. She was limping a couple weeks ago, but appears to be able to walk on it now.

Kitty 2 looks almost exactly like Kitty 1 except her tail is less fluffy, and her white feet are shoes only, lacking a white sock up to her elbow that Kitty 1 has.

They’re both extremely skittish and won’t come to the bowl if either I or fosteronfilm are on the porch, although Kitty 1 will crouch beside it on the edge of the porch—just out of reach—while we’re filling it, waiting for us to go back inside before coming to eat. I’ve tried to make friends with her, but she’s not inclined to have our relationship grow any closer than it is, meowing plaintively at me if I linger, talking to her, as though asking me (politely) to please leave so she can get on with her breakfast.

My plan was to trap them both and take them into a vet’s to be fixed (and looked over) and then releasing them. They’re both very feral, and I can’t imagine either of them becoming tame enough to make the transition to being an adoptable housecat. But now I’m rethinking whether I ought to trap them or not. britzkrieg informed me that she recently trapped a feral just a few blocks away from our place (in j_hotlanta‘s yard) which ended up testing positive for FIV. It was too feral to be adoptable, and a FIV-positive kitty can’t be released back into the wild, so she had no choice but to have it put to sleep.

The odds are higher than I like contemplating that any feral in such close proximity could also have FIV, and I don’t want to have to euthanize these kitties. I know it’d be more responsible to bring them in and have them evaluated (assuming I could trap them), but the thought of my well-meaning action resulting in tragedy gives me the shudders.

Pointy-sharp quandary.

   


Writing Stuff

Received:
• 13-day SALE of “Beautiful Summer” to the Killers anthology (edited by Colin Harvey, to be published by Swimming Kangaroo Books). This came last month, actually, so it’s an end-of-year hurray rather than a first-sale-of-the-year ring-in.
• Contracts for “A Thread of Silk” from Baen’s Universe and “Daughter of Bótù” from Realms of Fantasy.
• 22-day (or so) rejection from Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling for the story I submitted for their next anthology. Sigh. Disheartening and disappointing is an understatement, but I’ve been clinging to my “it was an honor to be invited” mantra.

Published:
• “When Shakko Did Not Lie” in the Jan. 2008 issue of Cricket, and it’s the lead story. Yay! “Shakko” has been awaiting an issue to be slated in for some time, and it’s been a while since I read it. Getting the contrib. copies and reading my story over was a little like seeing an old friend you’ve not heard from in ages, familiar but also new. Very pleased that it’s out now.

Shiny cover:

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70 Responses to A Tale of Two Feral Cats

  1. Beautiful (if feral) kitties!

  2. Beautiful (if feral) kitties!

  3. ellyssian says:

    That pic looks an awful lot like our Tanis.

    Who we haven’t seen since November…
    =(

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I suppose the odds are pretty low that either of my ferals are immigrants from Pennsylvania, alas. I’d love to discover that they actually belong to someone so I could have some hope of a happily-ever-after for these kitties.

      • ellyssian says:

        Yeah, PA to there would be a hike. I’m hoping they find their homes, and I’m hoping Tanis can escape from whatever home he’s in (at least, that’s where we’re hoping he’s at!)

      • ellyssian says:

        Yeah, PA to there would be a hike. I’m hoping they find their homes, and I’m hoping Tanis can escape from whatever home he’s in (at least, that’s where we’re hoping he’s at!)

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I suppose the odds are pretty low that either of my ferals are immigrants from Pennsylvania, alas. I’d love to discover that they actually belong to someone so I could have some hope of a happily-ever-after for these kitties.

  4. ellyssian says:

    That pic looks an awful lot like our Tanis.

    Who we haven’t seen since November…
    =(

  5. spitgirl says:

    Preeeetty cover…

  6. spitgirl says:

    Preeeetty cover…

  7. secritcrush says:

    hooray for the sales, bleh for the rejection – could I ask what the thene was for the datlow/windking anthology?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks for the celebratory “hooray” and the commiserative “bleh.”

      could I ask what the thene was for the datlow/windking anthology?

      Erm, I’m not sure if that’s public information yet, so I’m afraid I don’t feel comfortable divulging it. Sorrysorry.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks for the celebratory “hooray” and the commiserative “bleh.”

      could I ask what the thene was for the datlow/windking anthology?

      Erm, I’m not sure if that’s public information yet, so I’m afraid I don’t feel comfortable divulging it. Sorrysorry.

  8. secritcrush says:

    hooray for the sales, bleh for the rejection – could I ask what the thene was for the datlow/windking anthology?

  9. amysisson says:

    I would feel exactly the way you do — worrying that I might be the one responsible for putting them to sleep.

    But, untrapped, they’re going to have babies, spread FIV if they already have it, and likely contract FIV if they don’t already have it.

    Sorry, I know that won’t make you feel better, but I can’t not say it. :-( We’re trapped feral kitties too and I had a similar fear. Luckily ours were not infected. Oh, and although common wisdom says they can’t be socialized, you’d be surprised. We socialized a battle-scarred, 1-2 year old feral tomcat. You’d have to be able to keep them permanently indoors, though, and that could be a problem with existing pets. Also, we may just have gotten lucky. It was freezing (upstate NY) where we are, which probably made him and little sister that much more willing to adapt to life inside. He hissed at us every day for 3 months, though. But now he sleeps on the bed with us!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      All of these concerns have been at the forefront of my mind when contemplating the fate of these kitties. One major issue is that I, personally, am unable to take the responsibility for any attempts at socializing them. For starters, I’m allergic to cats; next, I’ve no experience with socializing ferals; and finally, I won’t risk Hobkin’s safety by exposing him to feral cats—both his physical safety and his health. He’s lived his whole life indoors, and he’d be no match for a cat. And I don’t know if skunks can get FIV. It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened on the medical front. I’d never forgive myself if he came to harm because of my thoughtlessness or misjudgment.

      So if I bring these kitties in and they do have FIV, my only hope would be to find someone to adopt them who could socialize them who has a home environment where FIV wouldn’t be a problem. And the shelters certainly won’t take FIV-positive ferals with a big question mark on their socialization likelihood and adoptability.

      It’s a terrible predicament, and I wish I knew what the best thing for these kitties would be.

      • amysisson says:

        In your shoes, I wouldn’t bring cats into the house either — skunks and cats are probably natural enemies to a large degree, and it would be devastating for your little guy. That’s a big part of why we haven’t taken in any dogs, even small ones — I can’t put that kind of stress on my cats, who are too old to adjust to such an alien element. Oh, they’d survive physically — but they would totally withdraw, and I can’t deal with that.

        Shelters likely won’t even take FIV-negative ferals with a big question mark on their socialization likelihood. When we contemplated trappings ours, we got a resounding “no” from every shelter we talked to — FIV and feline leukemia results had no bearing on their decision at that point. They just couldn’t justify giving space to likely-non-adoptable animals instead of very-likely-adoptable ones. I can’t blame them, but it was very disappointing.

        So, we absolutely planned to spay/neauter/release, and we still would have, except the vet herself, in spite of the wounds inflicted upon her by the feral tomcat (through the rhino-hide protective gloves!), encouraged us to give it a try. And I’m so glad we did, but I don’t really know if we could re-create that result. It took a long, long time.

        The other difficulty is that even when doing spay/neuter/release, the animals have to recuperate somewhere. A boy can probably be released quickly, but it’s chancey, and a girl needs more time or she’ll pull her stitches. We’d arranged in advance to board them at our vet’s office, but once the feral had, um, inflicted some damage, they couldn’t board them because not enough vet techs were rabies-certified. So we had to bring them home at that point and keep them for the rabies isolation period. Of course we had to keep them crated and far separated from our other cats. (By that time, at least, we had negative FIV and feline leukemia test results.) Longest 10 days of my life…..

        I’m sorry about your dilemma. It is so distressing. I go through a certain area on my way to work and I’ve never seen so many stray dogs before in my life.

        • britzkrieg says:

          All very well-said, Amy.

          Before I captured (and had to euthanize) the cat Eugie mentioned (“Attila”), I captured a semi-feral queen and her three kittens in the same yard. They were all FIV-negative — even though I’m convinced two of the kittens were Attila’s children. Anyway, I spayed the mom (“Barbie”), and she did fine after her release. My husband and I socialized the kittens (Pam, Jim, and Angela) and adopted them out with the help of a local rescue group, Cats in the Cradle.

          FIV is very hard to catch. It usually takes a deep, penetrating bite wound, except in the case where a mother passes it to her kittens during birth. Attila, being a very aggressive tomcat, was in the highest-risk group.

          I think we should trap these kits, for all the reasons already discussed. I’m willing to do all I can to help.

          • Eugie Foster says:

            I’m leaning more and more towards trying to trap these kitties. I’ve done a bit more research about trapping and releasing ferals and at least feel more knowledgeable about the process—which usually makes me more confident about any new endeavor. Although I’ve read conflicting wisdom on how long (or whether) to keep the kitties after their spay/neuter surgery before releasing them. The less time required for convalescence, of course, the better, as we’ve no place to quarantine them in our house, which leaves us with keeping them in the garage or sunroom, or foisting them upon accommodating, cat-savvy friends (*cough ahem*)—neither of which option, obviously, being ideal.

        • britzkrieg says:

          All very well-said, Amy.

          Before I captured (and had to euthanize) the cat Eugie mentioned (“Attila”), I captured a semi-feral queen and her three kittens in the same yard. They were all FIV-negative — even though I’m convinced two of the kittens were Attila’s children. Anyway, I spayed the mom (“Barbie”), and she did fine after her release. My husband and I socialized the kittens (Pam, Jim, and Angela) and adopted them out with the help of a local rescue group, Cats in the Cradle.

          FIV is very hard to catch. It usually takes a deep, penetrating bite wound, except in the case where a mother passes it to her kittens during birth. Attila, being a very aggressive tomcat, was in the highest-risk group.

          I think we should trap these kits, for all the reasons already discussed. I’m willing to do all I can to help.

      • amysisson says:

        In your shoes, I wouldn’t bring cats into the house either — skunks and cats are probably natural enemies to a large degree, and it would be devastating for your little guy. That’s a big part of why we haven’t taken in any dogs, even small ones — I can’t put that kind of stress on my cats, who are too old to adjust to such an alien element. Oh, they’d survive physically — but they would totally withdraw, and I can’t deal with that.

        Shelters likely won’t even take FIV-negative ferals with a big question mark on their socialization likelihood. When we contemplated trappings ours, we got a resounding “no” from every shelter we talked to — FIV and feline leukemia results had no bearing on their decision at that point. They just couldn’t justify giving space to likely-non-adoptable animals instead of very-likely-adoptable ones. I can’t blame them, but it was very disappointing.

        So, we absolutely planned to spay/neauter/release, and we still would have, except the vet herself, in spite of the wounds inflicted upon her by the feral tomcat (through the rhino-hide protective gloves!), encouraged us to give it a try. And I’m so glad we did, but I don’t really know if we could re-create that result. It took a long, long time.

        The other difficulty is that even when doing spay/neuter/release, the animals have to recuperate somewhere. A boy can probably be released quickly, but it’s chancey, and a girl needs more time or she’ll pull her stitches. We’d arranged in advance to board them at our vet’s office, but once the feral had, um, inflicted some damage, they couldn’t board them because not enough vet techs were rabies-certified. So we had to bring them home at that point and keep them for the rabies isolation period. Of course we had to keep them crated and far separated from our other cats. (By that time, at least, we had negative FIV and feline leukemia test results.) Longest 10 days of my life…..

        I’m sorry about your dilemma. It is so distressing. I go through a certain area on my way to work and I’ve never seen so many stray dogs before in my life.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      All of these concerns have been at the forefront of my mind when contemplating the fate of these kitties. One major issue is that I, personally, am unable to take the responsibility for any attempts at socializing them. For starters, I’m allergic to cats; next, I’ve no experience with socializing ferals; and finally, I won’t risk Hobkin’s safety by exposing him to feral cats—both his physical safety and his health. He’s lived his whole life indoors, and he’d be no match for a cat. And I don’t know if skunks can get FIV. It’s unlikely, but stranger things have happened on the medical front. I’d never forgive myself if he came to harm because of my thoughtlessness or misjudgment.

      So if I bring these kitties in and they do have FIV, my only hope would be to find someone to adopt them who could socialize them who has a home environment where FIV wouldn’t be a problem. And the shelters certainly won’t take FIV-positive ferals with a big question mark on their socialization likelihood and adoptability.

      It’s a terrible predicament, and I wish I knew what the best thing for these kitties would be.

  10. amysisson says:

    I would feel exactly the way you do — worrying that I might be the one responsible for putting them to sleep.

    But, untrapped, they’re going to have babies, spread FIV if they already have it, and likely contract FIV if they don’t already have it.

    Sorry, I know that won’t make you feel better, but I can’t not say it. :-( We’re trapped feral kitties too and I had a similar fear. Luckily ours were not infected. Oh, and although common wisdom says they can’t be socialized, you’d be surprised. We socialized a battle-scarred, 1-2 year old feral tomcat. You’d have to be able to keep them permanently indoors, though, and that could be a problem with existing pets. Also, we may just have gotten lucky. It was freezing (upstate NY) where we are, which probably made him and little sister that much more willing to adapt to life inside. He hissed at us every day for 3 months, though. But now he sleeps on the bed with us!

  11. vylar_kaftan says:

    If you bring them in, and they do have FIV, you’re sparing other cats from contact with the disease.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I know I know! But FIV isn’t necessarily immediately fatal, and if these kitties were of a personality to make them adoptable, I wouldn’t hesitate. But if I bring them in and they do have FIV, it’s essentially an immediate death sentence. Erg.

      • britzkrieg says:

        Remember, FIV isn’t very contagious. In fact, I believe that two of the kittens I captured in ‘s yard were my Attila’s children, and neither they nor their mother were FIV-positive.

        I’m not saying that these kits have a low likelihood of being infected. I don’t know that for sure. Still, I think I may have scared you too badly when we talked about this before. For me, the pain is still so near…

      • britzkrieg says:

        Remember, FIV isn’t very contagious. In fact, I believe that two of the kittens I captured in ‘s yard were my Attila’s children, and neither they nor their mother were FIV-positive.

        I’m not saying that these kits have a low likelihood of being infected. I don’t know that for sure. Still, I think I may have scared you too badly when we talked about this before. For me, the pain is still so near…

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I know I know! But FIV isn’t necessarily immediately fatal, and if these kitties were of a personality to make them adoptable, I wouldn’t hesitate. But if I bring them in and they do have FIV, it’s essentially an immediate death sentence. Erg.

  12. vylar_kaftan says:

    If you bring them in, and they do have FIV, you’re sparing other cats from contact with the disease.

  13. n_decisive says:

    If you’re willing to keep them, chances are good that if one has FIV, the other does as well. At that point, they wouldn’t need to be euthanized; they can live out their lives together with you. You just couldn’t get any other cats unless they were positive, too.

    Skunks can’t get FIV, right? My science brain says no, but sometimes it’s wrong.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      The thing is, I don’t think these two are keepable. They’re too skittish and anxious around humans. One of them, I’m not sure which, swiped me a pretty good scratch on my finger when I got a wee bit too close with my “making friends” efforts. And also, I, personally, couldn’t keep them regardless, as I’m allergic to cats.

      Skunks can’t get FIV, right?

      I don’t believe so, but I don’t know if they’ve done any studies on the matter. FIV notwithstanding, I’d also be really hesitant to bring newly-domesticated ferals within Hobkin’s vicinity from a physical safety standpoint. Hobkin’s soft, spoiled, and without any proper defense mechanism—he’s never even been outside save for being carried in my arms or en route to the car. He could be seriously injured (or even killed) by a cat accustomed to the rigors of an outdoor life before I’d have time to intervene.

      • rigel_kent says:

        One trick we learned from fostering is when you reach for them to do it with hands closed rather then open…less threatening.
        What ever I can do, I’m available…its a tough situation.
        Too bad u can’t foster tho. The you could be Eugie Foster The Fosterer…heh

        • Eugie Foster says:

          One trick we learned from fostering is when you reach for them to do it with hands closed rather then open

          Ah. Sage advice I wish I’d had a few weeks ago.

          What ever I can do, I’m available

          Thanks so much! I suspect that and I will indeed be calling upon you and for help should we go forward with the trapping plan—and most definitely if we manage to catch someone. I’m afraid my hubby is far less cat savvy than I am (and I’m a novice!). Of note, it’s pretty likely that if we caught a kitty, it’d be during his watch, as I’m gearing up to begin my extended sojourn in the capitol building.

          Do y’all have a trap we can borrow? I saw that there are several places that will loan traps to folks wanting to catch ferals, but as you two seem to have done your share of feral rescues of late, I wondered if you had one on hand.

      • rigel_kent says:

        One trick we learned from fostering is when you reach for them to do it with hands closed rather then open…less threatening.
        What ever I can do, I’m available…its a tough situation.
        Too bad u can’t foster tho. The you could be Eugie Foster The Fosterer…heh

    • Eugie Foster says:

      The thing is, I don’t think these two are keepable. They’re too skittish and anxious around humans. One of them, I’m not sure which, swiped me a pretty good scratch on my finger when I got a wee bit too close with my “making friends” efforts. And also, I, personally, couldn’t keep them regardless, as I’m allergic to cats.

      Skunks can’t get FIV, right?

      I don’t believe so, but I don’t know if they’ve done any studies on the matter. FIV notwithstanding, I’d also be really hesitant to bring newly-domesticated ferals within Hobkin’s vicinity from a physical safety standpoint. Hobkin’s soft, spoiled, and without any proper defense mechanism—he’s never even been outside save for being carried in my arms or en route to the car. He could be seriously injured (or even killed) by a cat accustomed to the rigors of an outdoor life before I’d have time to intervene.

  14. n_decisive says:

    If you’re willing to keep them, chances are good that if one has FIV, the other does as well. At that point, they wouldn’t need to be euthanized; they can live out their lives together with you. You just couldn’t get any other cats unless they were positive, too.

    Skunks can’t get FIV, right? My science brain says no, but sometimes it’s wrong.

  15. madwriter says:

    Laurie and I have both dealt with this kind of situation before, unfortunately, and now we always end up taking two things into consideration:

    One, how well (or poorly) the animal is living. If it’s hungry, or obviously sick, for instance, we’ll take it in. There are also a lot of free-roaming dogs in our neighborhood, and some of them love to attack cats.

    Two, and more pressing in our consideration, is the likelihood of the feral infecting other cats.

    I’ll tell you, too, that one of the sweetest cats we have was a feral: Friday, now our big black panther, was only about four weeks old when we found him shivering on the library patio, and he fought us with everything he had. Two weeks later and much to our surprise he was clinging to our chests against our hearts part of the time, and spending the rest of his time playing around our “quarantine” bedroom and desperately wanting out to be out with the other cats. Now, fourteen months later, he still curls up on my lap when I’m writing, on my legs when I’m sleeping, and lets our current foster kittens groom him. :)

    • britzkrieg says:

      Feral and semi-feral kittens are pretty easy to tame, if you know how. Adults… not so much. :(

    • britzkrieg says:

      Feral and semi-feral kittens are pretty easy to tame, if you know how. Adults… not so much. :(

    • Eugie Foster says:

      They’re both adult cats, not kittens, unfortunately, which makes them unlikely socialization prospects.

      Aside from being obviously hungry—Kitty 1, at least, will wait some mornings on our doorstep for us to come feed her (and then scamper to the edge of the porch, out of reach, while we fill the bowl)—and assuming that her hurt paw will heal with time, they seem to be doing reasonably well. But even if they weren’t, we couldn’t take a kitty in, I’m afraid. I’m allergic to cats, and I won’t risk Hobkin’s health or safety by exposing him to a feral. He’s a soft, spoiled, lap skunk, utterly lacking the defense mechanism which would be his only chance at surviving a hostile cat-skunk meet-up. So the best we can do for these ferals is to get them fixed, medically looked at, and released. And the worst is bringing them in and having to put them down.

      I’m leaning more and more toward the trapping and hoping for the best option, but it’s rather on the heartbreaking side having to make the call.

      • madwriter says:

        Of allergies and skunks

        Ah, OK.

        Laurie and I did take in one feral adult–she stayed in the garage with her son and daughter–and we did make progress with her, but it took months of daily contact with her. And she was still only socialized around Laurie and me. But her two kittens were absolutely delightful. :)

  16. madwriter says:

    Laurie and I have both dealt with this kind of situation before, unfortunately, and now we always end up taking two things into consideration:

    One, how well (or poorly) the animal is living. If it’s hungry, or obviously sick, for instance, we’ll take it in. There are also a lot of free-roaming dogs in our neighborhood, and some of them love to attack cats.

    Two, and more pressing in our consideration, is the likelihood of the feral infecting other cats.

    I’ll tell you, too, that one of the sweetest cats we have was a feral: Friday, now our big black panther, was only about four weeks old when we found him shivering on the library patio, and he fought us with everything he had. Two weeks later and much to our surprise he was clinging to our chests against our hearts part of the time, and spending the rest of his time playing around our “quarantine” bedroom and desperately wanting out to be out with the other cats. Now, fourteen months later, he still curls up on my lap when I’m writing, on my legs when I’m sleeping, and lets our current foster kittens groom him. :)

  17. wishwords says:

    Boy, am I glad I’m not in your shoes. I’d hate to make that decision. I think that I would end up choosing to take them in. It’s only a chance that they are infected; it’s not a certainty. They would be so much happier if they were fixed and had their shots. If they are FIV positive, well, it’s not an immediate death sentence, but since they aren’t in a home where they can be given the meds to help them, it is an eventual, miserable death sentence. And then there’s the thought of all the kittens they could produce. I volunteer at a shelter and absolutely dread “kitten season” every year.

    It’s a hard decision. Whatever you decide, take as good care of them as you can and enjoy knowing that you are making their lives easier. You’re doing a good thing.

  18. wishwords says:

    Boy, am I glad I’m not in your shoes. I’d hate to make that decision. I think that I would end up choosing to take them in. It’s only a chance that they are infected; it’s not a certainty. They would be so much happier if they were fixed and had their shots. If they are FIV positive, well, it’s not an immediate death sentence, but since they aren’t in a home where they can be given the meds to help them, it is an eventual, miserable death sentence. And then there’s the thought of all the kittens they could produce. I volunteer at a shelter and absolutely dread “kitten season” every year.

    It’s a hard decision. Whatever you decide, take as good care of them as you can and enjoy knowing that you are making their lives easier. You’re doing a good thing.

  19. m0nkeygrl says:

    Woo! Congrats on Cricket.

  20. m0nkeygrl says:

    Woo! Congrats on Cricket.

  21. mystrys says:

    I don’t know if this will help but I did find the following page for Georgia.

    http://www.spotsociety.org/atl_shelter_listmain.htm

    About halfway down the page there’s links to “Feral Cat Resources” and a link to this group:

    J Feral Friends Network http://www.alleycat.org/feral_friends.html If you know of feral cats that need to be trapped, fixed and released, this group can look to see if they have anyone to assist you with the trapping in your area. Then if you need financial help getting them fixed, you can contact SPOT at 404 584-SPOT(7768).

    I don’t know if it will help but maybe :)! -Mystrys

  22. mystrys says:

    I don’t know if this will help but I did find the following page for Georgia.

    http://www.spotsociety.org/atl_shelter_listmain.htm

    About halfway down the page there’s links to “Feral Cat Resources” and a link to this group:

    J Feral Friends Network http://www.alleycat.org/feral_friends.html If you know of feral cats that need to be trapped, fixed and released, this group can look to see if they have anyone to assist you with the trapping in your area. Then if you need financial help getting them fixed, you can contact SPOT at 404 584-SPOT(7768).

    I don’t know if it will help but maybe :)! -Mystrys

  23. tezmilleroz says:

    Aw, that cat looks so fluffy-cuddly! Would need maintenance, though, combing that bushy tail. Good luck with that – my short-haired cat doesn’t like being combed, but he’s fine with being finger-combed.

    Thanks for sharing the photo, and have a lovely day! :-)

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks! The kitties are gorgeous, no argument there. But I doubt that combing/brushing is an option, at least not by me. They’re very skittish and seem more inclined to slash and run than to be pampered and coddled. Also, I’m allergic to cats…

  24. tezmilleroz says:

    Aw, that cat looks so fluffy-cuddly! Would need maintenance, though, combing that bushy tail. Good luck with that – my short-haired cat doesn’t like being combed, but he’s fine with being finger-combed.

    Thanks for sharing the photo, and have a lovely day! :-)

  25. I applaud your responsible nature in trying to help these two homeless little waifs. Good luck catching them, though. Feral kitties can be verrrry wary.

    I love that Cricket cover, btw. I have got to get my hands on a copy. If I score one, will you autograph it for me?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Thanks, and yah, all my angst and fretting might end up being moot, as there’s no guarantee that I’ll actually be able to trap these kitties should I set out to do so.

      I love that Cricket cover, btw. I have got to get my hands on a copy. If I score one, will you autograph it for me?

      Of course! Cricket is carried in some Barnes & Nobles, and I’ve seen them as well at Joe Muggs.

  26. I applaud your responsible nature in trying to help these two homeless little waifs. Good luck catching them, though. Feral kitties can be verrrry wary.

    I love that Cricket cover, btw. I have got to get my hands on a copy. If I score one, will you autograph it for me?

  27. dream_wind says:

    Have you contacted any of your local cat protection agencies/welfare societies? From what I’ve seen, they seem to be more common in the U.S. than here in Australia. One I’ve read a lot about is Living Free (www.living-free.org) which even has a sanctuary for unadoptable pets.

  28. dream_wind says:

    Have you contacted any of your local cat protection agencies/welfare societies? From what I’ve seen, they seem to be more common in the U.S. than here in Australia. One I’ve read a lot about is Living Free (www.living-free.org) which even has a sanctuary for unadoptable pets.

  29. dream_wind says:

    And that is a cool cover, too. Congrats on being lead story!

  30. dream_wind says:

    And that is a cool cover, too. Congrats on being lead story!

  31. dean13 says:

    Ugh… quite the feral cat quandary! What a horrible choice.

    Good Luck.

    Suzy and I caught and neutered several of the neighborhood semi-feral cats. I helped Suzy catch and put up for adoption several of the cute and cuddly offspring from this group. It was impossible for us to stand by and only keep feeding them when we saw that the three daughters of the local semi-feral momma cat were now cranking out kitties of their own. I couldn’t bear the thought of letting the feral cat population boom continue. But, I never had to face the prospect of having one these kitties being put to sleep for having FIV.

  32. dean13 says:

    Ugh… quite the feral cat quandary! What a horrible choice.

    Good Luck.

    Suzy and I caught and neutered several of the neighborhood semi-feral cats. I helped Suzy catch and put up for adoption several of the cute and cuddly offspring from this group. It was impossible for us to stand by and only keep feeding them when we saw that the three daughters of the local semi-feral momma cat were now cranking out kitties of their own. I couldn’t bear the thought of letting the feral cat population boom continue. But, I never had to face the prospect of having one these kitties being put to sleep for having FIV.

  33. britzkrieg says:

    How are these kitties doing now?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Sorry ’bout the non-response to your email! Been sucked under by session, and I’m still terribly behind in my correspondences.

      Re: the kitties – once it started getting warmer, they turned somewhat scarce. I don’t think we’ve seen them for over a week now.

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