National Feral Cat Day is Sunday, and I’ll be celebrating by putting into motion my plan for backyard cats Bluestar and Fireheart.
But first: A happy development on Bluestar that has given me a little hope. The other day, I was a little late getting breakfast put outside, and Bluestar and Fireheart were hanging out in the backyard. Bluestar was sitting right next to the bowl, and when I came outside, she didn’t move! I wish I had brought my camera out with me.
While I filled the bowl, she moved away a bit, but she never strayed too far from the deck where she is fed. She talked to me the whole time. I’m pretty sure she was saying, “Make sure breakfast is never this late again, OK?”
Since then, I’ve been able to put food out while she is on or near the deck. She doesn’t bolt away from me. I don’t know if she’ll ever be able to be an indoor kitty, but she’s given me enough hope to try.
Now Fireheart, on the other hand, ran away when I came out, and he ran further away when I put some wet food in a place he could get to it without disturbing Bluestar. I think Fireheart is destined to be an outdoor cat, and that’s OK. It’s his home.
We’re putting the house on the market in the spring, so the cats in my backyard need to move to a new home. I want to know that they will be safe, so I opted not to put out a call on Facebook looking for a barn home. Instead, I’ve lined up an outdoor home with a feral colony. I trust the caretaker because I have worked with her before. Fireheart – and Bluestar, if she tells me indoors is not the life for her – will be well fed, cared for, and loved for the rest of their lives.
I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Alley Cat Allies’ National Feral Cat Day than by doing right by these two cats who call my backyard home. Keep your fingers crossed that the trapping goes smoothly and easily. Both with be spayed/neutered, microchipped, and given a rabies shot before moving on to the next step, whether that is socialization or acclimation into a new outdoor home.
What about the other cats? We haven’t seen them as reliably as Bluestar and Fireheart. It’s been weeks since I have seen Captain Fluffy, Graystripe, or Ghost. We’ll make plans for them, too, if they come back around.
P.S.: The title of this post comes from “Nobody’s Cats: How One Little Black Kitty Came in From the Cold” by Valerie Ingram and Alistair Schroff. I love this little children’s book, and I’ll write more about it on the blog on Sunday!