Posted by wendiwendy
Earlier this year I wrote about our former-feral kitties, three girls that have lived with us for 6-1/2 years now. They are quite tame compared to their early wild days, but they still don’t let us pick them up and I was worrying-in-advance about trying to get them into cat carriers when/if we sell this house and need to move to a new place.
When we had the power outage in the middle of the 100 degree heatwave this summer, we had to leave the cats (the three former-ferals and our other cat, Sabrina) in the house because we couldn’t take them to my mom’s as she’s allergic. After that ordeal, I got the bright idea to get the former-feral girls all “legal” in case this ever happened again, so we could pay to have them boarded. (As far as I know, you can’t board an animal unless it has a rabies shot.)
The girls all got their vaccinations back when we first trapped them and took them in to be spayed, and Maxie even went the following year for another rabies shot, but after that we never attempted it because it was too hard to catch them and put them in a carrier. I was determined this summer though, and we made a valiant attempt to catch them and take them to a low-cost vaccine clinic. (We=Dave)
Let’s just say it was not successful. We won’t speak of the pitiful yowling, the cat that was placed into a carrier and then broke through the door of the carrier and escaped. After listening to the mayhem for about 20 minutes on the other side of the bedroom door (Dave was in there with the cats), I knocked on the door and told Dave to stop – it just wasn’t worth it. He opened the door, panting and wild-eyed, and I surveyed the scene. The bed was up on its side (the cats had been hiding under it) and the room looked like a tornado went through it.
On the bright side, the girls forgave us fairly quickly (it took one day of shunning us and another of giving us dirty looks as they ran past). But I realized that if we couldn’t even get them into carriers to get vaccinations, there was no way we could catch them if we had some kind of natural disaster and had to evacuate. I had to accept that it was what it was.
Well, within the past 3 weeks we’ve had a bit of a breakthrough. It started when I was sitting on the couch reading. Maxie (the mama feral) jumped on the couch, walked around me a bit, and then tentatively climbed into my lap. I was happily stunned – she stayed for about 5 minutes and then wandered off.
Since then, if I’m on the couch and she comes into the room, she will leap onto my lap with no hesitation. She even falls asleep there, and it actually has gotten to the point where I’m kind of stuck on the couch, because she’s sleeping on my lap and I don’t dare disturb her. All this time I’ve been wishing the cats would get comfortable enough to do this, and now I think, “Oh man, I have to get up and I don’t want to move the cat!” I’ve actually called out to Dave to come over and entice her off my lap so I can get up.
The other girls, Grace and Alice, are not lap cats yet but Grace will now come and cuddle with me in the morning, when I’m still in bed. So who knows…maybe by the time we move, we’ll be able to just sling these cats right into their carriers with no worries. Stranger things have happened!