Sassy cats — What was really going on during the move

Who could leave that sweet kitty?

I whined a lot prior to and during the move. My nerves were shot but it wasn’t just the simple act of moving which by the way is not a simple act. I’m still coming to terms with what I have to give up to downsize but this post is not about that.

My old house had a pond and it attracted all sorts of wildlife. During the fall I saw a beautiful tuxedo cat come for a drink. I didn’t think anything of it and I only saw him a few times. He was strikingly beautiful and looked very healthy. He’s mostly black but has white whiskers and socks. I assumed he was someone’s pet.

Come winter I’d still see him at the pond but on a very cold day in January I saw him eating the corn that was out for the crows and squirrels. Cats don’t eat field corn so it touched my heart (which is attached to a very weird part of my brain that makes me take action).

The first day he ran when he saw me but I put kibble out. He came back later and ate it. The next day he was checking out this new restaurant around dinnertime (for him it’s between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. depending on sunset). I put out a whole can of cat food and he ate that fast so I put out a cup of kibble. Also gone in an inkling.

Let me in! I’ll be good. I promise.

He came for breakfast too. I propped the screened porch door open so he could be protected when he ate and there was a cushion for him. Before you know it he was there regularly and my bed and breakfast was open. It took six days before we went from running away to playing with a feather on a stick. He was very tame. Although he let me pet him I couldn’t get close enough to pick him up or grab him.

During normal times, I would have continued this routine until I earned his trust, then tried to bring him inside. (Yeah, yeah, I know but it’s who I am.) This wasn’t normal times. I was moving in two weeks.

I reached out to my neighborhood Facebook page hoping to find an owner. I had pictures of him to post. A rescue person responded and she agreed to trap him for me prior to my move. The thought of him coming one day and no one being there just broke my heart.

She was very efficient and he was trapped on the first try. Then we noticed that his ear was tipped. It was very subtle. That means he was trapped, neutered and returned outside. I was surprised because he is a friendly but cautious cat. He is also gorgeous. His markings are striking. I didn’t know why whoever TNR’d him wouldn’t have tried to find him a safe home.

He was very scared and didn’t eat much the first day or two. He was relying on the week of double meals he had been getting. After a vet checkup and flea treatment (yes he had fleas), he went to a foster home to get more socialization. He was still scared and it took him awhile. They were also fostering another tuxedo cat. The two cats get along really well. He still is cautious around humans (reminds me of my old cat Hazel who never warmed up to people). He allows petting and sweet talking. He loves his roommate and my fervent wish is that they get adopted together.

This all played out while I was packing, moving and overseeing Morgan’s broken leg.  I couldn’t take him inside because Sasha wasn’t a fan of his. She’d smack the window when she saw him so it would take some time to introduce them. Time wasn’t on my side.

He still doesn’t interact freely with humans although he’s come a long way. The rescuer assured me that the foster is skilled with super shy cats so I’m being hopeful. If I would have had time to work with him, he would progress sooner but at this point I don’t have a dedicated cat room. I have a lot of respect for people who foster. I doubt I can do that. I fall in love too easily. At least with cats.

Author’s note: I wrote this last weekend. Since then I heard that he had two potential adopters interested in him. Both are experienced with cats so his shyness wouldn’t be an issue. Today I found out that he is going to his forever home on Sunday. I had a lot of angst over this kitty. He was such a funny cat. A part of me wished I could adopt him but another part smacked me on the side of the head and said “What are you thinking?” I am keeping my distance from all cats except my own. Oh yes, my cats would have smacked me too.


82 thoughts on “Sassy cats — What was really going on during the move

  1. Such a sweet story. Rescue groups are such treasures
    There’s a big TNR colony across from NASA that has been there longer than NASA earning their keep mousing around the hospital and restaurants. THere’s a club that watches over them and controls population.
    Can identify with the story – Grey at our last house was a smilier story. After fretting and ignoring resident cat input, I did trap, vet, ear notch, but carried him to this house – no one in the old place would feed him or give him shelter, the new owner had some mean looking dogs and one next door neighbor had a bad habit of getting drunk and running over animals and things.
    Grey was sweet, but his own cat. He took off shortly after being released to explore the back yard. I fretted – until saw him in the window of another house. He looked smug – and was safe and wanted. Some have to choose their own.
    GO for it kitty – let them help you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard that when he was loaded into the carrier he pooped all over. He also did that when he was loaded in the carrier last time. I can relate to that. Carriers are scary. Hope he likes his new home and comes out of his shell.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sasha was being a prima donna … she said while smacking the window “I have enough cats to supervise now – don’t bring in another one!” I am glad this one gets a furever home today and can thank you for making arrangements for the rescue and eventual “inside home” with a loving family.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are so kind hearted! So good of you to take care of this boy and get him into someplace safe and warm so he can go to a good home 🙂 I’m so sorry the situation caused you so much stress, and it certainly didn’t happen at a good time for you, but YAY for the happy ending 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Long time rescue person here, retired. Thank you so much for not leaving him. I wouldn’t have been able to either. It’s heartbreaking and it never seems to end. Sounds like this will have a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope so. I’m more positive than the rescuer. He isn’t interacting with people much. I think it takes time. I adopted a yearling that was from an outdoor litter. We had her for 12 years and she never warmed up to strangers but she did get to like us. I hope the adopter gives him the time he needs to feel safe.


  5. Oh, kudos to you for not just leaving him behind and for keeping tabs on him. I’m like you in that I could never foster. With our latest kitty, the thought was there that perhaps someone would adopt him but it took us months to get to the petting and brushing stage. By that point, we couldn’t imagine letting him go.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I couldn’t be a foster mama, once a cat is here it stays here. We are only allowed to have 2 cats here so that’s what I have. If there wasn’t a limit I would be in danger of becoming a crazy cat lady for sure. You did good with Tux!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was riveted reading this story, the whole time worried it wouldn’t have a happy ending. So relieved it turned out well. Thank you for taking care of him and doing everything you could to ensure his safety, despite everything you had going on with the move. It’s so good you knew someone who could trap him safely. I wouldn’t have any idea how to find someone to do that. Thankfully, I never see any stray cats in my neighborhood.

    I fostered two dogs. I had a rule with both of them, if they made it to six months in our home they were staying. One stayed 3 months and the other 5 months before we found them good forever homes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I chose not to write about him until the story was done (or close to done). I didn’t know the rescuer. I reached out on our NextDoor website for our neighborhood and two people volunteered to help. Originally on this journey I was convinced he was someone’s pet but when I realized his ear was tipped so he had been trapped, neutered and returned to the outdoors, I knew there was no hope of an owner. He’s a sweet cat and I don’t know why the TNR folks didn’t try to adopt him out. That’s what they do with young friendly cats. I commend you for fostering. I fall in love so easily. About 8 years ago a young (maybe 6 months old) gray cat showed up in our yard mewing. I took him in and fed him. I put posters all over because I thought he got out. No response so I wondered if someone dumped him. I sent emails to all my cat loving friends and within two days he was in a great home. I still think of him and sometimes wish I would have kept him. I had him for a total of 3 days. I would be a terrible foster.

      Liked by 1 person

    • And that is also a happy ending. Thanks I needed to hear that. I visited him today and he didn’t interact. He didn’t even eat the treats. I’m hoping a home (he’s in a more industrial setting) and some dedicated handling will help.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. You want a happy ending for all cats! You made it happen too, Kate. I so understand not wanting to leave him there without the schedule he was used to. I hated to leave our birds at the Tiny Ten. Some dined from Jerry’s hand and Mr. Tanager followed him all over the tiny acres talking away as he worked. There were plenty of dumped cats and kittens, too. Thanks for helping Mr. Tuxie!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Have I told you today that you’re my favorite?
    You rock!

    So glad that you (and others) rescued that cat from the frozen tundra and that he’ll soon have a forever home with a loving surrogate.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fingers crossed for this guy that his forever home is perfection. Huge hugs and kudos to you for recognizing his potential, feeding him when he was hungry, and caring enough to get him help. That is a huge victory for which you should be super proud – seriously. Many would have ignored this guy asking politely for help. We are always feeding visitors who need a handout – they may only come once or twice but they know they can come if they need to and get shelter in the porch enclosure and a meal. It feels good to help………

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does feel good to help but there were some sleepless nights involved. I am fortunate that a kind rescue person responded to me. I’m also lucky I didn’t see the ear tip because as soon as she saw that she was reluctant. I had to use full waterworks and the old card to entice her but her heart was soft too. Didn’t take much.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. My landlord does not allow pets (one tenant got a support dog though and a new tenant moved in with a cat so maybe exceptions are being made?) and so I try not to even talk to or touch an animal I see walking with its human. Social distancing and winter weather have helped and every year I look at my budget to see if I can afford a pet. I’m more of a dog person but I do like and have had a couple of cats. My biggest concern is that I live alone and there would be no one to look after my pet if I couldn’t… I’m glad you let the pretty boy go to a family that will love him while you concentrate on your little ones more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have kept to my 4 cat quota. I’ve had some cats who didn’t like each other and never want to go through that again. Having said that, if I would have stayed at the old house, I’m sure I would have eventually incorporated into my pack if he hung around. I have someone who has promised to make sure my cats are taken care of if something happens to me and my husband but I understand that worry. I also have a cat sitter that I can call on if we’d be hospitalized together for a short time. Have you thought of fostering? It’s tough to give it back but it’s one way and usually the rescue pays the costs.


  12. I had to google TNR cat. I don’t think it hapens here. We don’t have many feral cats. I love tuxedo cats. I am glad you rescued him even if you could not adopt him.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. hugs to you for being the wonderful person you are!!! we are so glad that he will move to his forever home this sunday… and we hope everything goes well… without you he would be still outside and you made the world a little bit better … for all of us… such things give hope… soecially this time…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw thanks. I felt badly for him when I saw him eat the corn and bird seed. I hope he is happy living in a house. It’s different than sleeping under the stars. Tradeoffs. In one place you have steady food and in the other complete freedom.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I’m so excited that he gets to go to his forever home Sunday. Is he going with his kitty roommate? And hooray for you for caring about this cat and helping him. And to the rescue too. I know it was a very trying and challenging haul!

    Liked by 1 person

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