Well, you can see that the eye is doing a lot better! We can also see that he is very much a he. Good lord. I had never, ahem, seen an intact cat before. Quite shocking, really.
But now, other evidence of the hard life is apparent: there are large claw scratches on his legs, and I am lead to believe (from the teeny hand-like prints in the back yard) that our Grey Boy has been tangling with a raccoon.
So, what do you think the chances are that he would hang around if we trapped and neutered him? I know that we could do it, and that it would benefit him and the enormous feral population, so it’s pretty much a guaranteed thing, if we can snare him. But he’s so wild! I know that a lot of that is due to the fact that he is not neutered, but I wonder if any of you have experience with doing this to a cat who won’t let you touch him.
Oh, and for those of you who actually expect some cello here, I have a few notes. First, the celebrity thing is still in the works. Hold tight on that. Next, we are going to have some bow month post scripts, with updates on progress, and I have been contacted by a few people who want to submit their hands for discussion. So bow month lives on! Next, I have been doing battle with a formidable opponent: QuarkXpress 7. This is why my site has been under construction for a week or more. The thing has been completely done for 3 weeks, but I am learning the convoluted nuances of ftp, CyberDuck, and general web badness. So, sorry about that. More news in a few days, my dears….
You have a reasonable chance of keeping him around, and even if not you will have done a great service.
I’d suggest you contact one of your local cat rescue groups for assistance. They will often rent traps, as well as sharing expertise. An approach that often works is to feed him in the unset trap for a few days, then set the trap when you can be available to monitor it. He is likely to be upset (!), and if so, throwing a blanket over the trap afterward can have a calming effect. Also, you will want to have made arrangements with a vet so you can take him in immediately after you trap him.
Like Terry said on your other post, formerly ferals can make wonderful pets. He’s obviously not afraid of you, which bodes well for it simply being a matter of time to gain his trust.
My wife’s taming of Harley (so-named because of his triple forte purr) happened a good number of years before I came along. I’ll ask her tonight for details of how it went. I think he wasn’t completely wild, just neglected and let loose to roam by irresponsible owner(s). Presumably this cat has some human history; hopefully it was not completely negative.
One of your pictures has reminded me, by the way, that some animals fear cameras. They seem to understand it is some sort of giant eye, staring directly at them. Direct eye contact in the animal world is often an invitation to confrontation. As much as the drama of the story is interesting, the cat might fear a staring camera.
Oh, not to worry about the pictures. We have a paparazzi like telephoto lens that allows us to take shots like that first one from over 100 feet away.
I have a good sense for animals, and have whispered (hee hee) many “unfriendly” cats and dogs. I don’t get the sense that he feels invaded or confronted. Maybe it’s because we have worked to build trust. At first, we could go away and let him eat. Then we would hang around but ignore him. And finally, we talk to him as he wanders around, and look at him like normal. He used to squat and eat but now fully sits down to munch, so I think we’re making progress with his soul. Now for his health…
I only knew Harley in his old age. My wife says, after eating a number of times at the door, once he was let in the house, he made himself comfortable right away. But then he’d disappear for days at a time until he was fixed.
She has a brochure about stray cats versus feral cats from Alley Cat Allies. She suggested I scan it, but their web site has all the info: alleycat.org. Start with http://alleycat.org/visitor.html. Strays you can work with, but with ferals the best you can do is trap-neuter-return.
My wife says at the vet office if she had not claimed his as a “pet”, they would have clipped the tip of one ear. Then animal control can tell from a distance that the animal had already been neutered and returned.
Cool! We’re going to have him neutered in the next few days. His eye is totally recovered, and he was very solicitous this afternoon. He eats better than some people I know: today was chicken from whole foods. Maybe tomorrow we’ll oil his coat with sardines. Although he might not ever be ours, it’s a lesson in love to learn to just send out affection and not expect much in return.