Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We had seen a black cat hanging around our back yard, but hadn't thought much of it until after the first big snow when it showed up at our front door looking for food. We asked our neighbor who it belonged to and he said as far as he knew it didn't have an owner. The previous owners of our house had been leaving food out for it the past few years, and it apparently lives under our deck.
It's extremely shy, though it has let me pet it while it's eating. This is the best photo I've managed to take of it because when it hears the camera whir open, it bolts. We've been waiting to hear whether the realtor was able to learn anything from the previous owners - did they ever take it to the vet? Have it neutered? Give it shelter in winter?
We can't let it inside, even if it wanted to come, because we already have two cats who can be very aggressive and territorial. (Nuts once chased our landlord's dog out of the yard at our old house, and Ruby freaks whenever she sees another cat out the window. They don't even get along with each other very well.) If it truly is a feral cat, it can't be adopted in the traditional way and suddenly be transformed into a house cat. And assuming it's been living here several years and knows this territory well, it might not do well being relocated (as much as I would like to take it to my sister's farm -- haven't convinced her to buy into that one yet ;o)
It survived our subzero temperatures before Christmas, but after doing a little research on-line I made a temporary feral cat shelter using stuff we had around the house: cardboard box, plastic sheeting, foam insulation board, and duct tape, plus some hay from my sister's farm. I'm not sure yet what the long term plan will be....