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I think I did a good deed for a feral kitty 11/7--Gordon update and photo #99

I manage a feral colony of now 13 cats --all spayed and neutered. I even have a card that says I am an official feral colony supervisor! The Public Vet offered a two day (extremely) low priced neuter/spay drop off and pick up. I had a young cat that was part of my colony (since January). I trapped him and he has now rejoined the group.

My concern is a second feral. My DD lives in a ground floor apartment. A big Tom was spraying her screen door and engaging with her house cat --screaming/fighting through the window. She asked me to remove. I did so --successfully trapped, took to the free clinic --picked up. Vet said cat had “numerous wounds” that he addressed. Vet at my request did check for chip to make sure this second feral didn’t belong to someone.

He has been named Gordon. He is in the barn now, in a comfortable cage (food, water, blanket). Vet said to confine him for 2 weeks until the hormones dissipate. I can do that.

The www says introducing a new feral to an established colony is rarely successful. The new cat will simply head for home (15 miles away) territory.

Thoughts? Had I left kitty in the center of the city, I doubt he would have lived long --he is a big fellow but eventually the HS would have trapped him and he’d be in the same situation.

Feel a little sad for the big guy.

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Bless you for giving Gordon a safe new home ~ yes a good deed - indeed !

Important to help Gordon as well as other wandering cats in the barn area - to “know” Gordon’s new home ~ as in THIS IS MY HOME • stay away !

While he is resetting in his cage in the barn and before letting Gordon out please - see below

• Collect - some urine spots and or small pieces of his scat and place ( with gloves on ) at the outside corners of the barn and other sheds …at gate posts …. In his new area. This marks his boundaries and he knows he is home. Also keep wanderers away.

He has a litter box ? Use two and swap them / using the used material for marking the boundaries and giving him a clean one … and so forth.

Again ~ Gordon says “Thank you for saving me ~ and giving me such a nice new home !”

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You just upgraded Gordon to a life of luxury!!

I’d feel sorry for him too, but not too long. After his two week confinement he’s going to have regular meals, warm dry napping spots and he won’t have to fight all the time.

He’s going to be just fine. :blush:

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@Zu_Zu Gordon was unconscious yesterday when I moved him to his cage. Left him food and water inside. He is currently on two blankets (one over him, sort of), in a sand-filled stall. Today I will (attempt) to put in clean blankets and move him to a clean spot --will do droppings as suggested. I will try to put in a litter box, too. Hoping he’s not aggressive.

Eventually I will put him (during the day) outside where the feeding station is for a meet and greet. He can continue to come (in his cage) inside. However, the feral cats live in out buildings --not in my barn. If a cat can get in, a raccoon can too. I feed them, but they are on their own for shelter. If Gordon learns to come in at night, all good, I shut the doors. If not, he’s on his own. Will try to get him used to eating at the same time inside.

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My experience with TNR cats is if you give them a hiding place in their cage, they will gladly stay away from you to do cage maintenance (replace litter pan, refresh water, refill food, etc).
Some of them learn that you are the bringer of food and that is when you can win them over.

If nothing else I doubt he will want to hurt you, he will want to avoid you, so if he has space to do that, he will.

If you keep him caged a little longer I am guessing he will hang around when he is let loose and learn the routine there.

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ok - while Gordon is learning the time schedule and your scent ~ add a little bell to your key chain and always use the same fragrance / shampoo / think senses for him / sound / scent / sight / and taste and eventually touch …

Allow Gordon to acclimate with your routine - try to maintain a solid schedule but if that is slightly modified due to your life = late to feed - the bell on your key chain (just roll it / no shaking) your scent and your appearance ( no hoodies for awhile ) will help Gordon relax and adapt to his barn.

@Foxglove you are giving him a blue ribbon relocation ~ he will adjust ~ ((hugs)) for both of you but honestly this is a really really good deed !!

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If other ferals have claimed the sheds - just mark Gordon’s barn with scat / outside corners but feeding in the location where you will always feed him. * He will need to eat separately now and possibly forever - IMHO :four_leaf_clover:

Thanks for being such a grand person for ferals !

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Added explanation of meet and greet without ‘appetizers’ - as ferals are all about survival and staking out a safe location with resources / food water • so it’s best not to set up any perceived or non perceived competition ~ if that makes sense.

No happy hours or dinner parties for Gordon and his ‘friends’ at least for a long time so they can all stay “home” / want to stay home.

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I think food is a great way to keep your ferals around.
You just have to make sure there are more than enough feeding stations so there is a discussion about the food.

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@Zu_Zu @trubandloki - I only have two feeding stations: one on the ground (filled in the AM, mostly empty by PM) and one elevated that only cats can get to (raccoons can’t jump --cats can). It empties in the overnight. I keep two trail cams on the feeding station and check daily (it’s fun) to see who showed up and if anyone is new. Mostly it’s the same 5-11 regulars --only rarely do I have a new cat. Last one was in January and he just was neutered and released.

Gordon is a new introduction to the clowder --so I’m taking it slow . . .thank you for all the help.

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@Foxglove sounds like you have an established feral plan ~ :four_leaf_clover: again and bless you for helping Gordon ~

@Zu_Zu -first pix is Gordon unconscious yesterday. The second is of him this AM :

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@Foxglove
Gordon is SO handsome ! Thanks for sharing his pics ~

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He is very handsome. Thank you for giving him a chance at a new life.

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I love the name Gordon

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@trubandloki @Zu_Zu @rubygirl1968 @Alterwho @shiloh -Gordon update —he’s eating and his digestive system seems to be working. He watched me closely this AM --no growling or hissing or any sound at all. I removed his food dishes using long BBQ tongs. He watched but didn’t object. I slowly removed the soiled bedding (from when he had surgery) --it was stinky and wet so I put it by my feeding station hoping the feral colony will sniff at it. Then I eased a cat-size cardboard box into the crate. I put a fresh dish of food in the crate and fresh water. I did my horse stuff in the barn (Gordon is in a stall by himself) At some point he ate all the food. Then he put himself into his box. This is GREAT because now I can push the opening of his box against the side of the cage when I need to have my hands in there. Tomorrow, I will put some toys in there for him, and maybe a scratching post (big stick). He can get on top of his box if he wants to. He did let me briefly scratch him under his chin with the tongs. Baby steps.

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Love that you wrote his name on the box.

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Sounds like he is doing great! Way to go!

I love everything about this. The name “Gordon” the personal, mini Gordon fort, and the fact that you are 100% a feral cat guardian angel!

Since he is so far from his original area, its possible he won’t try to venture back. Is there a strong hierarchy in your colony? My colony has a couple dominant males, who are all neutered now, but they scrap and chase off any intact Toms who come around. They have allowed younger neutered cats to hang around if they play nice and stay submissive. However, my colony is urban, so we have lots of ‘turnover’ for the fringe members. You totally saved this kitty by letting Gordon stay at your barn

Can’t wait to see more Gordon pics!

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@BatCoach @Zu_Zu --here’s a pix of Gordon from yesterday. He is willing to put his head out of his ox when I am around him. I sit and visit with him twice a day giving him scratches under his chin with a riding crop --he allows this. I put the end of the riding crop into some “gravy” that was part of his breakfast. He pulled away at first but then licked it all off. I think that is a good sign. While I don’t want to force him to accept touching, I do think that touching is important. My goal is to have him comfortable enough that he will come out of his box while I am present.

One concern is is meowing --he is constantly making pitiful little mew-mew-mew sounds. DD said he was highly verbal when he was terrorizing her cat through a screen door and spraying her furniture. But I worry that he is sad and missing his colony. Other than spend time with him, I can’t think of anything more to do for him. The vocalizing may be related to the anesthesia wearing off. He was heavily sedated for his surgery and some injuries that needed attention. He was one of the last kitties to come around and regain consciousness. (the vet said) Gordon was still flaccid when I moved him from the trap to his cage, so I don’t know what the vet considered conscious. And he may have some discomfort.

I added a log to his crate so he has something to scratch with his claws. I tried playing with him (paper butterfly on a string) but he was uninterested.

Today is supposed to be beautiful and sunny. I think this is a good day to set his crate outside. He will still have his box inside, but the day feeding feral cats can have a look see. As ZuZu said, I will put it away from the feeding station.

The feral cats in my colony only rarely cross paths. I have two stations set up relatively close. There are never two cats eating at the same one. All the “big Toms” are neutered and have been for some time. I think there are two new comers who, if they stick around, will be fixed in Nov. when the neuter scooter comes to town again. Both new fellows are on the small side. Thank you for your support! It’s hard to be a cat mom!

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