by Joanne Crownshaw
(Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England)
I often saw a stripey tabby cat sitting on the garden wall waiting patiently, listening for movement from the odd mouse or twittering bird. One day I held out my hand to give him a stroke, when suddenly he hissed, spat and bashed me quickly with his lethal paws. Then he darted off as fast as he could run. Er, I thought what a nasty unsociable cat.
Months later I caught him fast asleep in a old tin bin, his tail hanging out and wet through from the rain and long grass. I was out in the garden feeding my ferret, when I had finished I was just clearing up and the stripey moggy was clinging on to the ferret cage, trying to claw his way inside the cage for the food I had put out for the ferret.
I sympathised with the sorrowful sight of the starving cat and I offered him some food, it was the least I could do, to save my ferret from being terrorised by the hungry moggy.
Oh boy, did he enjoy that, he wolfed the food down as though he hadn’t eaten in weeks, he sat down and cleaned up his whiskers and off he went.
The following day, he was there again same time, waiting for another served up portion of dinner. I repaired his old tin bin and made the shelter warmer for him on these frosty nights. I added cardboard, polystyrene, cushions and fur sheepskin.
I have been feeding him daily for 2 months now and he is always there waiting for lunch. He sits close by, he plays with me and is very lively and alert. He rubs up to my legs, but I am unable to stroke him, he gets aggressive and hisses and spits and bashes and scratches with his paws.
He managed to scratch my leg and I had to pull out the antiseptic to clean my wound. I didn’t touch him, he was rubbing up to my leg and I moved and he got cross and lashed out before legging it. I’m so glad I wasn’t wearing my best stockings.
I call him ‘Crouger’ as in Freddie Crouger, with his razor sharp paws. He climbs high in the trees and I’m sure the bird population will be decreased by numbers a little this springtime.
I still feed him, I want him to know that someone does care about him and I want him to feel wanted. I worry that if he gets ill or hurt I won’t be able to pick him up or handle him. So I pray for the future that he stays safe, fit, well, and healthy.
He is how a cat should be.
Admin says: Beautiful story – thank you for sharing it. I changed the title. Hope you don’t mind. The reason: to let Google find your submission more easily and list it independently of this page (for Google the title is important). Your name is still listed as author.
I think Crouger will gradually, very gradually let you touch him more. It will be a gradual acclimatization. I actually did an article on taming feral cats. Even some domesticated cats don’t like being picked up. I feed my neigbour’s cat (she comes in for it), a sweet loving cat but she hisses and growls when I try and pick her up.