This is the heroic story of Mindy’s rescue, spaying and neutering, taming, socialization, domestication and re-homing where possible of 75 semi-feral cats at a RV Park at Northern CA on the Southern Oregon Border. The story is in her own words.
By Mindy (Southern Oregon)
The Task Ahead
In Jan 2018 I knew I was the only person who would help end the cat abuse at a Recreational Vehicle Park near my home on the Klamath River on the California/Oregon Border. This colony has the sweetest most endearing felines. They all have a kink in the tip of their tails. They all love bite their human, purr extremely loud. They were starved for food and never knew love. The mothers were so over whelmed they left the kittens in the blackberry bushes to die.
I contacted a friend who runs a cat rescue CARE and I contacted my country vet of the Dr. Herriot variety. The following Wednesday we crated as many cats as we could. There were so many we had to bring the females to my home and release them so we could crate more. The vet came and neutered 30 male cats on the spot, they were re released the following morning.
Twenty-two females were in the basement of my home for a day. Then we transported 10 to a Cat Rescue in Northern Or, 2 days later another 8 were placed. We placed 5 kittens from the park into a fancy shop in upscale Ashland OR.
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The 4 females left here we could not get our hands on. I found it funny that I had no idea there were 4 one was hidden behind the stove for quite awhile, one was hidden in a over stuffed chair. As time passed I was able to pick up each cat and place it in the bathroom. However I have needed to buy an extra box of bandages.
There they could be ‘WDQ’: warm, dark and quiet. I gave them plenty of attention. It took weeks to get them, one by one, ready for the next room. My upstairs bathroom has a huge window overlooking a meadow where birds are abundant. A tall cat tree at the window allows for great viewing. The cupboard under the sink was emptied.
Socialization & Domestication
I placed 2 small boxes each with an old soft shirt of mine for them. That worked because I could close one or both doors on the cupboard, depending on how afraid the cats were. The tub as well had two boxes. It is necessary to first comfort them with food available at all times. In the evenings I fed food from cans to encourage them to bond to me. I held each cat many times a day.
The first time they let me hold them they went into a quivering motion which lasted 10 mins or so. The 2nd time I held them they purred. For days they hid in their boxes. Slowly I placed them on the cat tree and in the window sill. When the boxes were no longer of any use, I introduced play. As odd as it is these cats were afraid of toys. In this case only a small bit of yarn was safe. Then we moved onto more challenging toys they could enjoy without me. It was a joy to hear them playing. Slowly I moved the cats from the 2nd bathroom into my huge master bedroom. They were exposed to TV and the dogs, as well as my own cats. When they were tame and in my arms they were ready to be placed in homes.
Eventually all the female cats were spayed at various vets where we could get a discount. As this went on the male cats were taken from the park and placed. Any cat that was too timid or too afraid came to my home and started the process in the WDQ room. It came down to just the semi feral cats left here. The rescuers took 5 to go to other tamers, 3 were returned to me 3 weeks later deemed feral. Those 3 cats are in my bedroom this evening on my bed with the other last 3.
All 75 Treated
All 75 of these cats are spay and neutered, had their shots, treated for fleas, and had had their mats shaved free. I had cats that were so emaciated hips bones stuck out, 1 poor dilute tortie, still here can’t stop eating in fear it will be gone. One poor cat had lost an eye due to an untreated infection. One kitty only was here 1 night suffering until the vet opened she was so starved and ill there was no choice.
Out of 75 we only lost that 1 kitty. I had to re release 4 feral cats back to the Park. These last few foster cats are not ready for normal homes. Kitten season is upon us and the rescues are full. Perhaps in the fall these last few will get forever homes. Perhaps they already have one.
Befriending an Frightened Orange Tabby “Matty”
We are a rescue org. in So OR. I had a wonderful but terribly matted DLH male orange tabby. They took him from here to an expert tamer 2 hrs away, she gave up, he was sent 2 more places and finally had to be trapped in the last “great tamers” home. He was 1 hated cat! I was to just re-release him to the feral colony. Scarred hissing n biting he arrived here in a trap. 10 mins later he was out sitting in his window, I picked him up and held him, purring, kneading, and drooling. He is so in love w/me I’ll never let him go.
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