"The Cat Whisperer."
I got one of the feral kittens back this week from the foster mother, two weeks later, because he was "completely wild" and "untamable," and she was thinking of putting him down. The other kittens apparently were fine--this one was intractable.
Well, I didn't want to see him put down without seeing for myself the degree of his "wildness," so back to me he came. I put him in the big cage in the garage, and almost immediately thought, "I've made a terrible mistake." (Ah, "Arrested Development," I will never stop missing you.) He was a pisser! I didn't try to touch him much the first night and day, thinking he needed some time to settle in, though I did spend some time sitting on a blanket on the cold, hard garage floor, talking to him calmly and telling him what a good boy he was. (Me: "What a good boy." Him: "Hissssss!!!!) but underneath the hissing and spitting, it started to seem pretty clear to me that he was not so much "wild" as "terrified." I don't know what happened to this one kitten, but he was out of his mind with fear.
Wednesday night I decided to move him into a large dog crate IN the house, since the garage door and the car noises were completely freaking him out, and oh, what a glorious thing THAT was for him. There are other cats here! Hallelujah! He was beside himself, staring longingly at them, and meowing plaintively. (Him, in cat language: "Get me out of here, you guys! Hey...are you my mother?")
I gave him some time to adjust, and as the hissing and spitting seemed to slow down, I decided to make my move. Last night I put on some gloves, got down on the floor, leaned into the cage, gently reached out to touch him, and...he purred. And head-butted me. And purred. And rolled over to let me rub his adorable spotted belly. And purred. And nestled his head in my hands. And purred.
I don't know what the hell the foster mother did (or DIDN'T do), but...this kitten is not wild. This kitten just needed someone to let him know that people are nice. Mission accomplished.
Of course, now I still have to find him a home, but...much easier to find a home for a sweet kitten than a little hellion that wants to kill you.
In other formerly feral cat news, Lil' Mama has been coming inside our workplace in the mornings, exploring and keeping me company. It's cute. The boss thinks we need to keep her as an office cat--he's even willing to make adjustments to the motion detectors, so if I can't find her a "real" home, at least there's that option.
Have good weekends, everyone. I might actually have a date (or two) this weekend, so...I'll let you know how that goes.