Foster Cats - One Year On
Almost one year ago I took in three wild foster kittens. My job was to socialise and prepare them for new homes, preferably in the country. They were not supposed to stay at Mooseys. Oops. One year later...
Percy Celebrates One Year at Mooseys
Those early days were hard work, and often I doubted that I could change their hissing and spitting habits. Progress seemed painfully slow. When would these little kittens realise that a lovely, caring, cat-person was looking after them?
Well, the trio of wild kittens are now sociable members of the Moosey animal family. 'Wild thing... da dum dum... dum dum' I sing to Histeria the tabby (Hissy for short) as she bounces up and rubs in my knees. 'You make my heart sing...' I tell Lilli-Puss as she squeaks at me and wiggles her furry grey body. 'You make everything - groovy...' I tell Percy the ginger gardening cat as he stands tall on his hind legs to get his head stroked.
Hissy Celebrates One Year at Mooseys
One year on, I often wonder if these three know just how lucky they are. They've landed on all four paws in a great country home, in the nicest of company. They eat fresh meat and vet-approved dried cat-food - the latest treat having French Cuisine flavours with olive oil. They go for walks in the orchard with the kindest, gentlest dog (Rusty the red Border Collie). The other cats and humans in the house and garden are pretty mellow, and the one called Moosey talks (and sings) to them lots...
Lilli Celebrates One year at Mooseys
As wild cats, the trio would live in a cat colony in a paddock, with a pine hedge their only shelter. They'd be fed once a day, but times would be tough, living rough, and winters wet and cold. As colony cats they'd be desexed, but feral tom cats could easily wander in and cause fighting injuries. A worst-case scenario would be getting a leg caught in an illegal gin-trap.
Moosey cats each have their own cat baskets and fireside chairs with cat-blankets, not to mention an assortment of warm knees and squashy tummies on which to flop. The cat door is always available, and if it's ever really wet outside a kitty-litter box appears in the kitchen, for their convenience.
Wild Kittens - Hissy, Percy and Lilli
Moosey cats have a great outdoors life, too, running, climbing trees, scratching, chasing leaves, and so on. Best of all, there's always someone to go gardening with. Hunting is encouraged - rodents are considered pests on a farm, so appropriate corpses can definitely be displayed on the house carpet. Bringing bird trophies inside is a bit of a puzzle, though. After much patting and praising, the birdie always disappears into thin air, like magic...
Relaxing on the Lawn
So, Histeria, Lilli-Puss and Percy - just how lucky are you three? There's little left of the wild and feral in these three loving, sociable, cultured cats. First-time visitors might notice just a touch of caution from Lilli, or a widening of Percy's deep amber eyes, but then sister-cat Histeria will happily bounce over and say hello. She's the tabby kitten that hid in a drawer and hissed and spat at me for a whole week.
I couldn't give Percy away because he was the first kitten to purr for me. I couldn't give Hissy away because I admired her feisty, brave, street-fighting nature - guess how she got her name! And I couldn't give Lilli-Puss away because she was the littlest. What a pushover this foster mother turned out to be!