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Author Topic:   Kinda bummed about a missing outdoor cat!
disneeworld
Member

Posts: 14
From:
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 02-20-2004 06:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disneeworld     Edit/Delete Message
Last June a psycho(LOL!) next door neighbor moved away and abandoned outside 4 kittens roughly 3 months old. I didn't know until a day or so after they moved when I saw them strutting thru my backyard. Since they wouldn't let me get close I decided to just leave food and water out so they wouldn't starve, and toyed with the idea of capturing them and bringing them to the shelter, but knowing they'd probably end up dead and the time and trouble involved to trap them, I decided to just feed them and offer shelter from the storms and heat by opening my backporch to them. Took a few months but finally they started hanging in my fenced in backyard and came over to eat and drink but only one of the cats eventually became real friendly and would come up to me and want attention, and still does. One kitten ended up dead on the streetside at the beginning of August so that left 3.
As winter approached I was concerned about the cold(in FL it gets in the 30s and 40s at night often, but still rather chilly), so since they would come onto the porch to eat etc I made a few shelters out of boxes and old comforters so they could keep warm. My philosophy all along was to FATTEN THEM UP so they would stay healthy and get thru the winter with some good fat and fur. By the way I couldn't take them in as I have 7 healthy fully vaccinated indoor cats accumulated over the years and they are a handful in themselves and I didn't want to jeapordize their health.

So pretty much all winter they disappear during the day, come back sometimes once during the day to eat, disappear again, and then hang out on the porch at night. I am in a subdivision with the closest major road about 1/4- 1/2 mile away exiting the neighborhood. My backyard backs up to wooded area all along our block so I think they hang out there alot. So do raccoons and possums, but seems like they managed ok and were safe all this time, the racoons and possums only come out at night and have often snuck onto my porch for food, until I started taking the food in at night and leaving a lamp oil lantern by the door entrance which seems to have deterred them(the scared of flame idea?)..the cats don't seem to mind it(the lantern).
So now its been 2 1/2 days and one of the cats has not been back to eat drink or hang out. He or she(I think its a she) would usually play with one of the others alot and often came back to eat as pair or in a threesome from a days play or whatever. But Tuesday afternoon was the last time I saw her, and it's now Friday morning. I think the longest any of them had disappeared thus far was 24 hours but now it's been over 60 hours. I doubt anyone took her in because she wouldn't let you get too close to her, even after all these months.So I am thinking all sorts of awful scenarios like run over, like sick and died somewhere, like a raccoon ate her or she is just wandering somewhere hungry and cold. The remaining 2 cats seem to notice somethings different because they hang out real close now at night, more than usual, and they are just acting a little different. I thought maybe during the day they've tried to go out and look for her by instinct and scent but not sure.
So I guess what I am hoping for is some ideas on what the chances are this cat survived, whether it might show up in a week as I have heard stories like that, etc etc. From her body size and weight, I don't think, (if it was a she), that she was pregnant and wandered off to have her litter somehere, ...and am surprised there have been no litters from these 3 since they are almost a year old now. They seemed to just hang with each other and even though there are a few other outdoor strays I feed from the front porch, they don't seem to mingle between colonies. The mother cat hisses at them and disowned them months ago, whatta b!tch!LOL!The one I think is their father hangs around alot and they seem to get along but hopefully not too well if you catch my drift...

I am trying not to feel like I did a disservice to them by doing what I did all these months and am holding onto the thought that I gave them a good shot at life by offering them food and shelter and that I couldn't have done more. But it still worries me and makes me sad that this one disappeared like it did..any ideas are most welcome! Thanks! BTW I have another outdoor cat(that I actually make claim to and is a shys away from scaredy cat jealous of the "new 3") that has stayed in my backyard and woods and porch for 4 years, and the most he's disappeared is about 2 days.

[This message has been edited by disneeworld (edited 02-20-2004).]

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Samsintentions
Member

Posts: 944
From:Columbus, Tx ,USA
Registered: Dec 2003

posted 02-20-2004 09:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Samsintentions     Edit/Delete Message
Aww, good for you for taking them on like you did, thats more than what most people would have done.

A few sinarios (however you spellit) came to mind:
She could have had a litter of kittens
If its a male, he's probably looking for a girlfriend
Coyotes or dogs could have gotten it
and like you said, could have gotten sick, many cat diseases act horrifically fast. and since it's wild and not vaccinated, thats a BIG possibility.

If you can catch the others, definately take them to the vet to get fixed and vaccinated.

Good luck, if it doesn't come back with in the next few days, I'd probably suspect somethinghappened

But I sure hope not! Good luck, let me know how it turns out.

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disneeworld
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Posts: 14
From:
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 02-20-2004 11:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disneeworld     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the reply..more suggestions welcome...She looked fine and healthy on Tuesday other than a lot of ear scratching and she won't let me get close enough to clean her ears or put drops in them or put on a flea collar.... and no signs of going into heat if a female..or prowling if it were a male..I really think its female based on its petite size..one of the other of the 3 cats was moaning a bit the other day like he/she was looking for love but that has since waned......there are no coyotes or wandering dogs that I am aware of in these woods since they don't go very deep into la la land before hitting a main road, maybe 300-400 yards or so.....and I didn't see any cat carcases out by the main road today or yesterday....I would have thought the 3 chilly nights would have brought her back as they have all the others in the past, but no luck so far. I've tried calling and whistling a bit in case she was lost and needed some sense of direction to come back, and like I said I was hoping the other 2 would scent her out and lead her back....I'll keep ya posted...!!

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Chessmind
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Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 02-20-2004 11:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
Hello. Just in reply to it being cold, you may want to invest in one or more heat lamps to place where they are sleeping (on your back porch). You may have to get an extension cord if you don't have any outlets there.

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disneeworld
Member

Posts: 14
From:
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 02-20-2004 11:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disneeworld     Edit/Delete Message
Actually I have a small Black and Decker space heater I keep on medium setting and the porch has blinds to help keep the breezes out, so it gets chilly, say minimum of 35-50 many nights in winter, but not as brutal as up north. They tuck themselves in pretty good in the comforters and blankets and I do have one of those plastic igloo thingys also that sometimes one or 2 of them use. Otherwise they are well wind protected on the back porch. I feel bad for the cats up north ..I have no idea how they survive or tolerate sub freezing and sub zero temps. It kills me to think about it, especially as cold as it was this winter. They must find cubby holes or sheltered areas or sewer holes to keep them warmer but still not as comfy as the great indoors.LOL!

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disneeworld
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Posts: 14
From:
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 02-21-2004 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disneeworld     Edit/Delete Message
Still has not returned as of this afternoon, 4 days later... I think it's time to give up. The other 2 sibling cats seem to sense someone is missing. Unless a Homeward Bound scenario unfolds, I sincerely hope whatever happened it was quick and painless.

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disneeworld
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Posts: 14
From:
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 03-07-2004 03:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for disneeworld     Edit/Delete Message
March 7 update: That cat never returned and it's been 2 1/2 weeks. Of the 2 remaining from that original clan, I ended up taking the friendliest one inside last week, took him in for shots and neutering, and isolated him for a couple of days trying to acclamate him to rest of the indoor brood. I don't think he's happy and it's been about 10 days he's been inside. Hangs out by himself in the "cat room" where the boxes and food are under a chair and doesn't socialize at all. He has yet to hiss or swat at me or the other cats the entire time, which is so cool. I give him lots of attention hoping to break him in, but not forgetting the other guys either. However, I am tempted to let him back out..or give him away to a good home, but having grown attached to the unique mellowness of this cat, that may be a difficult choice to make. I sort of want to make up for the LOST CAT by keeping this one safe and indoors, and considering the money I spent on him already, would be a shame to let him out in the elements again...and possibly end up dead. I also found out from the vets(techs not vet herself) that they think he's several years old, based on dental exam, and I about freaked. I swear this was one of the summer 2003 kittens from next door as I watched them all grow and mature as I fed them regularly. My intention was not to bring an older mature cat inside, I felt sorry for it considering I thought it was barely a year, and I wanted to give it a chance at life.....oh well!?!?!

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disneeworld
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Posts: 14
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Registered: Oct 2003

posted 03-08-2004 08:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for disneeworld     Edit/Delete Message
..and so it ends, my boring little story.....cheers!

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Chessmind
Member

Posts: 701
From:CA
Registered: Nov 2003

posted 03-08-2004 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Chessmind     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks for the update. Your story is not boring. As for the 'missing' kitty, perhaps someone like you has taken the cat into their home. Have you posted fliers in your neighborhood?

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vene
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Posts: 1
From:
Registered: Mar 2004

posted 03-09-2004 05:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vene     Edit/Delete Message
I'm so glad you're able to bring in at least one stray. 2 days ago we started leaving food + water in our back yard since we saw cats prowling there. Our oldest cat Pumpkin alerted us by sreeching and puffing up real big. Last night we saw 2 kittens. One fat moo cow colors- black + white and the other was a skinny lighter color long haired cat but I coldn't really tell since it was too dark. I'm appalled that there are cats out in the middle of the winter under 30 degree conditions while my 4 little cats are indoors safe + sound. It has been snowing in the last two days. The food is always gone no matter how many times we refill it. I hope these are not strays although I'm starting to suspect they are. I hope I can rehabilitate them and bring them indoors. My 16 month old toddler would love another cat or two in the house and so would I.

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