Rudy Feral Cat

by Mary in NC
(North Caroilina, USA)

RUDY (One of my sweet Ferals)

RUDY (One of my sweet Ferals)

This post is about a little sweet feral cat which I have named "RUDY".

Rudy first appeared on my property back in the summer along about June or July.
At first he would not come within hundreds of yards of me as he is feral and afraid of humans which I understood.
I continually placed food in a chosen spot for him all summer and he would come on a regular basis to eat then disappear into the woods until the next day.

He soon grew to know his name because when I would re-fill his food dishes and would call him, then in the distance I would see him approaching in the woods but staying back at what he thought to be a safe distance until the dishes was full and I had moved away from them.

Rudy had a bad case of upper respiratory infection so I would slip antibiotics into his food to assist him in his illness.
As summer passed I noticed Rudy grew more curious about me and my indoor kittys.
Many times I would see him perched on the rock wall outside my living room windows, looking in at my indoor feline family.
I could not help to notice the sadness in his eyes.
It was as if he was thinking how lucky those indoor cats was to have a warm, stable home with someone who loves them very much.

I would move close to the window and speak softly to him, calling him by name and trying to gain his confidence somehow.
When October came and the temps started to fall somewhat, I knew that Rudy was going to be in need of better arrangements as he would need to be able to go to a covered shelter location to get to food and out of the elements so I started placing his food on my screened in porch and leaving the door propped open a few inches for him to enter.
(This of course meant a change in Rudy's daily survival which would be hard as feral s do not like change as most cats don't.)

I would wait until I knew Rudy was watching me and then I would carry his food onto the porch, calling his name softly and then gently placing the food inside the door of the porch and I would go inside and WATCH.

Soon, Rudy got the idea that he was going to have to venture inside the porch to get fed and it thrilled me the first time that I peeked out the door to see him on the porch eating yet watching all around to make sure he was in safe territory.

That was October and now it is December and Rudy will now come inside the porch while I am out there placing food down for him (as well as the three other friends he has bought along with him), who I have named "Spook" (because he usually comes only at night) "Ruka" a pretty little male with adorable grey patches on a coat of white fur and beautiful "J.J" who is a beautiful beige colored tabby tom cat with beautiful yellow eyes.
Rudy will still not allow me any closer to him than about 3 feet but that is an improvement from when he first came around.
His trust has grown a lot over the months.
His 3 buddy's (Spook, Ruka and JJ) have all learned trust and now allow me to pet them but Rudy is still somewhat un-sure so I will give him his space and wait until the day comes that I finally am allowed to pat the top of his pretty little head. I am confident in his time, it will happen.

I know he trusts me somewhat because when I speak to him he turns his head sideways as if to be trying to understand what I am saying to him.
I notice Rudy and Spook have taken refuge under my house through a small opening where a piece of the rock underpinning have fallen away.
My heating ducts are located there and I think they feel the warmth from that.
I am currently making some feral houses for them all that will keep them warm, fed, and dry during this bitter winter that has already dumped snow and ice on us just last night.

It is my duty to care for these poor cats that did not ask to come into a world of hardship.
Whatever I can do to aid them is a small price for me to pay as they have placed their confidence and trust in me to help them. I cannot and will not turn a blind eye to their needs.

As soon as I can get them on the schedule, they will be taken to the local low cost spay/neuter clinic for vaccines and spay/neuter surgery so they will not be aiding in the population epidemic in this area any more.

But for now they are well fed, cared for and LOVED if even from a distance.

I love you all (RUDY, SPOOK, RUKA and sweet JJ.)
Dinner is served at 5 p.m guys!

Mary in NC

by: Anonymous

You are so wonderful for what you do. I take care of all the stray and feral cats also.I spend a small fortune on food for them, but like you said it's not their fault they have to live outside. I have 2 kitties that my husband caught outside. Bootsie is 3 and Bonnie is almost 8 months and they love each other.

I live in a apartment building and the landlords won't allow me to put out dog house for the cats. If I had a house I would have a barn for the cats and plenty of dog houses for the cats that won't come inside. If I had a house I would probably have a lot of cats too. I love them all.

Bless you for what you are doing. We do what we can as well. You are wonderful. Both my cats are tiger tabbies. There are 2 outside that are tigers too. So beautiful. It took about 6 months before they would let me pet them, but now, I can pet and brush them. I am going to try to bring them to a no-kill shelter.

Thanks again!

Merry Xmas to you and your kitties!

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