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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Decision made


Toby the cat was rescued from a parking lot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. No one could locate him; he cried for a day and a night. Then a little girl played the kitty app on her phone, and he came running. No onlooker volunteered to take it, so Carol and I scrapped our plans for another day at the Three Rivers Art Festival, and concentrated on getting the scrappy kitten back to Ohio, where he devoured a bowl of water logged adult cat food, and became the topic of my first blog entry.

We found him on a Saturday, and at his trip to the vet on Monday he weighed in at a pound. The vet put him at four weeks, and pronounced him lucky to be alive. Lucky or not, he seemed reasonably content, and grew up to be a very long haired black and white, with a “Got Milk” mustache and very short legs. I told him his mama left him behind because his legs were so short.

There were two cats in the house, Purrl, the indoor/outdoor cat, and Ryon, a young rescue. Purrl, of course, had no use for either cat, but Ryon and Toby got along. Ryon fell into the habit of licking Toby’s ears. I never saw the favor returned.


Ryon and Toby

Toby did not know how lucky he was, until a January day some years ago that Ryon took an afternoon nap and did not wake up. There was no other cat to lick Toby’s ears. He took to licking the arm of any available person and rubbing his ears on the wet spot. Truly pathetic. I asked if his legs were too short to reach his ears (they really aren’t, in a stretch).


Ryon 

When we go to the vet, there often is a large crate with a few kittens. I think Dr. Mike helps the local Humane Society get them adopted. Laura always wants one, of course. As sweet as kittens are, I’m not tempted. Pets are a responsibility, and there now is that problem of longevity. Toby is under strict orders not to outlive me, but a kitten could be iffy.

Toby boarded down the road for the week we were in Wisconsin. Thinking of his great longing for an ear licker, I asked the technicians to introduce him to the common room of cat boarders as quickly as possible and let me know how Mr. Feral took to new cats.

Toby is a feral cat, and does not resemble any domesticated cats I’ve known. In the beginning, he was the kitten who had to make up to adult cats. Now he is the adult cat, set in his ways, though still wishing for an ear licker. To consider a kitten for him, I’d need to know he could be social.

Monday evening I peeked into the cat room. Cats everywhere, lolling about, snuggled up to other cats—cat stuff. And Toby, lying in his condo, door wide open, looking out. I asked the technician how his week had gone, if he’d made up with any other of the boarders.

They said his door was open, all day, every day, and he laid in the opening all week. The cats came up to investigate him, and he tolerated it without flinching. But, he never came out and said “Hi, my name is Toby. What’s yours? Do you do ears?”


So, he can stop playing pathetic cat with me, and realize his paws do reach his ears.


Toby

28 comments:

  1. Even though you found him at four weeks and have cared for him all these years, there is still that feral part of him that can't be loved away. My girl Daisy is loving and fun, but being born a feral (found at four weeks also) she is not totally comfortable, especially at being picked up. Toby is a beauty and it sounds like he is a happy, though luckless, pet.

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  2. Jazz was also a feral cat. And still is in some ways. He is a cat alone at the moment, and I doubt he would take well to another.
    Toby is a beautiful, and lucky boy.

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  3. Toby is gorgeous, knows it and will accept homage, but doesn't need company. Our cat spent 6 months in a cage at a shelter before we got her, and even though she was under a year and has been with us for 10 she is still very independent.

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  4. Hari OM
    Aww Toby, you just like to watch, right? Besides, having the humans all to yourself isn't such a bad deal!

    Joanne - maybe he was pining for you in your absence; mingling might have been betrayal... YAM xx

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  5. Toby is a really good looking cat. All our cats have been ferals taken in as kittens... and each have different personalities, some like a lap, but some don't. However, having taken in many over the years, we have never had a problem with them not getting along. Like large families, they have learned to share.

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  6. From the blogs I read I have come to the conclusion that there are no two cats even remotely alike.

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  7. Such an interesting creature. Independent for sure. Lucky too.

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  8. Our Miss Kitty was plucked out of the middle of a field when she was only about 2 weeks old. We nursed her and bathed her and tried to do right by her. She only likes one human, dislikes all women in particular and bullies the new cat. When she was a tiny baby, we had two adult female cats who treated her well. It's so hard to imagine what is going on in their little feral heads. Not having their mothers to do the feeding and cleaning has done something to them.

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  9. Toby is a gorgeous cat and I'm sure he knows how lucky he is to live with you and Laura.

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  10. Seems Toby was glad to have you home. Many pets don't warm up to strange situations.

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  11. All the cats we've had were completely different personalities, just like people. Toby has spoken :)

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  12. I don't think I've ever seen a feral cat in person

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  13. They all do have their own personalities. Also, they change as they age and their pecking order changes. Our easy going Sampson is now a bit of a jerk to our new Scooter. We've only ever had one set of cats who loved to be with the other and cuddle up together. I think it was because they were quite close in age. I think Toby is amazingly handsome. -Jenn

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  14. Great looking cat! Glad he was able to be somewhat around the other cats, albeit in his condo. Our corgi never could participate in anything like that, caused too much trouble.

    I agree about not having the pet outlive you. SIL's mom rescued a dog who was about 6 years old. She always fretted what would happen if she went first before the dog. Sure enough she passed, but thankfully a friend who would watch the dog while she was away on trips offered to take the dog in. There are times we really would like another dog, but then we do bring this factor up, especially if we got a pup.

    betty

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  15. I love the Toby story and like you I'm concerned about how long cats can live. I'd rather not have Angel outlive me and he's only three now. But I'm not elderly yet, only 60+ so I think we'll be okay for a few years yet. But I won't be getting any more pets.

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  16. That is exactly why we have decided not to get a cat to replace our Buddy, who died last summer. We always had cats, and one lived over 20 years. That's a great Toby photo at the end, though. Tempting...

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  17. so no kitten. our Emma is a rescue. she showed up at my sister's house but she had just recently rescued two abandoned kittens and didn't want a third so we took her. we had her for a week and then went out of town for a week while she stayed with a friend with two cats. They wanted to play, Emma was not interested. She stayed with my sister for a week another time and hissed at her two cats. so Emma is an only cat and likes it that way. she did accept the puppy who, full grown is not any bigger than the cat, but it took about 6 months. now they play together.

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  18. Toby is lovely. Getting a new cat to mix with the house cats is all about smell and so a cloth or duster rubbed on the old cats' behind the ears and then on to the new cat (before they see each other) will get the smells right and then introductions can take place.

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  19. It appears you know your cat. Happy New Year

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  20. This was such a humorous post and got me chuckling. Happy new year, Joanne. Aloha from Hawaii.

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  21. A cat with a unique personality - no surprise there, as anyone familiar with cats knows. But what a cutie!

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  22. HAPPY NEW YEAR, Joanne and Laura. May all that happens be good!

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  23. some cats are meant to be loners, that's our Barney now that he is the only one left, happy new year to you and yours.

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  24. He is gorgeous! I guess my Martha (the boy cat) must have been about 2 weeks when he was scooped up in the front end loader. I am sure the mother was feral, but after I raised him with a bottle and took care of his elimination needs, I mothered the feral right out of him! He is currently hissing at the new puppy. He knows better than to scratch or bite him. He just has a paw holding Eddie at bay while he hisses and gripes at him. How do people just throw animals away?

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  25. Beautiful photos, Joanne! Cats, like us humans, have different personalities. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy New Year!

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  26. Beautiful photos, Joanne! Cats, like us humans, have different personalities. Thank you so much for sharing. Happy New Year!

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  27. He found the perfect rescue person, and wisely, you decided he had to move on. Or does he?

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