08 February 2009

Kissed By A Feral Cat

This is Sibley.

He is a feral cat. I trapped him on the back porch last Spring, got him neutered, and then, not wanting to release him back outside to fend for himself, released him into my house. These pictures were taken several months after. He hides most of the time I am around--most lately under my bed, and when I enter a room I see a fluffy yellow tail leaving it. Sometimes he will lay on the floor in the kitchen with the other cats when I am at the kitchen table quietly reading late at night. I turn and speak to him and use his name so he will feel included. As soon as I get up he is gone. He has learned to play with cat toys, batting them down the stairs and in the bathtub, and he and the other cats play chase up and down the stairs and down the hall. He has always been a gentleman and uses the cat box and has no problem finding the food and water, as you can see by his picture.

I have not touched him since soon after he came here, when he used to cower in a cat house and I would touch his nose. When cornered he has said terrible things to me and rushed past to escape the horrible things I am going to do to him. All my other cats love him and get along just fine. I pet them in his presence to show him that I am not going to kill him. He has entered my bedroom, sitting just inside the door, to watch me as I am sleeping. I wake up and say Hi to him. He snuggles on top of my clothes on the vanity stool, and lately he has been sleeping on my bed when I am actually IN IT! Last week I woke to see him on the other pillow--just 12 inches away, and he didn't run.

This morning I woke up and, as is their custom, the other cats came and stood on me and started purring and getting their morning pets. I had one in each armpit and two on my chest, several on my feet, and one on the other pillow, and Sibley was on the far side of the bed. (A double, so I can reach both sides.) I pet Spot and got him all purry and happy and he went over and started washing Sibley's head and ears. Spot is my best ear washer. I reached over and pet Spot and started petting Sibley. He didn't object, and soon he was actually PURRING. This is the first sound he has made other than a hiss. Soon he was rolling over on his back, stretching out his feet, and giving my hand little kitty kisses. He didn't want me to stop. He found out that hands are good. I withdrew my hand to pet the other cats and then resumed petting Sibley several times. Each time, he kissed my hand and rolled over so I could scratch his chest. He was making little purry whimpery noises and then he rolled off the bed!

I dozed off and he was back when I woke up. I pet him again and got up. I haven't seen him the rest of the day.

W00t!! Progress!