And it was kinda funny.
Both Moon and Rupert eat a specialty super-low/zero carb dry food for mature cats most of the time. Moon has issues with carbohydrates and mineral load, so I have to be careful otherwise he gets stones and then he could block again. Once was enough for all of us. It was scary and expensive. Anyway, they also get about a tablespoon of canned food twice a day so I can mix in the Cosequin for Moon’s bladder and Rupert’s stiff joints.
They love this canned food (well Moon loves it only when I am not looking, otherwise he hates it) but Rupert, he tends to get very excited when I bring the dish in. Even still though, his fear holds him back from just lunging out of bed for the noms if I am still present in the room. Today things changed.
I was petting him, and he got so impatient at the smell of the food that he basically pushed me out of the way in order to get to the dish. I was lying on the floor. Not even a foot away from the dish. I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the morning.
Rupert asserted himself. Rupert! The cat who, for the last 9 years, had to maintain a minimum safe distance of at least 15 feet from all humans, no matter how tasty the meal being offered was. Rupert, the cat who starved because he’d give up his meal to whomever demanded it: skunk, raccoon, opossum, other cats. So it was something to see him be brave.
I think this is the best part of the rehabilitation process, watching them become that cat they were meant to be. Yes, feral cats can become lap cuddlers. Moon did, and Rupert is on his way. “Feral” makes no difference. It depends on the temperament of the cat. Timid feral cats often become happy housecats with enough rehabilitation.
Things are also going well with the Rupert/Moon integration, so at the end of April we will be going completely gate free. I’d like to see him exploring the house at the sixth month mark, and I think he will, considering his progress thus far.
Note: Since Rupert and Moon were feral cats since birth, were TNRed, and were surviving on their own for most of their lives so far, we’ve tried to keep their diet mostly meat. They were eating fresh raw meat before they met me (birds, shrews, mice, frogs, snakes, and Moon especially loved crickets) so even though I won’t do raw for various reasons, I try to keep their diet meat only as much as I can. They are healthier for it, and yes, I witnessed Moon try to take out a 3-foot long brown snake. I felt bad, so I did save the snake.