Moon loves to try my patience. For the most part, things have been going swimmingly between Rupert and Moon. Rupert is adjusting and he wants to be out and about in the house more and more, which is a good sign that he feels comfortable, and Moon, for the most part, has seemed OK with the situation, but some days, he switches gears like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Today was a Hyde day.
Last night, he didn’t want to be with Rupert right away, so he got into bed with me. I was OK with that until he started with his obsessive grooming and chewing, which shakes the bed and prevents me from getting to sleep. Part of it is allergies, which I did manage to get medicine for, and the other part is just that he is neurotic. That said, after about a half an hour, I’d had enough, so I scooped him up, walked him out into the living room as he hissed at me all the while, plunked him down on the sofa, gave him two calming chews, and left him there to stew in his own ‘tude.
This morning, while I was cleaning Rupert’s food and water dishes, he went into the den, chased Rupert around the ottoman, smacked him twice, and hissed at him. Then he fought me against his allergy meds. Now, I managed to get Benadryl compounded into a transdermal gel that can be applied to the inside of the ear. He doesn’t mind it at all. He doesn’t like the pen applicator, so I just use the fingers cut off disposable rubber gloves to administer it. He likes when I rub his ears, so it feels like that, but this morning, he kept folding his ears down in protest. When I attempted to put the hydrocortisone spray on his bald patch, I had to hold him down as he was kicking so much.
Before I left for work, I found that he had gone into Rupert’s room and taken over Rupert’s bed, so I had to retrieve the spare bed and put it in the room so that there would be no altercation later.
I do not know what gets him into these moods. There is a new feral cat that’s been stalking the yard, so maybe that’s it, and he’s just transferring his pissivity onto everyone else. Sadly, I can’t keep the feral cats out. The forest has mice and other tasty things to eat and the cats just keep coming, despite the TNR. I gave away Rupert and Moon’s old feral cat houses, and I stopped free feeding the wildlife ages ago. Now we only feed during the cold spells and snow, and we keep the food confined to the woods not the backyard, but it’s still an uphill battle. People love to dump cats in wooded areas, and people love to let cats have babies. If we could just get people to be more responsible, we wouldn’t have the feral cat situation that we do. Most of the people in my neighborhood are feral cat friendly. We TNR; we feed and take care of them. A few have become true community cats, and all the neighbors chip in, but it only takes one or two ignorant people to upset the entire system.
I think it’s time to put Alley Cat Allies flyers out again. Now Alley Cats does not recommend doing what I did with Moon and Rupert. They say that feral cats can never be tamed or become indoor cats, which is not true. It has to be the right cat. The cat that comes to you for help. The cat that wants your help. I wrote a lengthy article here about how to tell the difference so that you don’t wind up with a wild cat you cannot manage who would rather have stayed outside. I interact with at least 5 in the neighborhood on my daily walks whom I would never dream of attempting to rehab into an indoor environment.
Moon and Rupert were different. We spent many years getting to know them in situ. 5 years for Moon and 8 for Rupert. They are shy, timid cats. Gamma cats as Mrs. Way of Cats calls them. They wanted security, and they came to us willingly to get it, and that’s why it worked. It’s been A LOT of work. If they were Alpha type cats, and we’ve cared for many of those, I would have left them outside. I mean, Moon walked into the house on his own. I couldn’t really argue with that request, could I?