On a knife-edge......poor 'Jimmy Riddle'......

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No...the magic- is still- here...!!!
Purred: Fri Dec 10, '10 8:25am PST 
Hallo, good people and pussycats.......

Help needed....!!! We want to get a stray cat to come into our house because of the AWFUL weather here but we have been unable so far to get him to come in....Let me explain.....

The weather here in England has been sub-zero for the past two weeks and there is a stray cat living in our next-door neighbour's garage.....we have (I hope) helped it to survive by taking food down to their garage four times a day and calling to the stray-cat....the food mainly seems to be eaten(although many times we have had to take it away because it has become frozen......) Truly, we have all felt on a knife-edge of life with this terrible, inhospitable, cruel weather....and I don't know HOW a poor little stray cat must feel.....he seems to have survived.....but he WILL NOT COME TO US.....

SO, if things would remain the same I think we could help him survive the winter, living in next-door's garage and being fed four times a day by us......BUT AS SOON AS THE WEATHER GETS ANY BETTER THERE WILL BE BUILDERS WORKING ON THE GARAGE AND THE STRAY WILL BE CHASED AWAY FROM HIS SAFE-PLACE.......AND WHAT DOES HE DO THEN, WHEN THE WEATHER TURNS CRUEL AGAIN...????

We have a 'breathing-space' this weekend.....the weather is more clement, even good....mild and gentle and the sun is shining and there is warmth in the air.....but the freeze is going to come back next week.......

NOW WHAT I NEED TO KNOW is how you would all approach the problem of catching the stray (we have named him 'Jimmy Riddle')

Would you:

a)just keep feeding him in the garage to keep him strong while the TERRIBLE WEATHER LASTS....

b)Put food down outside our back door to let him KNOW that the food is coming from us.....and hope to gradually get him in (but with the terrible weather, I don't think he is doing his normal rounds...I think he is just staying in his safe-place....)

c) don't feed him at all, except to put food in the cat-trap that I have borrowed.......(but the weather is HORRIBLE and he needs to be fed often and kept strong.....)

Do you see my dilemma? I need to keep him strong, but I also need to catch him (AND SOON).....don't know how best to approach the problem....this weather is killing....it is LETHAL....

When we take food down to the garage he miouws at us a bit, but will not come to us......

If the weather were NORMAL for here, for this time of year, there would be no problem.....BUT,TRULY, IT IS KILLING WEATHER.....

Any thoughts would be SO welcome.....

Each night, when we and the kitties are snuggled up safe, I think of Jimmy-Cat, and each morning when I wake up I wonder if he has survived the night.....IT IS HORRIBLE......I just want to get him in and warm......

Please help?

Jan and Tambolina

Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Sat Dec 11, '10 1:36pm PST 
Tambi and Jan, here are some more ideas since I last talked to you. Heat the food in the microwave or a pan before you put it out; it will take longer to freeze. If he is there when you put the food out, don't heat it too hot, as he will try to eat it right away. Try making a trail of food from the old spot to the new spot near your door--maybe he will follow it? If you see him eating from the bowl near your door, stop feeding him at the old place.

We made outdoor cat beds from plastic tubs for our outdoor cats. You cut a hole in one of the short sides--the smallest hole that you think Jimmy can get through--and then put the top on and turn it over so it is resting on the top. You can put things in it for him to snuggle in. They say that straw is the best, as it will dry out after being wet, whereas a blanket or towel will stay wet. We also cut part of a sheet of heavy insulation--the styrofoam kind that comes in big sheets--and put it on the bottom of the cat bed to keep the floor warmer. You can also buy outdoor cat bed heaters that have heavy insulation in them, if you have a spot to plug them in. After you get it all set up, put a little cat food in it or some other treat that he likes, and see if you can get him to go in.

Of course, you know that even after all this, some other animal might try to take advantage of all of these things. Here it's raccoons and possums and stray dogs.

As long as he stays healthy and gets enough to eat, he will probably make it through the winter. The ones who die are the very young, the very old, the very thin and injured ones.

It is very hard to tame a feral cat, but it is possible. Ours were all very semi-feral, in that they were used to people but didn't want to be held or picked up. [They still don't!!] If you do catch him somehow, put him inside in a separate room, away from the other cats, until you can get him checked out for horrible diseases by the vet. You will have to keep him inside all the time for at least two weeks for him to get used to living there, before you can let him go outside again. He may never be a reliable indoor cat, and might keep going out and staying for days when the weather is nice.

We know you want a cat with personality, but it will be hard to have a very affectionate mutual relationship with a feral cat until a lot of time and effort has passed. Warm purrs to all of you and to Jimmy from all of us, as we lay snuggled on our heated cat beds! This time of year is not a good one to be a feral, and we are glad for our house now! Wish we could tell Jimmy that!


No...the magic- is still- here...!!!
Purred: Mon Dec 13, '10 10:31am PST 
Dear People and Pussycats........someone on another thread (another group) said 'HAY' for the bed we are trying to make for Jimmy in our shed for when he gets chased out of his home in next-door's garage by the builders......what about the stuff you use for rabbits and guinea pigs....?

Help wanted......but also love, care, and attention......please say 'hallo' to us....we are suffering and flailing around and we DO NEED some help and some love......if there is any out there.....

My male human person is not well.....but that is another story......BUT I am freaked out and only had two hours sleep last night.......

Not your problem....obviously......but JIMMY RIDDLE, my tramp-cat, who I am trying to tame before the CRUEL weather comes again, is EVERYBODY'S PROBLEM.....

Help me (and him) ?


kaya skye

not fighting my- demons-we joined- forces
Purred: Mon Dec 13, '10 11:04am PST 
ayla and her two little ones were very quickly caught in the hav-a-heart traps the rescue set out once we covered the top and sides in cardboard, making a sort of tunnel. but if you're going to trap him, do have a safe place already set up for him inside where he can chill and the other cats can't terrorize him. and be aware that if he's feral, not a stray, you'll be taking in a cat whose behavior will truly baffle you at times, if all you've ever lived with are genetically domestic cats. feral cats can indeed bond with humans, but they tend to bond on a case by case basis. they don't bond with "humanity". that being said, my 3 genetically feral strange little beasties are, in their own ways, the most affectionate, responsive cats i've ever lived with.
respect is key.


Feral No More!
Purred: Mon Dec 13, '10 3:37pm PST 
Trap him, is my advice. I used to be feral, but Mom put some nice fragrant food into a havaheart trap - and there I was! Of course, I didn't get tame right away but kept living in Mom's barn. Put some tuna or bacon into the trap; cover the footpad *lightly* with some straw. Try not feeding for, say, two meals, then put the trap with food.

I sure understand your concern. It's brutally cold here tonight, with the wind howling - really, really cold. Even though I'm an "outdoor" cat, Mom lets me and my brother (also former feral) sleep in the warm basement; a pet door allows us in/out as we choose.

Bless your compassionate heart! We'll say a prayer that you're successful with Jimmy Riddle. hug


headed for the- light.
Purred: Tue Dec 14, '10 3:47pm PST 
You know we love you...I agree that trapping him would be easiest. As Delyte said he may never be completely tame, but you never know; if he belonged to a family when he was little he might warm up quikly...good luck, and we hope your male person improves.

Delyte, Dark- Angel, at- Bridge

Me and my- person, together- against all
Purred: Tue Dec 14, '10 7:44pm PST 
This is Delyte. Hay is grass with the food part still attached, so cows can eat it. Straw is the grass with the food eaten or removed, so just stems. Seems like straw would be cheaper. It also doesn't go bad as fast as there is no food left on it. It is supposed to be good for bedding because it holds heat and dries out after being wet.

Is Jimmy a neutered cat? If he is not, then he could spend days hanging around someplace where there is a queen cat in heat, despite cold and hunger.

We're all purring for you!

Apollo (In- Memory)

Love Ya !

Purred: Tue Dec 14, '10 7:57pm PST 
FYI: Some people use the words HAY and STRAW interchangeably but there is a difference. HAY is what horses, cows, goats, rabbits and guinea pigs etc. eat. STRAW is what they lie down and sleep on. HAY is grass (timothy, ryegrass, fescue, brome) or legumes (alfalfa, clover) that is cut and dried. STRAW is the leftover stalks from the harvested wheat or oats.

STRAW is the best bedding because it wicks away moisture and keeps the animal dry and warm. HAY can be used in a pinch as long as it is dry but it will hold in moisture and remain damp and eventually become moldy.


No...the magic- is still- here...!!!
Purred: Wed Dec 15, '10 7:28am PST 
Right......dear people and pussycats, thank you all so much for your posts......thank you......

Here is where we are now......the weather has been good for a few days (it is AMAZING how easily one forgets the HORRORS of sub-zero temperatures......) and we have, probably, (almost certainly), wrongly allowed things to drift regarding Jimmy Riddle.....ie we have been taking food down to next-door's garage for him and just hoping for the best......a lot of the food has not been taken up and when we call there is no response, so I don't know if he is still there or not......although I DID see him on Monday, I think it was.......I called him, he looked at me, and then he wandered off on his own trajectory......it seemed that he was not frightened....but just not very interested.......

Anyway, we have kept putting food in next-door's garage until today......the Builder's vans were there today, they have started the work.....so I put Jimmy's food in the doorway of our shed.......I have also put the trap out again.......I will put it out today, tomorrow and Friday.....then I must take it back to the Vets....someone else might want it.......

From tomorrow the weather here will start to deteriorate......can you imagine it, cold and wind are going to be coming to us straight down from the Arctic?......(it is to do with the Gulf Stream moving, due to global warming, we are told).....

Thank you all for your interest in my fight to get Jimmy WARM.......

Thank you.....



No...the magic- is still- here...!!!
Purred: Wed Dec 15, '10 9:33am PST 

So....what do I do with him now? He is very nice.....very friendly (not a feral) and will jump on one's lap and head bonk and dribble....!!! I think he may be a she, but I am not sure......



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