Sunday, September 3, 2023

The Exciting Bit

There are different stages to rescue-work. At the moment, the group of which I am part is engaged in trapping a little feline family, whose mother is injured. We have captured the three kittens, but the mother, not feral but distrusting, remains elusive, more experienced and wilier than her offspring. We will get her and help her.

That part of rescue is tense and exciting; it is, when the anti-climactic sound of the trap-door signals a successful capture, greatly rewarding. But it is usually just the start of the hard work. Yet that hard work is exciting, too.

Brazil is not feral. He never was, really, having been caught as a kitten and socialised. But he regressed, and was similar in many ways to a feral, or at least semi-feral, cat. Readers will recall what has happened so far in my attempts to reverse that process. Yesterday, I was able to take a step forward.

(Pardon the blurs: these count as action shots.) So far, such permission to pet has come only at meal-times. Brazil mills about, impatiently complaining, quietly, that his food is taking a long time to prepare. Meanwhile, he allows me to pet him, to stroke him, to run my hand down his back and touch his tail. This is a first for us.

We have a long way to go. But I see progress in other directions. Brazil used to bolt from any room into which I walked. Now, he will sometimes remain. Other times, when he runs, it is with less speed; one might say he trots, rather than gallops, away from me. And as often as not, he will stop when I call his name.

As well, I am learning about his character. He wants a friend. He has been trying to interest Imogen, but Miss Silky is having none of it. Imo was friends with Percival, so it can happen. I have also seen Brazil try to show comradeship, if not affection, with Neville. During the wait for food, the orange newcomer has rubbed up against Nev, under the grey lion’s chin. I have seen that before: several cats in the feral colony I help manage do that when they know food is on the way. The Nevsky has never had such attention and he didn’t like it. He put the bitey on Brazil, in a minor way. (Lacking almost all his teeth, it is in a very minor way.) Brazil has always had feline companionship – to be precise, friendship – and has not been hostile to any of the cats here. A chum in his permanent home would be an asset.

But first things first. A big step has been taken: Brazil has let me touch him, numerous times and at comparative length. It may not be trapping a cat who needs medical assistance, or bringing starving kittens in from the wild. But when it comes to rescue-work, it is, nonetheless, exciting.


  1. I hope you catch the mother cat and she can be spayed and put with her young. And Brazil, it does seem he is looking for a friend, human or feline. He is probably past the stage of wanting to be so solitary. Can't wait to see when you have movie night and he is on your lap!

  2. That's wonderful news about Brazil. Maybe Imogen will warm up to him eventually. And I hope you can catch that poor mama cat soon.

  3. That bum in the air shows he is enjoying the attention. I wish Imogen would decide that maybe he is not so bad.

  4. Dearest John,
    That is exciting news and let's hope they soon will manage to trap the injured mother kitty!
    Yes, initial contact and winning of trust is very exciting.
    Brazil will get there—no doubt.

  5. Oh, I literally have tears in my eyes reading this. Brazil is making incredible progress.

    I will keep my fingers crossed, figuratively, that the injured mom cat soon will be trapped. Good luck to all with that.

  6. This is wonderful news. Brazil is coming around slowly but surely. Meanwhile, please let us know your progress trapping the injured mom-cat.

  7. I am thrilled Brazil has made such progress. I wish Imogen would befriend him though..and of course, Neville as the Elder Statesman has least for now.

  8. Sweetie just bit me because I was trying to comb some of her matted fur, but like Neville, she has few teeth so no injuries were incurred.

  9. Being able to touch Brazil is a good step forward sometimes things take longer then we would like but giving up isn't right so hang in there

  10. Good luck with the mother cat!
    It seems that Brazil is turning a corner. His trust comes slowly but I suspect he'll soon be asking for the pets.