From Feral to Family pt1

Posted 22/5/2015

Today we welcomed into our family a new member, Aria. She is a small feral female tortoiseshell kitten. Born of a feral cat on the edge of a farm I got to hear about her from a friend of the person who had found her.  She was young enough to have a chance at a new domesticated life. As most domesticated born kittens easily find homes I decided to take the plunge as experience has taught me that each feral cat I had taken in previously had become a most loyal and devoted family member.

It has been a long time since I had taken a feral in but after the recent loss of one of my cats I decided to take the chance on this unknown kitten. at 3pm Wednesday afternoon I was told the kitten was weaned and had been successfully caught, I was to pick it up in the morning.

Now, for those who do not understand feral kittens, they are basically wild. Most are born and grow up without human intervention. If you can catch one young enough there is a good chance they can become a normal family pet. The thing is to find and catch them after they are weaned and before they become too old to be tamed.

As feral kittens, they have not had human interaction, they can be quiet to very dangerous, kitten teeth and claws are sharp! Both me and my son had checked out tetanus vaccinations to ensure that we were up to date.

This could not have come at a better time. Bank Holiday weekend and half term to boot, plenty of time off to enable ample free time for the introduction of the kitten to the family home. I had the cage, bed, cat litter tray, food, everything was set up and ready, waiting for the call to say it was on its way.

So, early Thursday morning I went round to pick up my cat carrier with a small bundle of fur inside. I was so excited! I had no idea the sex or colour of this little feral kitten, all I knew was that it was ready.

Now the person who brought the kitten is is not a cat lover, in fact she really does not like cats at all, in any way! Because of this I had no idea what I was getting. She gave me the box. I peaked inside. At the back, huddled in a corner was a tortie coloured ball of fur! Feral kittens need to be taken away as soon as they are weaned so they have a greater chance of being tamed. She was tiny!

She was quiet from the moment she came home. She allowed me to lift her out of the carrier and into the large cage I had prepared. she found the food and water, ate, drank and then went and huddled in a corner. I left her quiet for a couple of hours in my bedroom, quiet, with a blanket wrapped around the cage except at the front so she could see out.

When I went back in a couple of hours later she was just waking up. She looked at me with those inquisitive baby blue eyes, I opened the cage and lifted her up to me and she let me. Not once has she acted like a feral cat. She was just so gentle!

When my son got up, we decided to move the cage downstairs to the lounge. It did not phase her at all. The only things that do are loud noises. Other than that she is alert and nosey as her nose is to the front of the cage looking around.

Everything with her the first day was easy, in fact I would say she has been, so far, the easiest kitten I have ever encountered!

Feral kittens are so diverse, you never know what you will get. The younger the easier but that does not mean it will be this easy as it also depends on the individual kitten. I have been lucky, very luck!

I left for work about 2.30pm, and she stayed in the care of my son. When he left at 4pm she slept the rest of the afternoon away until I got home about 6.30pm. I opened the cage door as she ate.

I had brought home fish and chips for tea, so while I sat down and shared my fish with my other three cats, Aria stepped out of cage. She looked around, started to wander, looking, and exploring. My cats looked at her, but found the fish more enticing.

After tea, my two eldest cats went off to wash themselves and venture outside, my older kitten Ebony decided to meet the stranger. Nose to nose there was a little hissing but Ebony saw her new playmate.

Things look good for Aria.

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