The cat we thought was so wild, so feral, wasn’t after all. Turns out, he’s a lover cat, a drooler who will hop up on your lap at the slightest invitation.
These woods are dangerous for cats. Coyotes, raccoons and plenty of free range dogs are threats. We know he had survived on his own for at least five months.
How did he do it? Well on day two of our time together, I had just let him out for the night, he ran behind the building then quickly reappeared with a precious, native Douglas squirrel in his mouth. He paused then gobbled it up in front of me. I was horrified. I couldn’t really be mad at him, that’s his nature, he’s a killer. That’s how he survived, his needle sharp claws would capture anything he could swipe and he was a perpetually hungry cat. I wondered how many birds and squirrels he had taken out over the Summer, and why hadn’t I seen my bunny friend for awhile? That evening I went out and got a belled, breakaway collar and nail clippers.
The next morning I walked from the house to the studio calling his name and he appeared. He knows food and companionship are being offered and he’s going to gladly take it. Within a half hour of coming inside I have the collar on him and his nails clipped! I was floored. He is so docile — the collar hasn’t come off since.
After counsel from a cat-loving, bird-loving friend I decided he had to become a 24/7 indoor cat, like our other cats in the house and for the sake of the wildlife. So we got a big dog cage to keep him in inside the studio overnight. He spent several nights in the cage, then after he proved he knew what the cat box was for I let him roam the studio 24/7. Ta-da! he truly is the Amazing Blackberry! He’s caused no damage, except for the copious amounts of drool he leaves on your lap. He loves people, uses a scratching post and leaves the house plants alone. We took him to the vet, he’s healthy, except for the freaky tick that was on his ear, and he wasn’t chipped. The vet was impressed he didn’t have any scars, that tells us he’s smart and cautious, likely to get along with our other cats in the “big house”. His big issue is his food obsession, he instantly gobbles every morsel put before him, then cries for more. If we’re not careful he’ll be a huge fat cat in no time. That will be our big challenge when we try to integrate him into our house with our two slow-eating, pampered Abysinnians. Stay tuned.