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Pan's Feral Cat Colony

$675 of $1,900 goal

Raised by 12 people in 13 months
They are good cats Bront!

I find myself caring for four feral cats. (Five really, as we have our beloved Whitey Ford. He has lived in our home for 14 years and was feral but he is like a real life Winnie the Pooh now. Gentle, sweet, wise, and snuggly.)


WHITEY FORD

I like to end my day by sitting out on the covered patio reading. Recently 4 cats have found me.

1. Pan, short for Panther is a trim black cat full of dignity and seriousness. Even when scared he is calm and seemingly unruffled. He was here first. He comes for his food but he never never looks desperate. It is a transaction. He graces me with his presence and listens to my talk and then I give him food. He has the reddest tongue of any cat I have ever seen. 

My wife and I went away for a few days to attend a funeral. The cats were fed but I was not at my place. The first night back Pan ate and then jumped up on the chair across from me and studiously cleaned for more than twenty minutes then looked at me for a bit and left. 

The next night was unseasonably chilly. I have been shaving my head for many years and I have a nice light cap for nights that are a bit chilly but not truly cold. I went in to the house and left the hat on my chair. When I returned my hat was on the ground and well and truly pissed on.

I have no doubt it was Pan. He missed my company but I must never do that again. He has taken to hanging out in the yard for long hours of the day.


PAN

2. Ginger. A ginger and white cat, young, curious, and skittish. He has explored the yard and run past me to circle round the garage and pop up on the perimeter wall on the other side. He has been up on the roof of the garage and the roof of the porch. He been up in the pines and one night I heard a noise in the pear tree and suddenly Ginger sailed from the top of the tree and down to the lawn. He has explored ALL the things and now he eats then sits under one of the other chairs near me or on the wall and just hangs out for a while but never looking right at me. Either that or he jumps from the wall up on to the garage roof and wanders around above my head. He likes to watch yard work. He ate like a bear until recently. He seems to be at a normal adult cat intake now.



GINGER

3. Wilson is another ginger cat but with more white than Ginger. He is even more twitchy than Ginger.

I named him Wilson because the name Ginger was taken and the neighborhood grocery store near my childhood house was Wilson's Red and White. Like the other he ate like crazy when he first arrived. He broke my heart though, whenever he finished a bowl of food. He would sniff the inside of the bowl then start scratching at the bottom of it looking for more in a panic. He seems to have settled in to a regular amount of food now. Sometimes Wilson behaved like an asshole toward Ginger but he got over it. Pan put them in their place. 


WILSON


4. Ed Sheeran. Finally another ginger cat with even more white showed up. The next red and white thing I could think of was Ed Sheeran. Ed Sheeran is very hungry but fairly calm. Still getting to know him. He has not sang for me.  :(


ED SHEERAN

I clearly need to do more. I can't feed them and not get them neutered. We have a TNR (Trap. Neuter. Return.) program here and I can have them fixed, chipped and shots for $75 each. I would also have to put up a deposit for live traps. 

I need to have Pan and Wilson seen by a vet. Pan has a red dot just below his lip and it may be  a small tag or tumor. Wilson has a limp in his right rear leg. He has no issues with jumping up or down and he scratches himself with it just fine so it may be a congenital defect or a healed older wound.

I have a little house I made for our old feral pal Bob Cat. He was with us for about 4 years. I would like to build something  for each of the four of them before the winter. 



BOB

The money:

$300 will get the neutering done. This is the first and most important thing. That will leave $400 per cat (minus fundraising costs).

Next is vet costs. Amount  unknown at this time.

With what (if any) is left after vet costs:

1 Heated Bowl
4 Extreme Weather Kitty Pad (heat for the coldest nights.) 
Havahart Live Animal Trap (for future posible emergency needs.)
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade (for flea and tick control without having to physically contact the cats. Can also be used to control internal parisites.)
straw bales.
Farm Innovators TC-3 Cold Weather Thermo Cube Thermostatically Controlled Outlet 
Material for more housing

Cat food 
Lots of cat food

I would like to do right by these animals that trust me and am grateful for any help you can give even if it is just sharing this.
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Pan disappears, Ginger gets friendlier, tuxedo, Wen, Ed Sheeran or Wilson... Much cats!

Pan seems physically OK but very resentful. Whatever happened to her eye it seems to have cleared up well. Since I last wrote she came round for 3 nights, eating then leaving quickly. Each time she was the very embodiment of the term 'if looks could kill'.

After the three nights Pan disappeared. She is very much a wanderer and has gone off for two or three days but this time she was gone for fifteen days. I was worried I'd not see her again when she suddenly popped up on the wall. I put food out for her and she ate, then before leaving, she made a very ostentatious show of pissing on the vinyl BBQ cover then kicking with her back feet to show that that was that. She is very angry with me. 

A night or two later she came round again and ate then sat on the table looking at me for perhaps three minutes before jumping down and walking past me into the night. I figured we had settled back into a groove and I was wrong. 

I used to be able to stand within two feet of her, and when I fed her, sometimes touch her face but now we are back to a six foot no go zone. She will also not approach if she sees any other cat anywhere in the area. She only comes round sporadically. She is so stubborn and so independent. She is six years old so I know she can take care of herself but I would like her to feel she has a home here.

Ginger is changing fast. On the Ginger hierarchy of needs scratchin is now more important than food. He is still jumpy but he really wants my attention. Besides scratchin time I can hold him with both hands for up to twenty seconds and I can lift him an inch or so off the ground for about four seconds. 

One night I scratched him for several minutes then he started to eat. After a few bites he came over to my chair, I thought for more scratchin, but every time I reached for him he bit me. Not at all hard but he kept doing it. I left my hand in front of him and he put his mouth over the fleshy outside edge of my hand and began to tug. I moved myself forward and he kept tugging until he was at the bowl.

He wants me to pet him while he eats!

It's nice that he likes my company so much but you have to draw a line. Years ago Whitey Ford first allowed us to pet him on our bed. He would come into the living room or the office and make odd noises until one of us would follow him to the bedroom and then he would jump up on the bed and then he would get lots of attention. 

After some time he stopped jumping up and started waiting for me to lift him up onto the bed. That was all fine for a while until he started stopping in front of the bedroom door. I refused to carry him from there to the bed as I know if I gave in, at some point he would be expecting to be carried to the food, the litter box, the couch, etc. 

If another cat comes round Ginger will sit right up against my feet with his head up high. He is willing to share space and food with others but the 'big feeding creature' is rightfully his. He is now so comfortable he will curl up on a nearby chair and go to sleep so soundly that he does not wake up when I get up and say goodnight as I head in for the night. Not even an ear twitch. 

He now talks to me. Like Whitey when he started talking, Ginger only makes a thin reedy 'aaaaaaa' sound. It takes a long time for a feral to learn to vocalize and they never really sound quite like a domestic cat. 

I've mentioned it before but at the end of April we almost had a situation. One evening around 7:30 Ginger pricked up his ears and started staring. He got very ridged and then moved from the patio into the yard. He had spotted the mama blue jay sitting on a wire. She spotted him and started scolding. 

I said 'don't start anything Ginger. You won't like where this will go.' 

He looked for a bit but then let the matter drop. I am so happy as I've seen cats start something with a blue jay couple before and those birds will not let up until they leave for the season. As it is we had to go through several weeks of having two poppa robins sit doing the load CHEEP! warning sound every evening as Ginger sat out on the patio.

Each evening Ginger comes and sits and stares at the back door waiting for me to come out. If I am not at home yet I will end up coming from the garage or from the back gate into the yard and he is stunned and happy. He can't seem to think of me coming from anywhere but the back door of the house. Anything else is like some kind of weird magic.

The black and white (with a bit of gray and tan) cat I named Wen now seems to follow Ginger at all times. It is an odd relationship. Ginger seems to neither like nor dislike Wen. Wen is just one of those things like your shadow. What are you gonna do?

For his part Wen seems to follow Ginger as a, maybe, role model? Big brother? 

With Ginger getting more comfortable with me by the day Wen has made remarkable progress. He was very feral when he first arrived but in watching Ginger, Wen has become much calmer much faster than I would expect. When he first appeared, to fight with Pan, he did not eat. I thought he was someone's outdoor cat. Now he is eating regularly. He looks a bit like an old man you might see sitting in a park.

Wen has stopped spraying all the time as I guess he has proved dominance over Pan. I think that is the reason Pan hates me or feels betrayed by me and left for so long. 

The plan is this. I want to trap Wen, get him neutered, and have him adopted out. He has made such great strides with trust I'm sure he can become a solid (if a bit odd) indoor pet. Also, ferals don't talk but Wen talks a fair bit and that leads me to believe he was at some time a domestic cat and that will make adoption easier. I hope with him gone that Pan will feel more at home and safe here again. 

Ginger has been well behaved with Pan, Wen, and the other two cats we had around last year, Wilson and Ed Sheeran, and he and Whitey Ford have sat looking at each other through the window for a long time now so I think he may become our new indoor cat. It will be interesting to see what he thinks of that. 

Whitey Ford was a true feral and when he moved in he was terrified of us. Despite that he has never expressed any interest in going outside. Freedom from rain and cold and regular food seemed to overcome any level of fear of the hoomans. Ginger has a bit of a head start in that he knows he likes ear knuckles, face scratchin, and ear to tail tip strokes. 

We have had a bit of an issue with a long legged burly black and white tuxedo cat. He dropped in a few times last summer and is now coming round again. He appears to be someones outdoor cat and none of the other cats like him much. He has never been aggressive at all but the other cats find him too big, too loud, and way too friendly. Other cats avoid him and Ginger gets very angry when he comes round. Fortunately he usually leaves quickly.

I told you in my last long winded report that Ed Sheeran and Wilson had disappeared late last fall. One of them seems to be back! 

A red cat has come round a few nights over the last few weeks. He is wary but seems not to be too worried about my presence and he and Ginger don't have any issues when they see each other so it has to be one of our old friends. I have not been able to get a good look to identify which cat it might be. 

I hope you are well.
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Update and movies to come.
Whitey Ford
Ginger
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Stayed up late last night and got a chance to see Pan. She finally came to the table where she eats and I was able to feed her.

She is still very rattled and not herself but looking at her with the light of a small flashlight her eye looks better than it did at noon on Friday. I hope to see her up close in the daylight today.

Ginger was very solicitous toward her despite all the aggravation Pan has put him through.

Wen the black and white can will have to be trapped and removed from the area.
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Some of you may have already read some or all of this elsewhere so I apologize. I wrote an update and then something awful happened to Pan.

First the bad news, then the update as I wrote it a few days ago, then more (very) bad news.

Wilson and Ed Sheeran stopped coming round as we headed toward Christmas and I have not seen them since. We had an abnormally bad winter this year and I don't hold out much hope for the two of them.

Pan made it through the winter in the comfort of the houses I built. She prefers one of the wood ones but she made sure to make a nest in both wood ones and both plastic ones just to show that she is Queen of all the things.

She is a neutered female but she is also the most territorial cat ever. She intimidates any other cat that comes around. I have never seen her fight. She just stares at the other cat until it turns away. They always do. (wish I hadn't written this)

Pan scratches all the trees and 'sprays' the corners of the yard. It not like an un-neutered tom be she does it anyway. She tried to run Ginger off but he just kept coming back.

She has not forgotten I trapped her nor has she forgiven me for it.

During the cold and snowy time she could not spend her day wandering off to wherever it is she goes and she would spend an hour or two sitting under cover of the patio and looking very put-upon or sleeping on one of the chairs. No matter the snow or how cold she had to get out for a bit.

When the snow and cold let up she was back to wondering mode.

Ginger is still goofy and curious about everything I do.

Despite the nasty winter he never did use the houses I built. I guess wherever he has been staying all this time is warm enough and still undisturbed but he now spends the 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. time on the patio or in the yard or going around the house or around the garage searching for whatever he always seems to be looking for.

He may be headed for trouble as he has taken an interest in the Blue Jay couple that has been nesting here for many springs. Mama Jay killed a chickadee the other day. She will not put up with your bullshit. The Jays go to bed about the same time Ginger comes out so I hope he gets through the next few weeks unscathed.

I think that some time before the fall Ginger may be ready to make the jump to house cat. He likes to sit in the chair closest to me, especially when there is another cat or a possum around to see him. It's like he is showing off "I get to sit with the food guy!"

He talks to me a lot and I can touch the top of his head and sometimes when I am about to feed him he bumps up against my legs. If he keeps progressing I will have him tested for FIV and either take him in or find someone to do it.

I fear Pan, despite having been a domesticated cat at some point, is far too independent to live indoors anymore.

During the coldest part of the winter I saw Pan sitting next to a black and white cat a few times. That was odd enough but when checking her house out while she ate one day I found two nests pressed together. She had allowed another cat into her house!

I could only see the black and white through the window, as he or she ran off as soon as I opened the door, even plowing though deep fresh snow to get away.

That cat has reappeared and come round the last three nights and I have been calling it Wen. If it turns out to be a girl it will be Wendy and Wendell if it's a boy. If it stays for a few more days I'll have to see about TNRing it.

Whitey Ford is looking old these days but he is ok. If Ginger could become our house guest it might be good for Whitey. Other than sun bathing his only real interest in life is me. He just wants to be with me every possible moment. If I'm not here he is with Rosemary. He has always needed to have someone close by and since Kitty's death I am the focus of all his attention.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Something is/has happened to Pan.

For the last few days she has been very skittish. She sits in the yard and then runs when I go outside.

This is making it hard to feed her. I can't really just leave the food. If I do the birds and squirrels take it during the day and at night it brings possums and possibly raccoons.

The possums don't worry me as they are gentle and never bother anyone but the raccoons are viscous and will attack the cats. One went after Ginger last November.

This evening I went and sat for a long time. Ginger showed up at 8 pm as he normally does but then I saw Pan sitting on the sidewalk. She seems to want help but being a cat and being who she is she is also very reluctant to approach when she is at any potential disadvantage.

The problem seemed to be her left eye. When I saw her watching me she had her left eye shut. Later she opened it a bit but not all the way. She also seems to have a bit of discharge.

I put food in her bowl (so proud of Ginger, he stayed with his own bowl) and she hung back for a long time. She began to approach the patio and her bowl but the black and white cat I have tagged Wen showed up and there was a standoff between it and Pan. I managed to get Wen to leave but Pan would not eat while I was outside. I hope she got food. While Pan and this new cat seemed to be OK together in January it is now challenging Pan every-time they see each other. I wonder if they fought as Pan has the eye injury and the black and white cat seems to have lost a patch of hair on its tail.

I am trying to trap Wen the black and white cat. It has been spraying everything and it acts like it is in heat. I had thought to TNR it but it is never really hungry so it is getting food from someone. It seems to be a poorly cared for un-neutered pet.

Much as I don't like to do it I think the best route is to trap it and bring it to the SPCA. I can't have it disrupting the other cats and I really can't afford to be getting other peoples animals neutered for them. I really don't want to allow another cat to breed unwanted kittens.

The first problem is that it is not hungry so I don't know if it will go for the bait.

The second issue is Pan. I'd like to get her to a vet but I know trapping her again will be difficult. First because of the Wen situation as above and second because she has preternatural intelligence and I fear it will be even harder to trap her this time.

She looks worse everyday and I worry she may die soon if I can't get hold of her.

I am meeting with a representative of a neighborhood brewery this week to hopefully organize a movie night to try to raise some funds.

I have attached a photo of Pan. It was low light and very zoomed so it is not very clear. You can't see the damage to the eye as she has it shut.

Thanks for reading and please be well all.

Pan
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$675 of $1,900 goal

Raised by 12 people in 13 months
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