Hattie and Purrley: Breakfast on the Veranda.

August 30, 2015 by  
Filed under In the Wild, New Posts

A Few Flower Essences Later

Clean up time.Clean up time!
Hattie Cleans Up.Hattie Cleans Up; Purrley Watches.

The "veranda" in my back yard isn't very fancy, but it does meet the needs of the two semi-feral cats who are coming for breakfast these days.

Purrley has just consumed over 6 ounces of cat food supplemented with some herbs and flower essences to keep pests away and get rid of worms.  I add extra water, too, as I'm not sure where he's getting water to drink.  I also add a teaspoon of chicken fat for extra calories.  Canned cat food isn't made for outdoor cats.  It's made for the pampered pusses we keep inside.

So Hattie is cleaning up the remains of the fat and a few crumbs at the bottom of the dish.  Purrley doesn't leave much.  He's pretty hungry every morning.  He comes regularly now, unless it rains the night before.  Not sure what that means and I haven't asked him yet.  I just have food ready every day.

Purrely cleaning Hattie's dish.
Purrley cleaning Hattie's dish.

Notice the dark grey tail hanging out of the feeding station.

After Hattie has finished cleaning up Purrley's dish, he licks her bowl.  She gets much less food than he does because she's ...

1) better fed than he was to begin with, and

2) a much smaller cat.  Don't let her thick coat fool you.  She probably is about Violet's size (maybe 8 pounds) hidden under her long, thick coat.

I'm giving Hattie extra right now due to ...

1) Preparations for winter - Hattie has begun stocking up on whatever she can catch.

2) This keeps her from stealing Purrley's food - he needs all he can get.  I have no idea how good a hunter he is, although I assume he's doing his best to catch a meal here and there.

Notice Purrley's long, lanky, and slender body.Notice Purrley's long, lanky, and slender body.

Using flower essences with feral and semi-feral cats can make all the difference in helping them be calmer, more relaxed, and less stressed.

Just a few days ago, I started giving Purrley a formula called Feral Cat Comforter. This is a very different combo than Rescue Remedy.   In my experience with Hattie and clients who have cats exhibiting feral cat behaviors, Feral Cat Comforter is far superior to Rescue Remedy for feral cats.

So I'm putting it in both food dishes right now to accelerate their acceptance of each other and Purrley's acceptance of my presence.

Here the the effects I noticed for Purrley:

  • Old Pattern:  He sits under an oak tree near the bird feeder and waits for me to come to the door with food.  As soon as I open the door, he runs and hides in the greenery.  Only after I shut the door and go back inside the kitchen from the porch will he approach his bowl.
  • Day 1Feral Cat Comforter in his food.  After this day, he gets some every morning in his food.  He only comes to eat here once a day, so that's all he's getting - about 10 drops sprinkled all over the top of his meal.
  • Day 2:  He runs to hide after I open the door and step out on the porch.
  • Day 3:  He runs to hide after I open the door, step out on the stoop, and start down the stoop.

You see the new pattern?  Progress!!

With Hattie, I had been feeding her for 4 years every single morning without fail.  She would rub against my legs some mornings as I bent over her feeding station to put in water and food, but wouldn't let me touch her, even when I would sneak one hand down my leg to reach her head.

As soon as I started giving her Feral Cat Comforter, she let me touch the top of her head for a second or two.  We proceeded slowly from there to where I can rub her head and neck, stroke the top of her back, and feel her sides to tell how much meat is on her ribs.  With all her fur, feeling her sides tells me when she needs more food and/or some help with parasites.

Hattie on the stoop after breakfast.Hattie on the stoop after breakfast.

I just love her expression of satisfaction!  Don't you?

Establishing Dominance: Hattie and Purrley.

August 13, 2015 by  
Filed under In the Wild, New Posts

Territorial Arrangements Underway

Hattie watching Purrley.Hattie watching Purrley.

It's about 6:30 a.m. and Hattie is sitting on top of her feeding station.  She's facing the back of the yard where Purrley is sitting under a maple tree waiting for breakfast to arrive.

Purrley waiting for breakfast.Purrley waiting for breakfast.

Purrley has been sitting in different spots each morning.  Sometimes he's on the back steps.  Other times he's near the edge of the back yard (see the dark green plants behind him).  Other times, he's actually in the woods, hidden from view.

Hattie is on the alert for him, and I can tell that he's there even if I can't see him because of what she's doing.  He doesn't always choose for me to see him or even to sense him.  Like all wise cats, he has a very advanced "stealth mode."

The day Hattie agreed for me to feed Purrley, she refused to eat inside her feeding station.  She wanted to be outside with Purrley.  So I set down their bowls about 10 feet apart.

Hattie went right to the bowl which contained the larger serving.  Hattie is a very small cat, and Purrley is a very huge one.   He needs more food right now, so his serving is nearly twice Hattie's, which I've also increased.

With Hattie at the bowl that was in the spot I had chosen for Purrely, Purrley graciously went to the second bowl.   He finished before Hattie had eaten her full, and wanting more, he went to the other bowl where Hattie was still eating.

Purrley sat there asking to eat, but waiting patiently for Hattie to agree.  Hattie ate until she was full, and then allowed him access to the food.

Hattie explained to me that she was making sure he knew that this was her yard and her food, and that she would share, but only on her terms.  Dominance peacefully expressed.

The next day, Hattie went back to eating inside her feeding station.  Because Purrley accepted her dominance, she no longer challenges Purrley's presence or right to eat in the yard.

For now, all is peaceful and Purrley is getting a very big breakfast every day, as long as he shows up.  He's coming more consistently now.  Hattie is back to her normal routines and not feeling threatened by him.

All's well in the now moment.  When winter comes, things may have to adjust, but I just keep sending out peaceful, loving thoughts that this yard is a safe place for Hattie and Purrley, both.

I'm also putting some flower essences into everyone's food.  Purrley is getting a home-made energy remedy to eliminate parasites and both are getting a formula for eliminating fear and anxiety.

Om shanti, shanti, shanti.  Om peace, peace peace.


Building Bridges with Hattie.

August 8, 2015 by  
Filed under In the Wild, New Posts

Restoring Trust.

Hattie returned exhausted.Hattie returned exhausted.

For those of you just coming into this story, Hattie is a semi-feral cat whom I've been feeding for over 8 years and who lives in my back yard.  She sleeps under an enclosed porch that has no basement and eats at a feeding station in my back yard.

Hattie has no interest in living indoors.  She doesn't even want to visit the indoors of my house.  She loves her life.

That said, she also wants to be considered as part of my family.

A few days ago, because I decided to offer food to another feral cat (Purrley) who is new in the neighborhood, and for a few other related reasons, Hattie took off for parts unknown.  "When You Don't Talk to the Animals."

Hattie showed up yesterday in the early afternoon.  I was looking out the back window when she arrived, walking very slowly.  She choose a comfortable spot of ground, curled up and went to sleep.  I went out and tried to speak with her, but she was too tired to talk.  She barely had the energy to listen as I welcomed her home.

I offered her food and fresh water, but Hattie was uninterested in either.  She slept all afternoon, only arising once or twice to move out of the sun and into shady spots.  She would immediately curl up again and go back to sleep.

This morning, I offered Hattie a good breakfast of the newer cat food that she now prefers.  She let me pet her when I brought out her meal.  That's the only time of day I can touch her at all or even get within 10 feet of her, and she won't let me pet her every day.  That's OK.  When she's relaxed and feels safe, I get to rub her head and check her rips to determine whether or not she needs me to increase her  calories.

This morning I asked Hattie if I could feed Purrley.  He hasn't shown up for last two mornings, but I still need to get her buy in.  She said, "yes."  She didn't sound enthusiastic.

I reminded her that we first met when I was feeding some kittens who had been dumped and whom I first saw eating bird seed until my feeder.  She remembered that, but didn't comment.

It takes a long time to rebuild trust.  I'm determined to do the best I can.

We'll keep talking and perhaps Purrley will return.  If he does, I can't imagine not feeding him.  But Hattie has to agree to this.  She's not a mean cat.  She's very gentle and kind.  She just wants me to accept her as part of the family.  I feel I've done that now.  I hope she can feel the difference in me.


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