Oh how I wish cats could talk! Growler has a story, but all he can tell us is “grrrr”. This poor boy was found living in a porta-potty in a park. A good Samaritan rescued him and took him to a shelter hoping that an owner would claim him. Nobody came forward. Public shelters are required to take in all strays in their contract areas, they can’t pick and choose. So when an unadoptable cat comes in, they generally have no choice but the euthanize the animal. After all, there are a limited number of cages. And Growler was so unhappy there that he was hissing and growling continually. He was too fractious to even scan for a chip or determine his gender, so he couldn’t be put out with the other shelter cats. Fortunately, the shelter works with some local rescues and lets them take cats destined for euthanasia. There are too many to take them all, but Growler’s situation broke our hearts. Growler is currently being assessed in a foster home where he will stay for at least 3 weeks. Why that long? It takes at least that long to determine if a cat is shy/traumatized or feral. Shy cats and feral cats behave similarly in shelter environments. Sometimes, cats like Growler reveal themselves as sweet, affectionate cats once they learn to trust. A feral cat, or one too traumatized to be re-socialized, will show little or no progress in that time. We will update his post when we learn more about him, but here is what we have observed so far. First, he doesn’t appear to be totally feral. While he growls and lashes out, his ears don’t go back and he doesn’t hide as you’d expect a feral to do. His behaviors look a bit more like a terrified / defensive cat than a feral cat. Also, he will approach a certain distance and “study” the human who is fostering him. It is completely unknown how he will be once he settles in and feels safe. He may make a lot of progress or he may be like this forever. Either way, poor Growler needs a human on his side. He is a handsome boy with long black hair and a lovely white locket. Healthy, neutered, vaccinated, viral tested, microchipped and treated for parasites, he is ready to live his best life! Can you help him do this?
April 20, 2015
I went out to check the park and neighborhood where Growler was rescued and spoke with people who lived in the area. Unfortunately, nobody knew anything about him and I wasn’t able to find anyone who feeds feral cats or strays in that general area. So, Growler is still a complete mystery. He is still gravely suspicious of my intentions. As one would do with any shy or scared animal, I’ve made his life as quiet and predictable as possible, but he continues to growl and will lunge and hiss if dare to put the food bowl too close to him as I refill it. So, I will most likely be having to place him as a garage or shop cat. This poses a problem because cats often like companionship and Growler has shown an interest in my cats. They gape at him from the bedroom door when I go in to spend time with him and he walks forward looking hopeful. So, I think he’d do best with a companion. It will need to be a home without dogs or small children. He was absolutely terrified when he saw my cat-friendly dog placidly standing outside the bedroom door. While I have no way of knowing where he came from, the park is near a residential neighborhood and not in the country, so I don’t want to place him out in a rural area. He has apparently learned that humans are dangerous, but may not know about coyotes and bobcats. If you are a cat lover looking for a garage or shop cat and want to prove to him that humans can be nice, please email. Email Jennifer at CatTalesWa@gmail.com for more information.