- Pets and Animals
Dorian, the Most Unlikely Pet
Dorian used to be a part of a Feral cat colony. Running around with other renegades, he was hardly ever seen unless he was making trouble. It took him several years to come around and leave The Dark Side behind him, but he's now a Domestic wonder.
I'm a writer. I love my cats (and cats in general). I can be found online at http://littlezotz.webs.com
Where did you get Dorian?
I first started seeing Dorian around my parents' back yard when I was in high school (1999-2003). He was the toughest cat around, with a notch out of his ear, and huge tom cat balls... He even attacked my parents' dog once! Not to mention he was constantly mating with other cats in the neighbourhood on top of my parents' air conditioning window unit.
Dorian has a meow like no other cat I've heard before (my friends say he sounds like the "baby t-rex" in Jurassic Park: The Lost World). Like all feral cats, Dorian had no meow at first. I'm not surprised that when he finally did get one, it turned out to be a little odd.
In his younger day, once we started feeding him, Dorian would chase my parents and me around when he saw us and sometimes attack our legs. He was SCARY!!
But, in 2006, we found him dying in my parents' back yard. We took him to the vet and no one was sure if he could be saved--but he was! After that, we amped up our efforts to tame him (a feat that many claimed was "impossible"). Since my dad was always busy and my mom is allergic to cats, it was mainly up to me to get Dorian used to humans. In the end, he became "my" cat.
Dorian still has stomach problems from having been riddled with parasites and tape worms for years, but he's doing really well now. Over the past few years, since I made friends with him, he's now a loving house cat and has even made friends with my parents' dog!
I had to leave Dorian behind when I moved out (his special diet was too expensive for me to keep up), but I visit him as often as I can.
How did you come up with the name?
He's gray. His name is Dorian. I have faith that you can figure this out.
What are your favorite things to do with Dorian?
As of this writing, Dorian is at least 10 years old; and, having spent most of his life in the wild (and nearly dying!), sort of fragile. Dorian will still get into rambunctious moods on occasion and play with his many toys or chase my parents' dog, but, for the most part, Dorian enjoys living in the lap of luxury. And by "lap of luxury," I mean he LITERALLY likes to be in people's laps. Lap cat. He likes to be pet, rubbed, and groomed. He likes it so much that he's often been known to "yell" at people if they try to stop!
Dorian's Favorite Toy
This was Dorian's very first toy. Ever. When he originally received this toy, he was still living outdoors and mostly wild. He loved it. He still does! Even now, after being domesticated and given TONS of toys, this remains one of his favourites.
It doesn't hurt that this toy can be filled and refilled with catnip!
Photos of DorianClick thumbnail to view full-size
Catnip Toys - Dorian Loves Catnip
Fat Cat catnip toys are very potent and Dorian has quite a few of them. They're also very durable.
The "Tail Chaser" series is especially nice in that your cat can play with it by themselves or, if you choose to, you can pick up the other end and get in on the action!
PLEASE Fix Your Cat!!
Aka: Not to Get Preachy on You, Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut...
There's a HUGE cat overpopulation problem where I live. My man and I have done our very best to trap-neuter-release (TNR) as many of these feral and stray cats as possible, but we've only made a small dent in a big problem. I don't have anything against purebred cat breeders and Cat Fancy and all that stuff. But, if your cat is JUST A PET, then there is NO REASON for it not to be spayed/neutered! And if you happen to see a feral/stray cat in your neighbourhood, and it's in your power to get it spayed/neutered, then please do!
There are plenty of organizations out there that are willing to help (the one we use is called FixNation--look them up!!). There are close to a million(!) homeless, stray, and feral cats living in the Los Angeles area alone. As a consequence, homeless cats make up the largest component of animals euthanized by Los Angeles animal shelters every year, at great public expense. For a long time the only options to "help" feral cats were to either do nothing or to have them killed. Now there's a "happy middle" in the form of TNR (trap-neuter-release). To quote FixNation, "TNR involves concerned citizens just like you who take action by humanely trapping homeless cats, getting them sterilized, and then returning them to the exact location where they were trapped so they can be cared for and live out their natural lives."
Why return feral cats to the wild? Because, FOR THE MOST PART (I have only known two exceptions and both cats took several YEARS to come around), these cats CANNOT be tamed. And un-tame cats will not be accepted by animal shelters. Or, if the shelter does "accept" the cat, it will be put to sleep. The choice between being dead or living in the wild is an easy one, in my opinion.
However, if you happen to find a litter of feral kittens, I would recommend trying to make friends with them. If you're lucky, you can adopt these kittens out yourself, or, if you must, take them to a local shelter. Just make sure the shelter is a NO KILL facility. If the kittens are used to human contact, they won't be deemed "feral" and there's a good chance they'll be adopted out. I've had good luck with this in the past. !!
Please be a responsible pet owner.
Thank you! :)