John Doe the Feral Cat
Meet John Doe (JD)!
Near the end of August 2009 I was lying in bed on the verge of waking up when I started dreaming about kittens in a box mewing. When I finally opened my eyes I could swear I still heard kittens. I got up and walked around to all the open windows but couldn't hear anything. I asked my husband about it and he had not heard anything either. A few days in a row I kept hearing kitten sounds on and off throughout the day but nothing loud enough or in sync with anyone else. Then finally one Saturday afternoon a few days later my husband walks into the living room and says, "all this talk about crying cats has me hearing them". We went into the back yard to investigate.
Under a bunch of wood and a kiddie pool at the back of the yard we found a little grey tabby face peeking out. It looked no more than five weeks old, possibly younger. There was no way he was coming out on his own so we decided to each take a side of the pile while we unloaded stuff. My husband was able to grab the kitty for a split second before it went up and over him and back up the yard and under the fence and then disappeared into the neighborhood.
Not An Easy Catch
For the next few days we we would make trips out into the yard to try and catch him albeit unsuccessfully. I even went out at one night at 1 a.m. with a can of tuna but he crawled up under the neighbors car. Neither one of us was impressed with one another. That seemed to be it for almost a month we didn't see or hear anything. I was coming home from the grocer and who should come walking across the street in front of my vehicle? The grey kitten. I haphazardly pulled over and hopped out to scoop him up.
The little furry ball saw me coming and headed off toward some bushes. He didn't run but he moved quick enough that I couldn't catch him. I spent the next twenty minutes going back and forth between four different front yards trying to catch him. I'm sure I must have looked hilarious from across the street. At one point he paused to try and eat a pebble. So sad. Still couldn't catch him.
Back in the bushes, I could look over at him. I decided to distract him by wiggling my toes and then reaching over the bush to snatch him. It worked! I immediately had to stuff him into my jean jacket as he was squiggling and had his long sharp claws out that made it impossible for me to hold him in my hands. The whole way home I kept thinking how bony he was.
I set him up in the garage in an old kennel while I went back down the street to retrieve my vehicle.
A Quick Year in Review
I Love Animals
I have always loved animals. All kinds from wild to domesticated. I grew up always having a cat in the house and can't imagine my life without pets.
I have two cats (a short-haired American Tabby and a long haired feral adoptee) and one dog (German Shepherd).
I was lucky enough to marry a man who loves animals as much as I do.
What's In a Name
A day after finding this grey mess of a kitty we took it to the vet to help gauge his health. When we arrived, the first thing they asked for was his name. My husband and I looked at one another blank faced. Then it occurred to me when hospital staff don't know a human's name they are called John Doe or Jane Doe.
At the time we thought it was a girl (thanks to starvation shrinking the boy jewels) so I said to call her Jane Doe as we weren't ready to commit to another name. After Jane gained some weight and was hydrated it was more than obvious that she was a he and he became John Doe.
During his recuperation I tried many different names but none of them felt right. John Doe was later shortened to JD. Which we have given him as his permanent name of record. But he also gets called, Buddy, Cutie, Brat, Bully...
Tough Little Baby - From Fluff and BonesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Favorite Things Do Do With John Doe (JD)?
Honestly, I just love to touch him. I'm constantly touching him because he feels so soft and squishy. I've never seen a cat with fur like his. It is so fine and fluffy.
A few of John Doe (JD)'s favorite things
One of the bad habits JD seemed to develop early on was an interest in our house plants. We just couldn't seem to scare him away from them. Then one day a pet food associate at the pet store suggested cat grass. He loves it! I don't leave it out for him but offer it to him ever few days.
He's a fluffy guy!
You would think fluffy would be a great name but my grandmother had a cat named Fluffy and it just didn't seem to fit him as a name. Not masculine enough.
It had been fourteen years since we had a kitten in the house. We had focused the last ten on raising a dog and found ourselves treating the new kitten like a new puppy. Finally I found this book which gave us a little insight into cat behavior.
JD's Favorite Toy
Cat can be easily amused with the most inexpensive toys. JD's favorite toy right from the beginning was not balls, or furry toys but little snippets of paper scrunched up. A year later and the sound of ripping paper getting prepared to be scrunched still gets him excited.
After I moved JD out of the basement into the rest of the house I found 25 pieces of scrunched paper underneath the sofabed. I guess his arms weren't long enough to retrieve them.
JD Gets Inked
Donate to your local Humane Society. Every year they have a hard time caring for the hundreds of cats that are abandoned or found feral like JD.
Every thing counts. Even if it is just dropping off a bag of kitty litter!
Happy 3 Years Old!
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