Have I mentioned Ana-Maniac recently? Or ever on this blog?
She's a very shy cat and we share a home. Her mom is the same mom that gave birth to my cat L... He is a year older than Ana. I trapped him in a nearby wooded area after noticing him as a kitten. I also tried to catch his tortie mother, with the pedestrian but apt name "Momma Kitty" as I called her, but she was trap wary. I caught a possum one night, which I let go of course. It was an adventure.
L... was an older kitten when I finally trapped and eventually tamed him. He was fixed as a feral and has a docked ear. I view this as a badge of honor... a mark of a feral kitten who came to be part of my household. He loves me unabashedly and is an incredible pet. He doesn't trust any other human though. My older cat C.. views him with disdain, as she should since she is far fancier than he is. L... is a wonderful goofball. He always sits by me on the keyboard bench with me when I practice, and I have dedicated a simple version of Maple Leaf Rag to him as his theme song. Here's the original version:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMAtL7n_-rc
I didn't give up on catching Momma Kitty. But she was smart, and I had to be patient. The following summer came around and she had more kittens. Trapping Momma required a plan. I set food near the trap for a few days, then just inside the entrance, then fully inside. It took weeks. She was wary. Finally I had success. I was able to trap her and one of her babies, a dilute tortie kitten. Two traps set in case you were wondering. I had Momma Kitty fixed and released her where she was found. No more kittens from her, I knew of three of her litters and that was after I discovered her. Sadly after a month or two from being fixed, she disappeared. I hope the best for her. I think of her often.
The kitten I had trapped that night, I had fixed as well, as a feral with a docked ear. I was going to let her go as I had her Momma a couple days previous. But it was torrentially raining and I couldn't make myself do it. She was an older kitten, again, and I tried to tame her. I named her "Anna" after the Beatles' cover of the Arthur Alexander song. Valerie and Dave helped me with her and rechristened her "Ana-Maniac". I loved, and love this.
Ana was not easily tamed, and I let her into 'gen-pop' from the room I had her in, a couple weeks earlier than I should. She had been kept in a large wire dog pen in a spare bedroom for a few weeks... the cage was loan from Valerie and Dave... for which I am eternally grateful. I had used the same wire pen with L..., but whereas he had a "Helen Keller at the water fountain" moment when he realized I was his friend and not a predator, Ana never had this epiphany. Eventually I let her have free roam of the house, and she and L... are fast friends forever, whilst C... ignores them both and is visibly relieved to be left alone without aggravation.
Friends, what I did is get L... a kitten. A buddy. A best friend. A BFF. Ana-Maniac hides if I stand up and walk around. Sometimes she graces us with sitting on the couch with the rest of us. But she is always, always, wary of me.
I tell her out loud that she is here at home, and that her life is valuable; that she reminds me that her life and all life is valuable, and that if I have the honor of keeping her safe, warm, out of the rain, and the hot, and the cold, well I am thankful.
She looks at me as if I'm the Crazy Cat Lady. I point out that the threshold of CCL status is 4 cats and I only have 3. I don't think I've convinced her.