Creature Feature: Clementine the Barn Cat
Clementine was a little gas station kitty last year. Winter was setting in and folks were feeding her but no one took her home…. until both of us had snuggle time with her. She was very friendly with people, just not other animals. You could feel every single vertebrae and rib, she was so skinny. She wintered over in the workshop, a nice enclosed place with food, blankets, water, and litter box. She seemed quite content as there was no competition for food and no predators in her little workshop.
We had her neutered and got her shots taken care of while we both sent out emails with pictures of her trying to find her a new home. Christmas was coming on, and we had zero interested parties. Meanwhile, I tried to socialize her with our other outdoor cats and that was one BIG NNNNOOOOOO with howling, spitting, and slashing. OK, so definitely needs to be the only kitty. This added to the difficulty in placing her. With two meals a day, she put on some weight and became a rolly-polly kitty.
Spring rolled around and one day she decided she wanted to be an outdoor kitty, period. So, we kept the workshop door cracked for her, along with food and water. At first, we closed her in at night and let her out every morning. After a while, especially as the temperatures warmed, we left the door open all the time for her. She slimmed down pretty quick, becoming a strong outdoor kitty.
Now she has chosen the hay pile as her favorite place to sleep. She still despises all other cats, isn’t thrilled about curious goats or donkeys, and has learned to fear the chickens (as all cats must do, the hard way). She still loves humans though and there are fewer mice about. I think we all can live with this.