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Author Topic: Navipets!  (Read 128678 times)
todthedog
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« Reply #645 on: January 02, 2020, 09:30:55 AM »

Great pictures  as ever Mart, good idea rehoming ferrals on a farm we had 7 at one time, our buyers took over feeding duties when we sold. Not so sure about rodent control, I was sitting outside reading 'Scratch' the cat was lying on a table next to me when a mouse ran about a foot in front of his nose, no reaction  at all. The cats insisted that they were not overfed, indeed would arrive and remind me if meals were late. surrender

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« Reply #646 on: January 02, 2020, 01:13:23 PM »

I take on board all the things that I have learned from how you handle the cats Mart,
                                  At first I assumed that i spoke the wrong lingo and did not get close enough to for any convincing relationship with the cats that passed through here.
   Our last two cats, a male and a female were dumped on us and I had no choice but to either feed them or watch them starve to death. The older female would not tolerate the presence of the smaller male and made his life hell. He only got the scraps that were left over from feeding the female but as time went on, he became tamer and would feed out of the dish in my presence when She was not about, He had already lost one eye by then and there was a genuine danger that he was going to lose the other.
  So I gave the female the run of the shed and fed her there. Gradually she took over the place and as she got older she became more distant and more controlling, She would perch on the end of my bench and look up the hundreds of yards of driveway to the road, keeping watch. I noted that her body language was more like a dog during those times. Eventually she learned to melt into the undergrowth and she was cleaning  the place out of both birds and shrews. I remember vividly, that over a period of just 3 weeks, she went from being OK to being very threatening. I forgot to warn my wife who used to pick her up and stroke her, My wife is pretty good with cats. but this day the two cats were on our front street and my wife was stroking the smaller male..the female began to growl and make threatening noises. My wife put down the male and went to pick up the female and that is when the female decided to lash out, narrowly missing my wife face but getting her on the arm before I could get over to sort it. She was gone that evening, Now the male was left behind and he a was happy lad. Still young, I would brush and comb his coat, worm him and feed him properly. A couple of months later we had to send him down the same route.. Here in this part of the world, Feral means feral. It means that you can raise the kits and they respond fine untill they get to a certain age and then they are their own bosses and will not tolerate baby talk are coaxing. A bit like wolves. The wolf will get along fine with humans as a pup but it takes a very very expert handler to stay with them once they approach maturity. This has been well documented. So it must be that we have a totally different strain of feral cat here. That is the only way that I can explain it.
                                              Biff
 
                                     
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« Reply #647 on: January 02, 2020, 05:04:25 PM »

Hi Mart,

First day back at work and I had an inbox full of stuff to deal with but spotted a Navitron email at the top so in I went and what a joy to behold.  Thank you so much for getting my working day/week/year off to such an enjoyable start with all those wonderful stories, especially the big scary feral from the tip, I had to share that one.  Do let us know if the real scary one ever gets caught Smiley

Thanks, and I forgot to say that when Anna heard that Tipboy was friendly she asked me to name him, so after a short ponder, trying to link his name to the tip I came up with Rufus (bit like refuse?)

Got more fuss off him today, plus Mango, and the other shy cats, then onto the main job of fussing shy Tibbie the grey tabby. Same routine, hiss, then cower, then purr, then some small reciprocation, even a bit of 'scratch steering' where I just scratch one spot on the side of the head, and let the cat move their head around using me simply as a scratch tool. He's still very timid, but I think there's a loving house cat in their as he's never swiped, bitten or anything, just cowered and hissed. I might be jumping the gun, but he was laid out flat with his paws folded under his head, but slowly he shifted to one side a bit. Not a full side flop, and didn't expose his belly, but it seemed like a sign of trust, or relaxation .... maybe ...... not sure.
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biff
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« Reply #648 on: January 02, 2020, 07:43:41 PM »

I understand exactly what you are saying Mart,
                                     The problem here is that these little kits were dying to get friendly from word go. So when the food was produced, They were really nice little things , playful and quite obedient actually. You could not help but love them.
 Then as time went on, They got territorial. I don,t mind that in the least but there comes a time when the obedient bit is gone and they are their own bosses. It is surprisingly dramatic. There is no mistaking it. Our feral cats are quite dangerous when they mature into adults. I am guessing that their is a big quantity of wild cat in ours and a big quantity of domestic genes in your. I cannot think of any other reason that they would turn so nasty. It looks to me that their inbred desire to run the show and answer to no one is priority. At one time here, we had 3 jet black cats battling it out to rule the roost. The 3 of them had only one eye each. In the end the two  bigger ones were so well matched they practically destroyed each other and the little one eyed kitten was able to survive apart from getting chased and attacked on a regular basis by the larger female. We called him Sneaky Tom. He was sneaky for a very good reason. Then in the end, he became a handful and quite dodgy. I was sad to see him go. Having only one eye ,did not deter him from reducing the bird population and snacking on the shrews. That annoyed me to no end. The shrews were easy to catch and always pregnant. They lived on snails and bugs .
There was a great programme on the telly last week. Stats and Weasels where these two wild animals lived and flourished right under the noses of this painter in the countryside. Our feral cats would be similar. Cute to look at and interesting to watch yet born to be wild.
                           Biff
« Last Edit: January 03, 2020, 06:40:21 AM by biff » Logged

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« Reply #649 on: January 03, 2020, 12:37:32 PM »

I think Rufus is an excellent choice of name Mart.  Good luck with Tibbie the Tabby and do keep us all updated, your posts on this thread are the perfect antidote to 'The News' in general Smiley
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« Reply #650 on: January 03, 2020, 12:46:47 PM »

I think Rufus is an excellent choice of name Mart.  Good luck with Tibbie the Tabby and do keep us all updated, your posts on this thread are the perfect antidote to 'The News' in general Smiley

Just got back, and massive win  extrahappy   extrahappy   extrahappy

I fussed Tibbie's belly, I fussed Tibbie's belly ....................  extrahappy


So, I got the usual greeting of a slow hiss and wide open mouth, but perhaps less effort today, then I started slowly fussing him, and he only took about 3 mins to start purring this time. After about 10mins he decided to have a good sniff of my hand, far more interaction than before, then he settled a tad more off center, so I started wiggling my fingers just behind his front leg, and much to my surprise he slowly rolled over just enough for me to rub his belly. After a minute he gently placed all four paws on my hand, and I thought he might be panicking and about to grab me and bite me, but he kept on purring.

If I remember I'll take some pics next time as he seems a bit more relaxed with me now, and you can see what a pretty little thing he is (I was certain he was girl),

And of course Rufus and Mango got some love too.
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todthedog
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« Reply #651 on: January 03, 2020, 02:40:31 PM »

Cracking Mart, agree with Tigger, your posts along with Biff's stories brighten the winter.
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« Reply #652 on: January 03, 2020, 02:53:18 PM »

Well done Mart  extrahappy
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« Reply #653 on: January 04, 2020, 03:37:24 PM »

Been to see Tibbie. Turns out Anna and the other volunteers are still scared of him because he does this long, open mouth hiss when we go in his room, like this:



So they are wary of fussing him, and as you put your hand out to him, he sorta ducks back under it as if he's going to attack .......... so I fussed him till he purred and let me rub his belly (a new World record of ~5mins), then took a pic to prove he's a sweety:




He's still pretty terrified, but I suspect a purry lapcat is inside that scared little fellah.

Today's weird news is that he decided to interact a bit more and sniffed my hand, then started to bite me repeatedly, but with so little pressure I could barely feel the teeth. I'm not sure if he was being affectionate, or not. Didn't seem like a 'go away' as he was purring and acting quite sweet all the time. Probably about a dozen nibbles spread across three 'tastings'.
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« Reply #654 on: January 04, 2020, 08:25:59 PM »

 Mart,  forgive me,,,But,
    Are those scratches on the back of your hand,?  genuflect,
         surrender
                    Biff
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todthedog
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« Reply #655 on: January 05, 2020, 06:53:53 AM »

It's only blood laugh

Trex does the biting thing gentle has never drawn blood. Could be meat tenderising!

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Kidwelly South Wales
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« Reply #656 on: January 05, 2020, 08:24:34 AM »

Mart,  forgive me,,,But,
    Are those scratches on the back of your hand,?  genuflect,
         surrender
                    Biff

A few old bite wounds from one of Tibbie's feral mates a few weeks back. She (the females are far more scary in my opinion) managed to jump over my head whilst I was half in a crate fussing two of them. When I caught her, I didn't manage to get a proper hold* so she twisted round and chewed me whilst I ran for the crate. The silvery skin around the knuckles is where a Staffie almost took my index finger off when I broke up a dog fight ......... yep, we humans should never get involved in dog fights ....... about 10yrs ago. It's sort of a funny story, as three ladies were getting slightly hysterical, so I stepped in to help (bad idea) and when I felt the finger break hoped it was just a dislocation. I took a quick peek to make sure it was still attached in case I had to leg it to hospital, but it was still there just laying across the top of the other fingers. And I got super lucky as the two large holes straddled the index finger tendon. So I hid my hand behind my back and tried to calm the ladies down, showing them everything was fine, and fussing the Staffie with my right hand, but one had heard the bone break (I'd assumed the loud noise was just in my head), and kept demanding to see my hand, then started screaming across the park at anyone and everyone to find a phone and call an ambulance. It all calmed down, I told them I was fine, just a dislocation, and not to worry.

The really bad bit though is that I wasn't walking my dog, but my neighbours dog (which the Staffie attacked when it pinched her ball). My neighbour had been very unwell, hence my walking the dog for her, and had been undergoing chemo treatment every two weeks. Well, this day was two weeks after her last treatment, and she was supposed to go in for a small ..... not sure celebration is the right word ..... but a non treatment thingy. So I walked home and tried to deliver the dog back with the plan of then cycling to A&E, but she twigged it was a bit too early, and clocked that I was hiding my hand. So I spoiled her day as she insisted on taking me to A&E and staying all morning. Very long and boring day that was, topped off with surgery about 2am, then a mix up with my medical records as I have two sets due to another 'fun' story involving a concussion and difficulty in confirming exactly who I was. Ho hum!

*Scruffing works on small cats, and I've seen Anna do the 'scruff and flip' with kittens, where you scruff them then turn them upside down on their backs in your hand, and they go super docile. With the bigger cats, and perhaps our own cats at the vets when you need to hold them firm, you approach from behind, put your thumbs on their shoulder blades, and your four fingers (each side)  down their sides behind their front legs, that way they can't rabbit kick you with the back legs, reach anything with the front legs, or twist and reach back far enough with their mouths. And as a bonus they are facing away from you when it comes time to release them and beat a hasty retreat!
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biff
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« Reply #657 on: January 05, 2020, 12:20:26 PM »

Jeepers Mart,
                That sounds so scary, I mean the dog could have gone for your face  just as easy,
   You need some kind of fall back protection to counter these vicious animals, I mean, you have the best intentions but when they decide to stick the teeth in you, It can be tres tricky.
  back in 73 to 75, Manweb meter readers had these little yokes that looked like our mini remote controls. If the meter man was heading up the path and the family dog decided to have a go, He just pushed the button in his pocket and every dog withing a 30 yard radius bounced up in the air about 6ft, i kid you not. It terrorised them. Some kind of a sonic attack. I actually saw it being used for real by a meter reader on an innocent dog passing by a garage where the Manwed Van was being repaired (Maroon Escort). He was explaining how it worked to the two mechanic friends of mine when the woman walked by with her standard poodle on the lead. It went crazy and tried to get away. I thought that it was a terrible irresponsible things to do. The woman never knew what happened or who did it, They were banned shortly after. Now if you could raise one of them yokes,???
     Or you could invest in a pair of mail Gloves. They work until you get a dog with jaw power like an Akita or a hybrid wolf. But they would be fine with Staffies and Shepherds. They recon a Weasel has the most powerful jaw power of all, pound for pound. Our Mrs Hubs was a truly evil puss, You knew right away that she was bad news. She would challenge you, Glare at you and glower. She was highly intelligent and very domineering. 99.99 percent of the cats that passed through here would have some kind of crack in their armor that would allow you to feed them and appreciate your efforts. You could chat up Mrs Hubs for monthts on end and still, if you got too close, she would attack you.  Kittens or no kittens, She would go for you. Prior to meeting Mrs Hubs up close, I could never believe that a cat would put the wind up me like she did. She regarded me as an intruder on the site. I could understand that and made allowances. The last two kittens to arrive here were great as kittens, lovely actually but upon reaching maturity, They changed completely. They were just like Hubs. I have no doubt that it is something that is in their genes. They are wild cats. There are degrees of how feral these cats are and it is not decided by the cat itself, That is a no brainer because no sane animal that has bonded with humans is going to behave in a manner that destroys the relationship a loss of guaranteed food supplly and leads to their banishment
                                              Biff
   NB, Somewhere in the green store is an old boot, It bears the marks of 3 very deep gouges that run 50mm across the ankle left guard through the leather. I was really lucky that I was wearing those boots that day, I had just spent 36 hours trying to trap Mr Hubs and her 4 kittens,  I slammed the trap shut from 30 yards away. She was livid with rage. I threw an old heavy carpet over the cage and lifted it  by a wire  handle coming up through a hole in the carpet. When I put the cage down to store it for the rescue lady, hubs reached out, raised the carpet and in one move slashed my ankle. I took a jump back, I could not believe the power in that long black limb and claw. Without the ankle guard I would have spent some time in hospital, She would have opened me to the bone and damaged veins etc.
   The rescue Lady left her back neutered, Hubs never forgave me and moved up the road about 400 yrd to live, Coming back occasionally to visit. when her daughters were giving birth.
 
The picture hangs in our gallery at the head of the stair, It shows Tinky Playing with Xena,s tail.  A bedraggled Tinky was picked up soaking wet after being abandoned by Hubs, I put her in my anorak pocket and Xena and 4 legged Biff raised her. She adored them and they were very good to her.  She had a very happy time with Xena and Biff. The kittens came in due time, She grew closer to Hubs.  Tinky was a lovely being, Innocent and decent. I think Mrs Hubs knew that she was soft and would never make the grade as a feral cat, that,s why she was abandoned,,my guess. Yet Hubs came back to teach her to hunt and Biff and Xena kept their distance. She grew closer to Hubs but always came when I called her to feed her. That was when the conflict arose between hubs and me, Hubs would get threatening and nasty. The kittens went into care, (good homes) and Tinky was discovered dead on the white line, in the middle of the road outside our front gate. We were all very sad. She was the only one of all the cats that maintained this special bond with us. Xena was a grumpy girl in her old age but Tinky could bring out the best in her, One pic show Tinky getting towed along by Xena tail. That was quite funny and a favourite game of the pair of them.    Memories,
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« Reply #658 on: January 05, 2020, 04:27:10 PM »

Funny you should mention a weasel, I was quite shocked when I saw just how small they are, really tiny, yet they'll take down a rabbit by jumping on their back and biting through the neck. One vid I saw had a guy 'talking up' weasels and said that if they weighed 30-60 pounds they'd probably wipe out every living thing on the planet.

More fuss with Tibbie again today, same routine, a long hiss as I approach, then relax with fuss, start purring, then stretch out a bit and slightly flop before offering the belly. And he nibbled me again, just once today, a very gentle grip of the loose skin on the back of my hand. I think it's affectionate, too slow and gentle to be a 'pee off', and he keeps purring. I think he might be lonely, so I'll ask if he can be released into Winnieville, a large room where multiple friendly cats can live together if they are similar sizes and friendly. Think US prison movies and 'gen pop', but slightly less stabbie.
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« Reply #659 on: January 08, 2020, 06:53:28 AM »

Quick update before I pop down to the cattery for my Wednesday morning shift.

Monday morning we (my neighbour, friend and cleaning buddy) went down for our other shift and it's normally quiet, but Anna had three sets of people coming in to look at cats, and one lovely couple had come specifically to see Mango and offer him another chance at a loving home. They adored him, and he liked them, so they took him with them, yeh!

Another couple took a friendly large kitten who'd done the right thing and played with them. And another couple were interested in Tibbie, but wanted to have a think, so I don't know if they want to take him on, or not.

Popped down yesterday as a lady had arrived to drop a cat off, another ginger tom, who she'd taken in from her neighbour who'd gone into an old folks home, but her cats were getting aggressive with him, despite having been friends before and visiting each others flats. He was very sweet, and clearly a gentle soul.

More fuss for Tibbie again, and the usual purrs and head rubs. I've started to half pick him up, as he's definitely scared of being picked up or held, so we'll see how that goes.

Quietest I think I've ever seen the cattery, less than 20 cats/kittens, they seem to be going out slightly faster than coming in, which is the way you want it, and last year Anna homed approx 500 kittens and about 800 cats, plus lots of semi-ferals that were just 'catch and release' to get them spayed/neutered.
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