We have a little cat at work by the name of Halloween. We just call her Hallie, since she’s rather a timid little soul and Halloween is rather a big scary name for such a small and shy little soul. She’s a very pretty little cat. An orange and black tortoiseshell. Her feet and lower legs are black and she has big gold (usually frightened) eyes. We carry feed out to her in front of the shed, and she sneaks out, carefully watching for the slightest sign of danger. No one has never been able to lay hands on her.
She came from a cat rescue place a few years ago. They place feral cats on farms. We got Hallie and Smokey at the same time. Smokey eventually became quite tame, but Hallie never has. We lost poor Smokey last year to some sort of illness or infection. The vet never quite figured out what was wrong. But he was likely quite an old cat. He was at least happy and friendly for the last couple of years, after a lifetime of junkyard cathood.
There is something of a rat problem under the old barn floor. Dusty (the young cat) has been catching and eating so many rats that he is getting enormous, and has started eating rats and throwing them back up for me to tidy up. Nothing nicer than finding processed rat on the barn floor first thing in the morning let me tell you.
Anyway, the boss got completely freaked out by all the rats scurrying around (they are getting very bold!) and decided he had to poison them. I, of course, got freaked out about the risk of one of the cats eating a poisoned rat and demanded that we find a way to lock both cats up until the massacre was completely over and cleaned up.
So Linda procured a live trap (meant for raccoons) and we managed to catch Hallie in it the first night. I found her the next morning, completely traumatized by her imprisonment, and took her upstairs to the little apartment over the barn. Locked her into a bedroom with a litter pan, food, and water. Dusty got the living room (since he’s big, rude, and territorial and not at all nice to Hallie).
This morning when I went up to give her some breakfast I decided to try to touch her. She was crammed into a little hidey-hole on a shelf. It seemed likely that she would take a swipe at me in self defense, so I pulled my sleeve down over my hand to try to touch her. She was too timid to even resist though. Just cringed back. I rubbed her a couple of times and then reached with my bare hand. She froze for a second and then rubbed the side of her face tentatively against my fingers. Then I rubbed her ears. She started to purr. I scratched the side of her neck and she leaned against me. Pretty soon she was purring madly and rubbing hard against my hand. She actually fell off the shelf in her enthusiasm.
Once down on the floor though, she cowered again. I think the sight of me looming over her was too much. So I left her to eat her breakfast. When I went back this evening to feed her some dinner, she was much more confident. I was able to reach right out to her, on the floor, and scratch her ears. I sat down on the floor with her and she twined around me, purring madly. She went right around me, leaning on my back, came back around and put her front paws on my leg. Eventually I picked her up and cuddled her a little bit. She could only stand a few minutes of that, but she enjoyed it. Purring the whole time.
It’s incredible to see a cat that has been so feral suddenly turn around so abruptly. I wonder where she came from and if she maybe had some human contact early in her life?