My Smokey is about 10 years old. He was living in the barn in my house in Orange Country, NY when I moved in. After 3 years of non-communication between us, he appeared one winter day with an injured front paw. As he limped his way into the little barn (he used to live in the big barn) I decided to start to feed him.
I called him Smokey and every morning when I went to feed the geese I would call him and he would come within 100 feet of me and just wait until I left to eat the food. After a year of this, he started living in the little barn, which was closer to the house. I was petting him at this time, but only a little bit on his head and otherwise our contact consisted of him eating dry food I left in the barn (out of the reach of the grackles).
One day he looked terrible, and I decided I needed to bring him to the vet. On Nov 11, 2003, I put on leather gloves, safety glasses, and a heavy leather coat and lifted Smokey into a carrier. He bit me. Through the glove. I drove him to the vet, and somewhat naively asked if they could treat me for the cat bite, which was completely through 2 of my fingernails and the removal of my gloves was an amazing display of bloody fingers.
The vet office referred me to the emergency room, where they demanded a quarantine for him and a tetanus shot for me. He ended up with a kidney stone (which I believe now was also diabetes) and I had to feed Science diet special food to Smokey and all the raccoons and opossums that ate out of my barn.
That was finally over and in 2006 I moved to Wisconsin. I could not leave my wild Smokey in NY alone, so I dressed up all in leather and put him in a carrier – without incident. 13 hours later, and a completely hoarse Smokey from yowling the whole way we arrived in Kenosha, WI. I let him out and he ran away. The neighbor told me the coyotes keep the feral cats to a minimum. I was devastated. I was sure my Smokey was eaten by a coyote.
But 2 weeks later he showed up, and he looked like he wanted to go in my house. As a joke I let him in there… he hated to be confined. And he refused to leave. Seriously. I’d open the door and he would run! But the amount of urine in the litter box was scary. So I dressed in leather again and got him to the vet.
They diagnosed diabetes and started me on the injections for him. We do it 2X a day. The morning injection is attached to the canned food feeding of the day. The nightly injection is attached to treats for all who wish to attend. The funny thing is that now I can blow raspberries on Smokey’s belly, and he has no reaction. He just purrs.
He is doing really well, but he has to be at least 11 years old now, and has only lived indoors for 3 years. My Smokey is the king of the house, and the alpha cat. The things I learned from him are that diabetes for a cat is controllable, although not easy, and a feral cat can be a house cat. But watch out for decapitated mice indoors, because they have no mercy.
- Jill / Kuger from Thousand Wisconsin, USA
Sparkles & her sister are rescues. They are 3 yrs. Sparkles has a very sweet affectionate nature. Loves attention, loves a game of ‘string’, and makes the noise ‘mi mi’ alot!
- Tracy from the UK
Thank you to everyone who participated!