Buffy was born in the wild and brought to us as a gift by a pure feral male ginger cat whom we named Tiger. He brought Buffy and TacoMama to us when they were just a couple months old. Unfortunately, a severe thunderstorm sent Tiger and the two kittens dashing through the woods. It was a very long time before we saw them again.
When Buffy showed up again it was late summer 2008 when she was about a year old. She was the typical extremely afraid feral cat that feared humans and other animals, and she walked with an arched back. Finally, one day while she sunned on the deck, I was able to see she had an injured abdomen. There were two long rips in her abdomen, and obviously, they were causing her so much pain that she walked with her back arched. Fortunately, and I think only because I was feeding her, she allowed me to handle her enough to check on the wounds very quickly. The gashes were not very deep but needed care and she eventually allowed me to handle her enough to quickly clean and care for the injuries. With treatment they healed very quickly.
We soon were able to handle her enough to get her into a carrier and took her to be spayed and vaccinated, but this was during the coldest part of our winter in February of 2009. Since the weather was so cold we were advised to shelter her indoors for a few days. This day was unusual in that as I was bringing Buffy home from surgery my husband called to tell me that he had just witnessed a man throwing a cat and several kittens from a moving vehicle onto a neighboring lot. He said the man had children in the car with him who threw the animals out on his command. He had counted at least 4 very young kittens and 1 adult cat and we were expecting snow that evening. This will be covered another day as we focus on Buffy in this note.
Buffy was very slow to recover from the surgery and the outer stitches of her spay incision broke. It appeared the incision site was becoming infected and she had to be sheltered for a longer period than expected. She received antibiotics during this time. We sheltered her indoors the entire time she was healing and it ended up taking her more than a month to heal. We noticed that she seemed rather content while indoors and decided to let her stay, although she had some bad habits that were hard to correct. For several years we went to great measures to work through those very hard to break feral habits. Today she is happy and well-trained; even though it took the creation of her own domain to finally transform her.
We believe that Buffy was pure feral. She was very, very difficult to handle in the beginning and didn’t get along well with other cats that approached her claimed spaces. However, she eventually came to love cuddles, foam baths, and getting brushed. We created a special place just for her, complete with a hammock and her own private belongings. She absolutely loves the space and it has boosted her sense of safety in such a way that her confidence has notably improved. Due to this, she gets along with other cats great now!