I prepared the outside feeder to drop a reduced amount of food to ensure the food would last for the duration of our trip, hoping the outside kitties would maybe get a little less food but not have to go without. Something went horribly wrong with my plan. When we returned from nearly three weeks away, the feeder was mostly full. Reviewing the game camera revealed it did drop food, but very little. I felt so bad for the outside cats, especially since I knew Zelda was going to have kittens any day after we left, and she would need a regular food source.
The game camera revealed all four outside cats (and the raccoon and opossum) visited the feeder and the porch regularly, but they got very little food. Nobody seems any worse for the wear, thankfully. Zelda disappeared from the game camera on September 30 and reappeared on October 1, so I surmise she had her kittens either later September 29 or September 30. She was hungry enough when I saw her on the porch the morning after we returned that she didn’t run and approached the dish while I was emptying the can of Fancy Feast into it. Zelda was the first cat to interact with since our return. She continues to eat with me standing near the bowl. I have brushed her back once, but that’s pushing too much at this point.
Nick disappeared for the entire length of our trip until the night before we returned. He appeared on the game camera that night, and he’s been a regular, including during daytime hours, since we returned. He, too, will eat from the bowl while I stand near it, but he’s quite skittish if I extend my hand.
The big surprise was Boomer. Boomer spent a lot of time on the porch while we were gone. The camera also showed him going into the dog house and emerging three to five hours later, so he must have been napping in there. But that’s not all. A couple days ago, while I was dishing out Fancy Feast for Nick and Zelda, Boomer crouched in a relaxed manner on the bottom step. He stood up to begin the climb to approach the food bowl. I extended my hand and invited him to come over for a pet, and he approached my hand and leaned into it with his head for an ear rub. He seemed to enjoy being petted. He also allowed me to pet him while he ate. On Friday afternoon, he did this again. My hopes of being able to catch him are increased. Unfortunately, I believe catching him will reveal he is in the advanced stages of FIV, and he will have to be put down. He walks slowly and appears to be in quite some pain, so it would be an act of mercy. I hold a small hope that he has a bad case of worms and can be cured, but we all know that’s unlikely. Boomer is very thin.
Walter was the last of the fold to appear during daylight hours. He arrived Wednesday evening, and ate a little Fancy Feast, wanted to be petted, but did not want to be picked up. I think he’s still mad at me for keeping him in the cage overnight and dragging him to the vet for his FIV booster shots a few weeks ago.
It’s good to see everyone, and I’m pleased at being able to get close to them. I’m thrilled to be able to pet Boomer, and I’m hopeful to be able to make progress with Zelda and Nick. I’m saddened that I’ll most likely have to have Boomer put down, but I don’t want him to live in pain either.