It had been 2 years of realizing that he was homeless, alone and struggling. Two years when the cold threatened to kill him in the deep dark of winter. Two years of worry every time there was a polar blast (I swear I didn’t have more than 2 grey hairs then… and now I have many more!)
The first attempt to trap Oscar took about a week of trying to get him into a feral trap. It almost worked once. It also scared him away for a long time.
I look at him and see this beautiful, friendly cat wanting so much to be a part of a family. Working so hard to relearn and change from survival behaviour to indoor manners. I can hardly believe it is the same cat – the sometimes gaunt, untrusting, tomcat wandering the neighourhood in the cold, getting into scraps and risking the forest-edge. No one would take Oscar – there was no place for him to go. Without a voice, his fate was undecided and at the whim of the weather, cars or coyotes. The hard truth is that agencies don’t have the time, dollars or space to give cats like Oscar a chance.
I knew I’d be in deep when I began this. You see, he was outside in the cold for 3 years. No rescue would take him, the local humane society won’t take strays, and animal services won’t take him unless he’s injured (and then there’s a good chance he’d be put down). The rescue’s advice was just TNR him and feed him in the yard. I couldn’t – he had already lost part of his ears to frostbite – it gets to -20 in winter here. It had to be up to me – so we finally trapped him, and had him vetted, and now I must find a patient home as he tries (and he tries SO hard!) to learn indoor life.