"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Update: Operation Domestication complete

World, meet Fuzzy:

The long process of converting our newest family member from feral animal to domestic house cat has been chronicled for some time now in this blog, and I'm happy to report that the story has finally reached a successful conclusion. The adventure began last November when we first spotted him hanging out in our yard; he was so wild then that barely cracking open the patio door would send him running off to hide. We began leaving food out for him, and after a while he would tolerate us sitting outside within a few feet of him while he ate. Gradually, we moved the food dish closer to the back door, then to the threshold, then a few feet inside the house. In December, we scored a major breakthrough when he allowed us to touch him for the first time, and he soon became more comfortable with being indoors.

A couple of weeks later I was able to snatch him up and take him to our vet to be vaccinated and neutered, which he was none too happy about. However, we recovered from this setback, and once trust was re-established the domestication process has seemed to move fairly swiftly since then. He began staying inside for longer periods at a time, and about two weeks ago we decided we were ready to commit to full ownership and keep him indoors permanently. We understand this is a point of controversy among some cat owners; there are those who believe it's natural and enjoyable for cats to roam, and that it's somehow wrong to deny them this pleasure. However, our decision is based on prior experience; other cats we've had that were allowed outdoors have had their lives tragically cut short (usually hit by cars), so our logic is that if we love them, this is the best way to keep them safe and healthy.

The only dilemma we then faced was what to name him. I am terrible at picking animal names, so we turned to WitW readers for help. Y'all offered a number of great suggestions (which I thank you very much for), but none seemed to stick; he acted completely indifferent when I tried them out on him. Then one day last week I remembered that a bloggin' buddy has a cat she calls Mr. FuzzyButt, which I always liked. At that very moment, Cat With No Name was laying on the bed. The name seemed appropriate with his long fur and all, so I looked at him and said, "Fuzzy?" He flipped over, looked back at me, and made a "merrrrow" noise that I clearly interpreted in cat language as, "Yeah, that's my name. What took you so long to figure it out?" So "Fuzzy" he is.

Surprisingly, Fuzzy's been getting along very well with our other two cats. There's been a wee bit of hissing here and there, but nothing serious - and in fact, he and Tiger have even been playing hide-and-seek with each other. We had frankly expected more territorial altercations, so this is a welcome development.

Well, there you have it: we're now officially a three-cat household. Only five more windows left to fill! :^)


  • At 2/26/2006 03:07:00 AM, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said…

    Have a similar experience here with my dog. In Oct of '01 I came home to find her crouching & shivering in some long grass. Brought her in. Fed her. She lay in a corner all night. The next night she lay a little closer. Soon she was lying by the side of the chair. She was pregant I found out later and had been abandoned out here in the country. She's still here and she a great pet.

    Oh, and congrats on identifying the 'Seinfeld' episode! Thanks much!

  • At 2/26/2006 01:41:00 PM, Blogger jts said…

    so many of our cats have come from to us as strays or dumps... mostly dumps as i grew up down a dead end farm road and people would just drive down there, drop off their unwanted animals and leave...

    interestingly enough, my mother has done a domestication process of a cat that she calls "Big Boy" (he is V. large) that looks exactly like your fuzzy.

  • At 2/26/2006 08:27:00 PM, Blogger Laurence said…

    Wow! A fluffy Tux! Neat!

  • At 2/26/2006 11:37:00 PM, Blogger Gigolo Kitty said…

    That fuzzy belly is irresistable!

  • At 2/27/2006 12:03:00 AM, Blogger April said…

    LOL! I'm glad Mr. Fuzzybutt was inspiration. We are both very pleased with your new family member and his name. He is adorable. I like his markings, very hansome.

  • At 2/27/2006 02:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Aw. Hi Fuzzy! He's gorgeous.


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