Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Feral Cat Day and Dexter the Cat

Yesterday was Feral Cat Day. On that day in 2009, we bought three bales of hay to make a hay house on the front porch. This was for this orange stray cat, sweet but aloof, who had eluded the Hav-a-Heart trap and refused to come inside.

Above is a photo of the cat that had been hanging around that summer of 2009. Very sweet, very shy -- but he was playful and came when called. (And why not? We fed him.)

We named him Dexter, after Cary Grant's character in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY.

Here is the scene from THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) where a drunk Macaulay Connors (James Stewart) visits C.K.Dexter Haven (Cary Grant) in the middle of the night.

But back in the fall of 2009, here in Northern Hew England, it was getting chilly, and there were frost warnings. So, we wanted to make Dex a place to keep warm. The odd thing is that as soon as it was constructed, he took a look and went right in. He knew what it was and used it immediately!

From November 2009: Dexter yawns as we bring him food in his hay house:

S l o w l y coming out for kibbles:

A rousing shake of the head to begin the day:

Frustration was mounting:

We have been trying to get this friendly but elusive cat into the house for months. Over the summer, he always came by for food and would play and "talk" to us. He would follow me around the garden. But he was ever so cautious and wary. He did not want to be touched. Five months and no pats. Frustrating!

That live animal trap, the Hav-a-Heart did not work. He was not fooled. However, a different stray cat was caught.

Here's the rest of this true cat story from seven years ago:

Well, anyway, good things happen to those who wait .... 
Good news: Dexter, this shy, stray cat, was, finally, thanks to my wife singing showtunes to him (Dexter loves "A Little Bit in Love" by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Comden and Green, from the Broadway show Wonderful Town -- and treats), lured into the house. He is safe and sound, and out of the cold weather and away from wolves, fisher cats and hunters. 
He now has his own space inside. He purrs and LOVES to receive pats on his large orange head. Yes, even though he was SO afraid of getting pats when he was outside, he is now an official pat-hog. Our guess: he WAS someone else's kitty and now that he's inside, he's decided getting pats is just fine, thank you very much. He even leans into pats.
Although it's early days yet (it's only been 18 hours since his arrival), I am hoping he'll make a wonderful addition -- as soon as I can lure him into the cat carrier and to the vet's for the full check-up. 
And I can clear away the cat hay house before neighborhood property values drop ....
My thanks to everyone I asked for advice about trying to catch him. Many treats and Lenny Bernstein tunes to all of you! 
Glad we got him before the snows and the howling winds and the below zero temps.

Dexter is alive and well and a happy cat now seven years after his rescue. Here are a few photos from his first days inside. Look at that smile.

Happy Dexter! Happy Feral Cat day!

No comments: