Hello all. I am new to your forum as I was looking for advice. It is probably going to be long so if you make it thru I applaud you.
Four years ago I was a single mom with two teenage kid. I was the lady that took care of the cats no one else did. They all had excellent vet care as necessary and my home kitties received their shots etc... I am a believer in fixing cats and had mine fixed but we missed one year. Money was getting tighter and I put it off and put if off for a cat we called momma kitty even though she wasn't a momma. She gave birth to two litters back to back. The first litter didn't make it. She was too young. The second litter all were healthy and happy. I found homes for the kittens except my two favorites. One was a licker we named Doodles (silver and black stripe tabby) and the second was a long hair deep deep chocolate haired male we named Lucifer (thinking he was black). In time he showed red highlight and strands of gray. He was a mommy lover...HAD to lay in my arms while I played at the pc which with all the hair was rather difficult but he was a lover. I have had in my life more cats since childhood than I could count. I had one orange and white stray show up and I cared for him outside. Three weeks or so later he was run over in front of me by a white car with three teenage looking girls blasting music and chair dancing... my son was a teen at the time and after I walked out into the street (lived on the main street in town in my house) I walked out before he could be hit again and picked him up foaming at the mouth. I cried and cried that those girls never even stopped to see the damage they had done to one of God's creatures. My son was so responsible as the cat had its back and legs broken. The vet would never have been able to save him and I just had the best son to see this and he took him and ended his suffering. But I digress....
Four years ago I lost my home as I had become disabled without being properly diagnosed by Kaiser Permanente doctors for over ten years. I couldn't keep up and I pushed thru the pain for years. Finally after 9 1/2 years I was let go (mostly a cost saving measure as they could hire younger people for less money and they had announced they would be looking at cutting staff. I was awarded my unemployment saying I had done nothing wrong) I went into foreclosure and stayed with my house till the end. I had no place to go until two days before I walked out of the house. I kept my kitties and searched for months trying to find homes... nothing. My friend Linda (who dislikes cats) said I could let them live in her garage but she had a rottweiler. The dilemma ws to take my remaining two favorite kittys to our local kill shelter OR a possible life with food and water and I went almost every day till I went to stay with family while the house I rented and still live at to date was ready (former tenants had done severe damage that was not found till they left). I stayed for two months over an hour away but my two kitties stayed for a month or two. I was so happy because my new landlord (a relative of a really good family friend) said I could bring my two cats with no pet deposit! I could not have been happier. A place to live and have my two cats. I thought the Good Lord had finally given me a shiny star of hope. After one month... Doodles the girl stopped coming for food... then Lucifer stopped showing up a week later. I was sooooo devastated as I had been coming to visit and they had their food dish... I guess the dog had chased them too much. They were not familiar with dogs having access to them. Finally, I got a call one day about 7 or 8 months after I had moved into this rental house in the outskirts of town. No streetlights, huge fields, dead quiet at night...perfect for cats. Linda had caught a glimpse of whom she thought was Lucifer. You couldn't miss him with all his crazy hair. LOL He was gorgeous. Just gorgeous. I drove over immediatley but he was gone. I was upset of course carrying the guilt over not being able to care for my cats, find them homes... Well another month goes by. Another Lucifer siting. Then they began every couple of weeks. On one visit I actually caught a glimpse of him and spoke to him. He, naturally, turned and hopped over a fence away. Sadly my friend went into foreclosure because she just couldn't afford all the payments and fixing everything that was going wrong with her house. Not only was I upset for her but she had been leaving food for my Lucifer in her garage and he had been coming occasionally and eating it. She had no rear door on her garage so he could live in there safely when she finally had moved. I went and my daughter went every other day to leave food and water but never saw him. When Linda got the final notice (she moved early before court ordered departure) came that she had no more right to entry... I was upset. How can I get my Lucifer? He is now semi feral for sure...a family friend got me a cat cage. I went and covered it. Went every couple of days and four days later (ON MY Birthday!!) MY daughter went in freezing cold December weather to find Lucifer in the cage. She brought him to my home where I now reside.
Might want to get a cup of coffee right now. I have more. LOL Lucifer received a flea dip and love. He wasn't bone thin but not his fat fluffy self. He was brushed again which he loved like crazy. On day three he jumped up and was laying on the bed with me like old days letting me rub his tummy and I was on cloud 9 to know one of my babies made it thru hell. I still grieve for my doodles (tears welling up as I even type this) and what ever happened to her. I pray she found a good family that took her sweet kind loving purring licking self in. Our kill shelter in town had descriptions of both cats but never any calls from them. I would go in every couple of weeks for over a year for both of them but never did they get there (a mixed blessing). On day four Lucifer got out the door. No inkling he wanted to leave for days but he got out walked around my backyard and hopped the fence, looked at me and pranced away. Being disabled and alone in the middle of the night I couldn't go after him. I left food outside for two weeks and it was never eaten by him. only an occasional stray that never really stuck around would be at it.
Moving on from 2008 end of October, two years approx later I get my Lucifer and then he leaves. I never had a sadder Xmas than when my mother passed in late November 82.
A few months later I was given the ok again from my grumpy landlord that I could have ONE kitty. I went to the shelter and there was Lucifer's doppelganger. Smaller and female but same hair which is rare here and the gray strands.. I adopted her and the shelter was so happy to have someone adopt an adult kitty. I think she was maybe one or two from her attitude and energy level. She is still with me. Lucifer saved her life. LOL She doesn't eat table food AT ALL!!! on rare occasion she with take a couple of tiny bites of ham. I can leave a plate of food next to her. She doesn't touch it. I never had a cat do that. She doesn't care to be held and I thought she is perfect. She now comes and sleeps right next to me and I have had her about two years giveor take. Then one day there is a mean thin and gaunt orange and white cat that I was having in my backyard daily. He was always chasing my "Bubala" kitty. I finally gave in thinking he must be starving and I can't not feed him. Yes, I am a sucker but he turned out to be awesome. Still chases my girl when she goes out most of the time but he has gained weight and lives in my backyard. He brings me 'gifts' like no other cat I have ever had. In the last 3 days I had a whole gopher, the assorted body parts of another gopher and a full grown rat. LOL He is loving and likes to be brushed and when it is 110 outside I get him wet to cool him off and he loves it. I mean I am floored but he comes to get wet! He is so smart. He has aqua green eyes. He is loved by my neighbors and is named Jeffrey. I went and got him spayed and he has lived in my yard for almost two years. I have a "tent" from Animal planet that I put out on my porch for him from October to about April. He actually goes in there and sleeps. I put clean bedding to make it soft (and so I can wash it)and he just seems to be happy. He wants to live in my house but I can't have that. There have been other strays that come and go but this big boy was someone's kitty. He was not feral at all. He loves attention, being petted, brushed and being held (till I cleaned out ear mites LOL) till now still likes to be held for a few minutes now and then.
A sunny day almost two weeks ago now... I am standing up to get more coffee and my back door is open screen closed and there is a black cat with longer hair on its tail walking past my porch. Of course, first thought is that it can't be Lucifer but I went out onto the porch and he didn't run. Just walked over to the fence and he hopped the ledge. In the bright sun he turned as I was talking gently to him "who are you kitty I never sawy you before" kinda thing, he turns to look at me. I could see the gray hairs, the red highlights and my Lucifer's face. It was my kitty two years later! I texted my daughter, no longer a teenager, and she was so happy. I prayed he would return again. He did to the chagrin (is that the right word?) of my backyard cat Jeffrey. I turned off the lights and left the food by my backdoor. I shined a flashlight thru my screen and for two days I just talked to him thru the door never approaching... then day 3 a cat fight in the yard. Lucifer the loveable had become an aggressive kitty. He and Jeffrey were standing ground. I gently brushed Jeffrey away be he wasn't having it. Finally I got my broom and VERY gently pushed each back. I ran and got my indoor kitties special wet food I give her Fancy feast... for a week at night I heard the cat fight and Lucifer would go unde my car. First night, food placed at the edge of the car with his head popping out. Second night he came out totally but stayed next to the car and I was allowed to stand next to him. (leaning as it is hard for me to stand) Night three I moved a light chair next to my backyard gate and placed the food by the car and when he began to eat I moved it into my yard a few feet away and sat with him talking and repeating the words said daily to him years ago... each night fighting to keep Jeffrey from getting at him... after the first week I decided to place my hand down and shined the flashlight on my hand so he could see it. I was allowed to pet his head a couple of times. He backed up but yet I was able to touch him. Ya know it is darn cold outside at 3 AM in March. LOL The next nite I tried to pet him... I succeeded and gave the familiar ending of the running up the tail he used to love and all my cats have loved. the next night I decided that since he would now come a few steps toward me when I called if he was already around that I wuld pick him up. Well he wasn't having it but I sooooo wanted to love on him. The guilt of what happened to our entire family and to the two kitties who were spoiled mostly indoor cats... He didn't bite NOR scratch me but he fought to get down. I was kicking myself hoping he would not run away and never come back. He was back the next night. Finally he looks better. It has gotten to where he might pop in during daylight and I have brushed him now. His skin is just dry and crusty and his hair is thinned...He has already gained weight and Jeffrey still trys to chase him out of the yard and rather than fight Lucifer will hop the fence. We had two crazy unusual weather days here last weekend. 5 hour thunderstorms are so rare here... rain like mad... I didn't see him for two days and I worried he may have been scared off again. Nope he popped back in Tuesday. I haven't tried to pick him up again yet. I know he is semi feral and my indoor kitty is also not happy he is around but she can go around him without too much issue. She was trapped by the shelter only two blocks from my old house. I know that they have the same father somehow. They are related and have to be because I have never seen this cat fur elsewhere. Anyhow, tonight Jeffrey was galavanting elsewhere and Lucifer went crazy being brushed and rolling around at my feet. He actually stopped and just stared right at me for about 30 seconds dead on to my face. I left my screen open and came in and told him he could come visit. He did!!! IN my house! I so wanted to bolt doors windows and keep him here forever but I know that he would only bolt again. Can u imagine a cat coming back? he would have never made it in the city but out here there are field mice applenty and such. Jeffrey ended up showing up and Lucifer rather than fighting hopped the fence.
I plan on continuing this for Lucifer letting him come in without being held captive so that eventually he will know this is his home. Luckily he is dead on to my cat now so my landlord will never realize there are two of them. LOL
My question I need help with is this. I am now on a super poverty level budget. I cannot afford to take Lucifer in if I catch him to the vet and he has all the signs of ear mites. Does anyone have any ideas on how to help this semi feral loving baby who has gone thru heXX and back? I don't want to send him to our kill shelter and I know for a fact that I am the only one he will ever feel comfortable with after so long. I can get the mite stuff from Petsmart or Walmart but I know that he won't let me near his ears. I thought about at least trying to rub his ears with a drop of oil as often as he will let me.... but to clean them or get him to a vet is out of the question. I don't want to scare him into starvation and running again. Any advice as to how to help him and and did manage to get flea and tick medicine on his back of his neck but ears are a diff ballgame altogether.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and I hope you can understand why I can't take my kitty to be killed at the shelter. He has found life again with me after so many years. He is fixed but will never be a housecat again with the scary life he has lived the last four+ years. Now if only I knew what happened to my Doodles. I can't believe that God returned him to me. I have spent hours just crying over being so happy for him and knowing that he still loves me... I pray you all love your animals and get them spayed and neutered and may God Bless you all. Now for the second cup of coffee eh?
Update. Lucifer is definetely knowing me. He comes in to visit almost every nite. Lays down somewhere and then leaves. Last night he jumped up on the bed and sat with me for 5 minutes. He tries to bully my other cats and I wish I knew what to do. He also has sprayed my outside laundry room (even though he is fixed). He comes in and I get a whiff of spray but it fades. Hoping he just has some still on him? I am trying to give him his space and I follow him talking to him while he checks out my little house. He is more aggressive than I want him to be but I will be firm with him when he takes steps toward my other cats. He is desperately wanting to be sure he does not leave his food source. His hair is growing back. I got stuff into his ears for mites and got the flea stuff on his neck so with all the help I hope his life is a little better for finding me again.