Tuesday 25 March 2014

Meet Moses

This is Moses. Also known as Momo, Mosey, Mo-Bear, or Big Guy. The feline formerly known as Garden Cat. He is the latest addition to what you may now legitimately call my cat collection. The other part of which you've met here.

I first noticed Moses in August last year. Looking out of the kitchen window, I'd see a pile of fur rolled up in a little sunspot by our fence. But whenever I stepped outside to investigate, I would see a flurry of black and white disappear into the bushes in the back. 

One day, Marco called me out to look at fur-pile, who was not dashing off at first sight of us, as usual. Instead, he stayed in his spot and glanced at us sleepily. Marco was wondering if he was okay, and I decided to put some food out for him, which he wolfed down once we'd cleared the garden.

So then feeding this cat became a daily thing. We soon named him Garden Cat and he even got his own box of kibble, because I felt reluctant to feed my girl cats' expensive dry food to either a) somebody else's opportunistic pet or b) a shaggy stray. Garden Cat was very hungry. 

Garden Cat soon also became accustomed with his feedings, and formed an attachment to me. He would still lie in his corner of our flower bed all day every day, but get up to follow me to the spot I'd put the bowl down. Soon I was able to touch him or drag a stick along for him to chase. 

We had fed him for several weeks by October. Even though he would go off to somewhere every night, had started to wonder if he didn't have anybody to care for him. He was sweet and ready to be loved after he overcame his initial skepticism, so we found it hard to believe he'd be a stray. But then again, he was skinny and dirty, and would come to our garden every day, even in bad weather. He hadn't been neutered (let's just say that you could clearly see he was a boy). One day I had to remove a tick from his neck, and his teeth were all crooked and broken. I listed him on an online site for lost and found animals and attached a paper collar with my phone number to his neck. Nobody ever got in touch.

In November, he visited for several days with a big neck wound that just got worse and worse and clearly hurt him. At that point I kind of didn't care if he had an owner anymore, because they were obviously not able to look after him right. I lured him in the house and booked an appointment with our vet, who cleaned out the big abscess, tested him for FIV (thankfully he was negative), chopped off his balls, and gave him all the injections he needed. Poor traumatized Moses... 

Several months and some enormous vet bills later, Moses is still living with us. He eats like a machine and acts like a giant kitten when you play with him. I have grown fond of his big fluffy face. 

Unfortunately, my girl cats are not as keen on him. Even though they are very slowly getting used to his presence, they hiss and show their teeth whenever he comes near them. This is why we are sadly considering giving him away, as my girls' stressed behaviour stresses him out in return. It does not seem fair for them to have to live that way. We want to give it some more time, but are not sure how long we should wait, and if their relationship is ever going to get better. My loyalty also clearly lies with Mae and Missy, and it makes me sad to see them unhappy. But I am still crossing my fingers for a happy ending.

Do you have any experience of taking in a stray cat? Or can you give me any tips on how to make cats love each other? I'd like to hear from you if you have a similar story to share!

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).


  1. Nice to meet you Moses - he looks beautiful Annika, and I hope you find a wonderful home for him (if it does come to that!). We've only ever taken in unwanted pets, although never a stray - I can imagine it must be incredibly hard to try to encourage a risk-taking 'wild' animal to live a more domesticated lifestyle!

    1. He is quite stunning in all his fluffiness. He doesn't really seem to miss the outdoors too much, he's right at home snoozing anywhere soft & warm and eating the convenient food we give him. Although he does like to be out at night and chasing after things. I think the problem is that he is so big and very sure of himself and just assumes he can be friends with Mae and Missy.

  2. Oh he is gorgeous! I had a new cat in the house and it probably took 6 months for the existing 3 to accept her. She was very social and persistent in being friends with them which may have sped up the process.

    Unfortunately, 2 of my cats have since passed away and the two left are the youngest girl and the oldest girl we had. They hate each other. After almost 18 months since the boy cat passed away, it seems the two remaining girls just won't ever get along. The co-exist ok and tend to keep to themselves. I wish they would be friends! It does take time, so maybe Moses just needs a little more time to settle in (or the girls need time by the sound of things)

    What a sweet thing you did to rescue him, I know it's not easy, especially when there are vet bills involved. I hope you can keep him, but if not, that he finds a loving forever home :)

    1. Moses is the same, he is really forward and seems quite fearless, he goes right up to the girls. He always looks so disappointed when he is being hissed at yet again. We're going to give it over the summer, I think. They can all be out in the garden more and maybe the girls will feel less crowded. And at least they are bonding over this, in their shared disgust of having been given a new brother. But I do always get jealous when I see pictures of cats all snuggled up together, as none of mine are as comfortable with each other.

  3. This is almost exactly like we 'acquired' my old cat Steve. We called him Roof Cat to start with (we then lived in a first floor flat with no garden and he used to come in the window). I did the same as you to see if he had any owners but after seeing him suffer badly with fleas for several weeks I treated him as it was plain that he didn't have a home. We had him for over 10 years and I still miss him dearly. Because of Steve, we now have Sid, another unwanted cat of mature age (but this time a conscious decision from a rescue charity). I hope you find Moses a home soon.

    1. Hm, those stray boys seem to have a way to pick their preferred owners... :o)

      I actually started feeling quite possessive over Moses when people started wishing me good luck for finding him a new home, so I think we are going to give it a little longer. There are tiny improvements in the relationship between him and my girls all the time, so maybe there is still hope.



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