When I saw him for the first time a little over 1 year ago, he came walking down the mountain through the woods behind the house. His light orange color stood out from the leafless trees around him.
Over the next weeks and months I would see him more often, sometimes hiding in the bushes close to the house. There always was cat food on the back porch but he would not come on the porch when I was outside but I knew he was eating the food when he felt he was alone. On several occasions I was able to see his face close up, when he was eating on the porch and I was watching him from behind the window. He always kept his left eye half closed and it started to worry me. The decision was made to borrow a Trap and try to trap him. Week after week I watched him sitting right next to the trap without ever going in to the trap.
As the nights got cooler in November, he started using the straw filled winter box that I always kept on the porch and I would set the food right next to it. He became less scared and one day I finally was able to touch him. In December then I decided to take him inside for the winter since the night temperatures started dropping down to almost zero degree. Oranjie, as we named him, seemed to have a ear infection, we cleaned his ears and vaccinated him. After looking at his left eye it seemed that the lower eye lid was sometimes rolling inside a little bit which could be from a injury or simply a birth defect. It was treated with some eye ointment. After spending some time inside, Oranjie also got neutered and received a rabies vaccination.
Today the time has come for Oranjie to go home. He loves to be outside and that is where he belongs, as do many other stray and feral cats. Oranjie is home again and I hope to see him many more times going up and down the mountain behind the house.
There are many other Oranjie’s out there, some are feral, some are friendly. This cats are not homeless, they have a home. Please think before you pick up a cat and take her away from her home. There is no reason to take a stray, healthy cat inside (other than temporarily for medical reasons, or spay/neuter) or even worse, to a animal shelter.
If you want to help a cat, please have her spayed/neutered, vaccinated and let her go back home.
To learn more about outside cats please visit the website from Alley Cat Allies