From Fear to Trust – Story of Meatie, the Feral Cat


cute feral ginger cat sleeping

Meatie | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

Written by ©Caroline Hagedorn (Meatie’s photo set)

cute ginger cat sleeping

Meatie and his big paw | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

I have had cats all through my life, but this is the first time I have ever become involved with a feral cat. I could not bear to watch this big beautiful animal fall victim to a life of starvation, disease and homelessness in my neighborhoods. I have shed many tears over the plight of this cat.

I have four indoor/outdoor neutered/spayed, inoculated cats and try to discourage strays and ferals from invading their safe-zone, but when I saw Meatie (named Meathead for his huge tomcat head) and his tiny black companion, Teeny, my attitude changed. I spotted this large yellow tom looking quite fierce and fearful while foraging for food in my back yard in mid summer of 2007. The little companion was never far from the big guy. I could see neither were healthy, and both looked like older animals. Meatie was the heartier of the two.

I decided to put food out behind my back fence to feed them and to try to keep them out of my yard. The sight of me or any human would cause both to disappear, so I was content to put the food out and assume they got it. This went on daily. Eventually the two would come up and sit on my front steps, but still did not want to get close to me. Meatie would hiss and growl, and he was quite scary! It was a surprise to open my front door one morning and find them sleeping together on my door mat. Soon they were finding the chairs on my front porch accommodating, but still no human touch. All the while, the front porch had to be off limits to my other cats. Eventually these two did not go in the back yard anymore.

When the cold weather set in I put blanket-lined boxes out for both of them underneath the chairs and covered the chairs with sleeping bags and waterproof material so they could have shelter in the cold. I didn’t know if they would use them or not. Sadly, those two cats were in the boxes every night. My heart nearly broke when I realized they had absolutely no where to go. In the bitter cold, they even stayed in the boxes all day. I fed them as much as they would eat, hoping good nourishment would help them keep warm and boost their immune systems.

cute ginger cat and his shelter

Meatie's apartment | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

Although they both made it through the winter, Teeny passed away in the spring, succumbing to the upper respiratory infection he had ever since I first saw him. I buried him in the garden. Meatie still had a persistent sneeze and cough too, in addition to several other problems I could see. I was so afraid Meatie would also lose his battle.

Not being able to get meds from a vet because I couldn’t get him in to the office, I turned to a local wildlife rehabilitator who gave me a small quantity of antibiotic pills to help with his persistent, painful conjunctivitis, mouth ulcers and respiratory infection (probably Calicivirus, she said). But I knew I could never get pills down him and they would be useless if I could not complete the whole cycle. I spent hours trying to diagnose Meatie’s ailments on the Internet and looking for possible medications I thought might help. I called several shelters trying to figure out how I could sedate him to trap him and get him to a vet. I couldn’t get anyone to help me. I needed help. No person could handle him unless he was sedated, even then I would need another person. His eyes got so bad he could barely open them. Some kind people who work at a no-kill shelter hundreds of miles away answered my pleas for help and guidance and sent me an antibiotic powder to sprinkle on his food or put in his water. It turned him around. The pink eye and mouth ulcers cleared up. The sneeze and cough gradually went away. He got MUCH better.

cute ginger cat Meatie and caroline

Meatie & Caroline | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

A full year after feeding him 2-3 times a day, Meatie allowed me to touch his head for the first time. I wish I could say “and the rest is history,” but it’s not, and I don’t think it ever will be. This cat will always have a fear of humans and I still fear him despite the fact I am now able to pick him up and carry him (sometimes). I would never attempt to corral him against his will because he has hurt me quite badly too many times, despite the fact that he only has one tooth in his head. He has a vicious paw strike capability, and those deep scratches hurt for days.

After about a year and a half, Meatie got to the point of climbing onto my lap if I sat on the ground and put my legs straight out. He loved that, and I could pet him, but one false move by me and I was ripped to shreds again.

My joy has been based on the small milestones in earning Meatie’s trust and affection and seeing Meatie’s overall health improve. One time I saw him crossing the street and when I called his name he returned to the front porch. That was amazing. He knows his name now and waits for me to come home from work. He also greets me on my lunch break.

I know he will never be 100% healthy, but I’m taking care of him no matter what. I will cope with each problem as it arises the best way I can. It is not easy, and not for the squeamish.

cute ginger cat sitting on lap

Meatie sitting on the lap | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

Why have I undertaken this responsibility? Because as a human being I feel partly responsible for the predicament of this animal. If he had been neutered, and had a home with care and inoculations, I feel he would be a beautiful, healthy, loving pet. This poor cat has suffered terribly with his mouth problems and with the general health problems he has and continues to have. He is a domestic animal, at least 10 years old, who has been abandoned, neglected and/or abused by people.

The front porch is his kingdom. He has a safe warm place there. He absolutely does not like to be in the house.

The second & third winters I enclosed half of the porch to provide him with a warm, dry shelter over the winter. It works out very well. He loves his “apartment;” it has a cat door. I spend time with him every single day, at least twice a day, sometimes napping with him on his favorite cot in the “apartment.” He jumps up there with me and plops down on my head, purring like a giant lawnmower. He rubs his big fat cheeks on my face and makes little sounds to show his appreciation and affection for me. To me that makes it all worthwhile.

I guess the rest IS history; till death do us part, Meatie.

cute ginger cat stretching in the tent

Stretchhhhhhh | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

cute ginger cat
cute ginger cat napping silly pic

photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

cute ginger cat

photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

cute ginger feral cat yawning

Yawnnnn | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

cute ginger cat big round face

photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

cute ginger feral cat napping on porch

"shhhh... do not disturb!" | photo by ©Caroline Hagedorn

cute ginger cat snoozing

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439 Responses to “From Fear to Trust – Story of Meatie, the Feral Cat”

  1. Linda S says:

    What a wonderful story. God bless you for taking care of Meatie. I have ferals at my house as well.At least we give them a chance.

  2. Ingrid says:

    Thank you for this beautiful story. I hope you'll enjoy each other as long as possible ♥

    • caroline says:

      Thank you, INgrid, it has truly been my pleasure!

      • Ann F says:

        I loved your story. I am an older granny and not too great with the computer so I hope you get this. I have a male ferral that looks like Meatie -exactly-big head and all. I have him and his sister and it is such a problem to provide a warm place for them in the winter. I did manage to purchase a pretty good “house” from Walmart on line for less than $50 and I fill it with towels and old wool sweaters and cover it with a plastic tablecloth. I subsequently saw a better idea to make a “house” out of a large cooler. Very good insulation and water proof. Instr. online

  3. slaxx says:

    aww. that is so sweet. caring and taming a feral cat is no easy job, but all the hardship goes poof on the firsts: first purr for you, first hold, first recognition of you. it's all very worth it :)

  4. erin says:

    what a wonderful story, and God bless you for taking the time to care for meatie. he is lucky that he touched your heart, as kitties often do! he looks like a big loveable boy! i do know that you have to be careful with feral cats, but you have provided him with love, food and shelter and obviously have made him a happy boy! i'm sure he appreciates it! good luck with meatie, and i hope you get to enjoy him for a long time……

    • caroline says:

      yes, ferals require a lot of caution and patience!!!

      many have a lot of health issues, possibly life-threatening, so be careful of exposing your other cats to them.

      I was extrememly careful about hand washing and even changing clothes after a Meatie session and before i handled my other cats—i have 4 others, strays, but not feral. They are all innoculated and neutered.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you so much, erin.

  5. mina says:

    what a great story..its so sad to think of all of the cats running wild wih no homes or consistent food sources dealing with similar problems as meatie and never finding help. someday i hope people will shift their ideas of what it means to own a pet. i think if people stop thinking of them as property and instead just help the animals they see and do their best to take care of shelter animals, the world will be a better place for domestic animals.

    • caroline says:

      i agree, Mina. It is a huge problem and growing. I have to put blinders on and help 1 or 2 at a time. I guess the other thing we can do is give money to organizations making an effort to care for ferals

      and no kill shelters like Helen O. Krause. Compassionate individuals at HOK advised me and sent me antibiotics to help Meatie. I am forever grateful to them. I intend to visit there and make them my beneficiary.
      http://www.helenkrause.org/

      Here's a list, but i have to admit—i know nothing about them. i would research the one i was interested in.
      http://www.saveourstrays.com/nokill.htm

  6. Sara says:

    Hi, what a beautiful story!!! YOU ARE AN ANGEL!!! Two beautiful, ababdoned house cats showed up on my front porch.

    I kept food and water for this two cuties. They didn't now what to think, they stayed around but not close to us.

    It was winter here in arizona. Yes, it gets cold here in the desert, freezing cold at nigth. So I bougth a fire proof heated pad at walgreens and i put inside of their little house. I put a hand towel on top of it, low temperature to avoid any burns on them.

    I also bought a timer and i plugged it into it so it was going on in the evening and off around 10 am when it was getting a little bit warm. They slept there every nigth!!! Fed and warm :)

    Now, well, now they live inside and they have kicked us out of our bed!!!!! :)

  7. Laurie says:

    There's a special place in heave for you and Meatie, I'm quite sure! God bless you, you're a true "kitty angel" :)!

  8. Laurie says:

    oops, sorry! heaven, not "heave"

  9. Brian says:

    That was the purrfect story for the day and it sure did make my whiskers grin up!

  10. Gina says:

    Beautiful story! I have a very similar story with dogs.

  11. Dawn says:

    God bless you for being his angel!

  12. Gina says:

    It is hard to imagine life without them now.

  13. Alora says:

    Great story. I love Meatie! Feral cats return tenfold the love you give them once you earn their trust.

  14. Criz Lai says:

    Thank you for your compassion and patience to give Meatie the best he could have in life. I also have one injured feral in my room now. You can call it miracle or fate as he managed to find me in my apartment maze. Let's hope "Joe" as I named him can live well with my other 5 house cats for years to come.

    You have done a great job there. Keep it up! May God bless you always. :)

    • Sara says:

      Please let us know how your kittie is doing. My best wishes for him and God bless you for been such an angel for that poor little feral kittie :)

  15. God Bless. Meatie looks like a great Cat and I can tell he loves his Mommy very much. We also feed the strays that show up; so far 12 of then have decided to come "in" for good.

  16. roma says:

    meatie is lucky- he found a great mama!

  17. Michelle says:

    The world needs more people like this! It's hard work taming a feral, but worth it. It would be nice if the 'Trap, Neuter & Release' program was used everywhere, and then this situation wouldn't be nearly as bad as it is. People who don't have there pets fixed should be FINED!

    Caroline, you are to be praised for your patience. Bless you!

    • caroline says:

      Seems to me as though we have to do what we can within our means and restrictions. Thank you, Michelle.

  18. Cristina says:

    Oh you brought a tear or two to my eyes. Meatie looks just like my Sunny who we also rescued. We have 3 kitties all found in our yard and are very happpy to be inside. One of our cats Bebe was feral too. It took us 2 years to bring her in. We started by leaving food closer to the house and opening the basement window so she would come in for shelter. I can't tell you the nights my husband and I stayed up waiting for her to come in. Eventually she did and never wanted to come out. Now, 16 years later she is a beautiful, healthy loving cat who will never get over being skittish.. Thanks for sharing

    • caroline says:

      See? You have a beautiful story to tell too—get your photos together and feature your sweet baby on Lovemeow!!!

  19. annie says:

    Ginger cats seem to be very funny I have had two in my life so far. one still with us. they are a trip. Nike just walked in the front door at about six months. 12 years ago. he has never left.he does bring home his catches or lays them out on front porch all dissected. sort of mafia style. he could not be more loving or sensitive.of course he is neutered.I have had spayed and neutered, from rats rabbits dogs. what ever. it keeps them with

    quality of life. thank you for sharing. reading

    a longer life. Thank you for sharing

    • caroline says:

      yep, cats are predators and that's the way it is. I HATE stepping out of bed on a dissected animal left for me by one of the cats. I discourage it and scold them, but heck—THEY ARE CATS!

      I'll never be able to change their DNA.

      • sarah says:

        Really?? Even though I am turned off by my pets leaving me something… (Though I luck out and they just leave me hair ties, usually) I never punish them for it. They’re bringing it home to show you. It’s a sign of love.

  20. Marg says:

    That is such a wonderful story and it sure hits home here because I have had so many feral cats here. Most of them eventually I have been able to pat but there is still one that I cannot pick up. So it is really hard to get her to the vet. You are such a wonderful person to persevere and take care of Meaty because he sure did need you. Feral cats are just the best. They just appreciate every thing you do for them.

  21. Kate says:

    I LOVE this story!!! Thank you for sharing yourself and Meatie with us!

  22. deb says:

    What a wonderful story!!

  23. Sarah says:

    What a touching story. I am a feral "mom" to 6 yard cats. I know just how special it is when one of them decides to show a little love and trust after years of fear. Thank you for sharing your story!

  24. Rochelle says:

    Wow.I can't imagine that Meatie could rip anyone to shreds as he looks so gentle!

    • caroline says:

      BELIEVE IT!!

      His demeanor has changed, but he is fully capable. OMgosh is he ever! OWWWWWWWW! My hands have swollen with the infection and pain.

  25. tanya says:

    You are such a wonderful person for taking care of Meatie during his times of need, as well as Teeny. You have a beautiful heart and I wish you and all of your cats the best of luck.

  26. Sandria Farley says:

    That is a wonderful heart wrenching story. Meatie is one very special very lucky cat. Thanks for sharing your story. And thanks for saving a beautiful wonderful cat from certain death and painful life.

    I too have a feral boy. I trapped him in Nov.'08. He was absolutely scared to death of humans. Afraid of the slightest movement inside the house. I'd been feeding him on the front porch for over a month. I should write his story.

    his sex until I picked him up from our local Snip

    • caroline says:

      yes, please write his story and post photos!

      people need to know the ins and outs of trying to help a feral cat. one woman told me she had finally coaxed a feral into living in her house, but the cat STILL would not let her touch it after 4 years!

      Now THAT is dedication.

      • Jamie Knight says:

        I have a feral female cat who I've had since December of 2002 (over 8 years!), and she *still* won't let me touch her except once in a blue moon, I can pet her when I'm feeding her. She's a beautiful white cat who I named Buttercup, and I love her dearly. Some of the ferals, I guess, just never will want to be handled. She's very loving with my other 4 cats, and she lies 2 feet from me and purrs, but she just doesn't want to be handled, even after over 8 years.

      • Jamie Knight says:

        Meant to mention in my previous post that Buttercup is a strictly indoor cat now and seems to have no desire to go outside. She's a happy cat. :-)

  27. leahfu says:

    My grandparents had a feral cat come bring her kittens on her doorstep once. Of all the kittens one stayed behind. They named him Junior and he became their half feral pet. They had to tranquilize him to have him neutered and later in life they tried to tranquilize him and it didn't work. Junior never let me pet him the years he lived right outside their back door. He would love me through the glass door, but once that door opened he would run away. One day my grandma noted that he wasn't well and had started walking around in circles. I walked outside and he let me pet him. It was amazing, but also heartwrenching. Junior disappeared the next day and nobody knows where he went. They all assume he left to die. :( I hope you have many years of fond memories with Meaty like my grandma did with Junior

    • caroline says:

      We have to remember all the good things. Just think of the love Junior shared with you the best way he could. I hate it that our pets have to die, but that's part of loving them. I'm sorry you lost your sweet Junior.

  28. Ardene says:

    A very touching story except I'm not sure who's "Meatie," him or you after he's shredded your arm. I am deeply touched by your compassion and devotion to this animal. I rescued my Koko-san, a part Burmese/Siamese stray at 8 wks and she is a major handful, but a gem. I take her out for walks on a leash and harness. Maybe I won't deny her as she has been hissing when I try to take her in if we're in our wild back yard, attached to a park, where a lot of other cats/wildlife live. If I take her out for an hour, she'll throw a fit coming in so I have, for my own sake, curtailed her forays. Maybe I'll be able to withstand her hissy fits, though they are a bit scary. I draw the line at being hurt. Bravo for a wonderful story.

    • caroline says:

      Believe me, i try to avoid getting hurt, and i am getting MUCH smarter about that. hahaha I actually had a stint in the hospistal from a cat bite (not Meatie).

      Some cats are always grumpy. Meatie isn't, but if he is startled or fearful he will rip me to ribbons.

      Best of luck with your little lady!

  29. Ardene says:

    Ah, yes, Koko-san is six years old now…she sends sandpaper kisses.

  30. ruthie says:

    super like!!!

    God bless you!

  31. Lizzy says:

    If only there were more people as caring and responsive to the needs of animals as yourself! Blessings upon you, and on "Meatie" as well.

  32. janie jones says:

    That's beautiful. Its sad that he's so distrusting of people but its great that you two have worked out a nice symbiotic relationship :)

  33. david lawson says:

    great story. my wife and i have a stray we brought in. she was out in the bitter cold. one day we noticed. no front claws. yes a stray with no front claws. still the cat defends itself very well. she has taken down chipmunks and other rodents.

    • caroline says:

      Isn't amazing how a cat can learn to overcome it's "handicaps"?!!

      She can still hunt with no front claws—WOW!

      Perhaps she wandered away or was lost from a family many years ago…

      Personally, i would NEVER de claw a cat. I would rather have them tear up my furniture than mutilate them like that. Don't get me started…

      • Olivia says:

        Caroline I just adore this story! I have read it multiple times now and it still just makes my heart melt. Meatie is a beautiful boy and what you have done for him is just incredible! I am so glad there are people out there like you :) I also am STRONGLY AGAINST declawing – it is not responsible, humane or considerate at all. In my opinion it is animal cruelty purely for selfish human beings. I don't exactly enjoy being scratched but there are options such as clipping/filing to make the claws less sharp or putting claw covers on! declawing is illegal in Australia luckily :)

  34. Parker says:

    God bless you! What a great story and Meatie is a handsome boy!

  35. I'm so glad Meatie has someone to look out for him!

  36. Melva says:

    You are an amazing woman, I wish there were more people like you in the world! :)Melva

  37. You have been so patient with Meatie and how well that has paid off – he is now healthy and well looked after – he is bonding with you some and that is amazing.

  38. SunStones says:

    I love this story…. I think it should be published and perhaps more people will realize the rewards received when offering to help a life that is in need. Bless you and Meatie with lots of love.

    • caroline says:

      You know the rewards well, Maria. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement.

      We love you and yours!!!

  39. caroline says:

    I am so blessed to have Meatie in my heart forever.

    Check out tons of other photos of the Meathead only Flickr Photostream.

    Love you for loving Meatie.

    xxoo

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/indee/sets/721576118

  40. caroline says:

    "on my Flickr Photostream" I meant to say
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/indee/sets/721576118

    :-) kitty kisses!!!

  41. Steevn says:

    I also work at saving animals and I love hearing stories like this. Both of the cats I have now were Feral and they are both indoor, wonderful pets and I baby them as often as I can. I have worked hard to get them to trust me and they do allow me to take them to the vet now. (After 7 years)

    Thank you for sharing this amazing story with us. And thank you for caring enough to commit to this cat for a lifetime. You ROCK!!!

    • caroline says:

      Thank you Steevn—our love to you for all you do. Patience is truly a virtue Meatie has taught me.

      • Ursula Dicks says:

        Hi Caroline,

        You have done a wonderful job. Sorry to read that you had such a hard time finding help. I am a member of a non profit organization sterilizing outdoor cats. We make winter shelters for cats using a plastic storage bin, styrofoam cooler and straw and cut a hole for the cat to access the box. This way they keep snug and warm.
        Just a thought to make your life easier.
        Thanks for not giving up on the cat.
        Ursula
        http://www.tomcatsolutionsonline.org

  42. Mike says:

    Its very nice to hear when animals find people that they know will help them. Great job to both of you. Him for being patient with you, and you being patient with him.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you, Mike. It took more patience than i knew i had—i have learned a lot about myself from this extraordinary experience.

  43. katzenmother says:

    Bless you for having the heart, patience, and fortitude in helping this poor kitty. Have fostered several cats and its been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. Pet Meatie for me!

    • caroline says:

      Meatie sends you a big slobbery kiss. omgosh does he ever drool! :-). I usually put a towel over my clothes before i let him jump up on me hahaha. a mother's love, right?

  44. Natasha says:

    Your little story made me cry. Thank you for sharing that. You truly are special and amazing. XOXO to meatie :)

  45. George says:

    That is probably the most heart warming thing I have ever read and it brought tears to my eyes. Bless you.

  46. kirstin says:

    Meatie…what a gorgeous hunk of orange tabby love!! =^..^= I love this story,it touched my heart..beautiful story,and you both are very blessed to have each other!! Animal people rock!! I share a similar story with my orange tabby named pumpkinloo…took lots of time and effort to gain his trust,and he's the best kitty ever!!! yay for you & meatie..may you share a wonderful life for a long time!!! love meatie..he's so gorgeous and sweet!!:)

    • caroline says:

      Bets wishes to you, Kristin, andy your Pumpkinloo baby.

      Hope you have many wonderful years of pumpkin-love.

  47. Bless you and your heart for nursing Meatie back to some form of health he hasn't had in ages.

    When I read that he only had 1 tooth, it broke my heart 'cos it was then I realised how hard it would have been for Meatie to look out for himself and Teeny, plus finding their next meal would have been so stressful and painful.

    Although he might scratch you a bit, I'm sure he's thanking the Cat-gods for sending you to him.

    Thankyou for showing Meatie (and Teeny as well) that there are good human beings out here who care.

    • caroline says:

      I tell you what—he may only have one tooth, but he sure knows how to use it!!!! OUCH!!!!! He can bite!

      Meatie also can eat cunchies with no hesitation. He is a hoot. He must swallow them whole.

  48. Cathy says:

    Love your story and hugs to both you, and to Meatie! We also rescued a wonderful, big, orange kitty — ours was not feral, just a poor, homeless pet that someone had apparently had the heartlessness to abandon at a shopping center. Despite that, he was able to open his heart to us and trust us. Thank goodness for the big, orange kitties of the world.

    • caroline says:

      i LOVE big orange kitties!!!!! I have to admit, that love helped me go to extremes for the Meathead. :-)

  49. Beautiful, heart-wrenching story. Thank you for sharing this with us, Caroline. What is it about certain connections? I have had many cats and everyone knows that we all have our favorites, even if we don't divulge this info. Some just creep deep, deep into our hearts and stay there forever.

  50. Nuria says:

    What a wonderful story of love and much devotion. It's so hard to turn away from these homeless animals. Sometimes there is very little you can do, yet other times, when the circumstances are with us, we find a way. One of my five is a former semi-feral stray. She's been living inside with me and the others for close to three years now, and there are still moments when I see her doing something new, and it brings a smile to my face and my heart swells. I'm lucky.

  51. robit noops says:

    I had a feral cat like that in Tahoe named Cat. He was big and scary looking, but as soon as he got food from me, he ran into the house, onto the bed, and wouldnt stop purring. He was game to get out of the snow and live a home life. Because of his respiratory problems, he couldnt meow and his pur sounded like a loud pigeon.

    He had nasty resperitory problems, was missing most teeth, and loved to go out and fight, but he was a showboat with any people.

    Anyways, feral cats can make some of the best pets. If they could talk, the stories they would tell.

    • Beth says:

      Wow. Similar to my own experience.

      I found a feral black tom cat that had take to sleeping on my front porch this past winter. The day before New Year's he turned to look at me, and his face had an abscess the size of a tennis ball. My petsitter helped me to trap him, and trundled him off to the vet. He was infested with fleas, had ear mites and ear infections, and the vet said his head felt like leather from all the scars. His abscess was drained and cleaned and he was neutered and vaccinated.

      He spent 2 weeks in the corner of my studio. Started coming out and sitting. Then rubbing up against things. Then rubbing up against my legs. Then sitting in my lap and letting me pet him (though he has rules about this – can only pet his head and shoulders, can't touch feet or chest or back). Today – I picked him up for the first time, walked 4 steps then put him down. He promptly bit my leg (not seriously) to let me know I was pushing his boundaries).

      At first his fur was very thick and coarse. He has shed a great deal, and just shines. He is almost aggressively affectionate, and purrs like crazy. He is an indoor cat (city streets are too dangerous). And has food whenever he wants, a soft place to sleep, and toys and catnip galore.

      • caroline says:

        that is an awesome story! a diamond in the rough—literally!

        one thing the vet tech at the Helen Krause shelter told me that really hit home—"give him space don't overdo it. he needs time."

        so true.

      • Annicken says:

        Beatutiful…..I once gave milk to a wild little cat who seemed ill…in Spain….and I never forget the happiness I saw in her face and little body…..

  52. Abby says:

    WE feel so bad for cats like Meatie…bless you for taking such good care of him…

    purrs

    >^,,^<

    Abby

    • caroline says:

      Then my purpose for going public is fulfilled. I hope to help people see the plight of feral cats with a new compassion. Thank you for your encouragement!

  53. paco says:

    your story inspire me to do good things… thank you! greetings from mexico!

  54. Caroline ~ are you SURE this is a male cat? What an amazing story – I owned a female yellow/orange tiger (with one tooth missing at the time of her disappearance) who was lost to us in August of 2007…..please, if you read this, Caroline, e-mail me; I would like to know where you live and where you found Meatie. Bless you SO MUCH for taking care of the cat, I've prayed incessantly that someone would find my Ms. Cutie and take care of her….as you are with Meatie…..the pictures are eerie-ly similar to Ms. Cutie………

  55. andrea says:

    wow! amazing, simply amazing. you are a wonderful person!

    • caroline says:

      I would like to think it's just the right thing to do. I feel like the lucky one. But thank you for your kind words.

  56. dawn says:

    Meatie is one lucky, one toothed guy! I have a "handi-cat". Found him in a pic on the wall at the rec center, missing back foot, family was allergic that found him, he has been with us for 5.5 years now. He attacks dogs of any size, so I wonder if he lost his foot in a fight with a dog, accident or birth defect. He comes with challenges but lots of love and he is the most vocal kitty that has ever owned me. Thank you for your inspirational story about doing what's right!

    • caroline says:

      awwww kisses to Handi-cat.

      If i were adopting i would take the handicapped or older cat over the cute healthy kitten, just because…

  57. H says:

    Thank you for helping Meatie. What a wonderful story where a human helps a needy animal but the end result is animal helps human. I still am smiling as I read your beautiful story.

    Pet Meatie for me as I think he is beautiful..and so are you.

  58. Aussie says:

    Very good story of compassion thanks for sharing.

    However it is a reminder to people to get your cats de-sexed and please dont buy them from pet shops or 'backyard breeders'. Try a cat home/shelter (also for other pets including dogs)as there are many animals needing homes at such places.

    There are too many feral cats here in Australia and they are a real threat to our wildlife.

    Actually I don't like cats because here in Australia domestic and feral destroy much native wildlife. But I do believe in compassion for suffering animals and Caroline's story was nice.

    Perhaps if people built outdoor enclosures for their cats (which can be relatively inexpensive and interesting as well as have adequate room for exercise plus protect your pet from other cats -diseases/fights etc) or made their cats be indoor cats there wouldnt be as many strays.

    Pets are great companions but we should, like Caroline, help them for their benefit, not just have them for our own pleasure.

    • caroline says:

      My dream is to have the space and $$ to have a large safe haven for strays and ferals. I find joy in service.

  59. Alana says:

    You're an angel for risking your own health as well as your own personal pets health to give some poor guy a second chance. You also gave Teeny the best time of her life, I'm sure.

    WE NEED MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU IN THE WORLD.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I have gotten smarter about risking my heath; i was bitten by an injured cat (not Meatie) that i was trying to get to a vet. This poor cat had been howling under my neighbor's shed for about 3 weeks when i finally got a look at it. (a beautiful little female calico) The rear leg had the bone exposed and the leg was hanging limp. omg. I went into overdrive trying to figure out how to catch her and have that leg amputated. It was obvious that would be the only treatment solution. I had it all arranged—surgery, funding, rehab, adoption, but when the time came to catch her, she bit me—locked down HARD on my hand. $9,000 in medical bills, 3 days in the hospital, 6 months of unrelenting pain and permanent damage to my forearm (the infection affected my tendon) prompted me to buy welder's gloves and never do anything that foolish again. After i got out of the hospital, i was able to get that cat in a crate and to the vet. He discovered she had that dreaded peritonitis disease and had to euthanize her after her 5 weeks of agony. Poor little girl. I still cry over the agony she went through.

  60. Lesli says:

    Your story brought me to tears. Mostly good tears because I realize that Meatie DOES have a safe, warm, loving 'home'. But it destroys me that he would ever be put into that situation.

    I am a Kitty Mama to Simon, who was once a member of a family who moved from their apartment and left him behind. They packed up and left him! Alone!

    He was found by his foster mama, who then let me adopt him.

    He now lives with me and my room mates who all love and adore him.

    But what kind of *&&%^%%)(&)^ leaves a domestic animal to forage on its own? There is a special place in hell for those people.

    Thank you for taking care of Meatie!

    Bless YOU!

    • caroline says:

      it seems that people think domestic animals will figure out how to survive on their own, but, sadly, i actually think it's more that not everyone gives a damn about the other creatures we share the planet with.

      It is so joyful to get so many encouraging comments from kindred spirits all over the world who DO care about the plight of homeless animals.

      I hope Meatie's story adds some light to the feral cat situation.

      Kind people are understanding.

  61. SueSue says:

    We have rescued many cats that were dumped in our neighborhood.We also have a free spirited cat roaming the neighborhood,she adopted us.She has 2 boxes in our garage with heating pads from the pet store, to keep her warm. The opening of the houses are covered with a towel to keep the heat in. We all do our best for these scared cats

    • caroline says:

      boxes and heating pads are a welcome refuge for the homeless kitties in cold weather. I also put a cat door in my garage and have boxes in there for wayward kitties.

      :-) Keep on loving them!!

  62. MavisSue says:

    Hi, Bless you for taking care of Meatie. I have been a cat lover always & have cared for many feral cats. I was once owned by a feral female. I took her in & She claimed me & lived in my house with family & was my house mouse. I had a tick-tock clock that stopped ticking and she climbed up a chair and used her paw to make the pendulum go back & forth. She wouldn't go to bed until we were all tucked in. She was 16 (est) when she died. best cat I ever owned. RIP my sweet one.

    • caroline says:

      What an endearing story! I believe that every cat, given the opportunity to feel safe and secure, has a unique character waiting to come out. We are the lucky ones who get to see this.

  63. Alicja says:

    what a beautiful story! best for you & Meatie

  64. Bruce says:

    Hi, Bless you for taking care of Meatie. I have been a cat lover always & have cared for many feral cats. I was once owned by a feral female. I took her in & She claimed me & lived in my house with family & was my house mouse. I had a tick-tock clock that stopped ticking and she climbed up a chair and used her paw to make the pendulum go back & forth. She wouldn't go to bed until we were all tucked in. She was 16 (est) when she died. best cat I ever owned. RIP my sweet one.

  65. Nancy Molner-Vieira says:

    I feed a cat that looks exactly like Meatie. I spotted him on the street and he looked "bad." Since then I have taken him to a vet and had him "fixed." I get up every day at &;00 am to feed him.

    He is on the street and I worry. He is gentle and loving. I have four cats and cannot take him since he is a big dominant male.

    I am nesitant to take to to a "rescue".

    I would love to find a person or a place who would take this sweet gentle loving cat and not harm him. I can provide oictures but he looks just like ?"Meatie." I live in Baltimore City.

    Nancy Molner-Vieira

    • caroline says:

      Nancy

      Meatie's too old to be neutered–so I worry so much about him being out and about. All I can do is provide him a place and food and love and hope he feels safe and sound there. Yes, meatie would beat the tar out of my other neutered males—they are pretty old, 17, 10 & a newby who is probably 5. I also have a young spayed female—all foundlings.

      Meatie has to live outside. It's hard I know, but just know that you are doing what you can for your outdoor kitty. It takes about 6 weeks for the testosterone to get out of the system—maybe he will become less dominant and you can welcome into your house!

      Best wishes.

      Caroline

    • DianeHorseriderusa says:

      For the poster who lives in Baltimore County/City…you might want to try a no-kill shelter located in New Freedom, PA. I believe it is locally known as the shelter at Maryland Line. Seems like it is in Maryland, but actually near the PA/MD border. I hope this provides some help. They also provide low-cost spay/neutering services. Not sure about shots. Best to call them 717.993.3232. Best of luck, Diane =^..^=

  66. Lynda L says:

    What a heart warming story. Bless you for taking care of Meatie. I know that he blesses you every day with his appreciation. I'm an animal lover period, but love my cats. They're adorable when they're little and beautiful when grown. There's been many times when my cats have comforted me when nothing else would.

    • caroline says:

      Yes, Lynda. I find great comfort in Meatie's rhythmic purr as he snuggles on my chest—it's like a mantra to me. Pure joy.

  67. JKIT says:

    WHAT A WONDERFUL STORY. YOU HAVE HELPED A SPECIAL KIT HAVE AN EXTENDED BETTER & LUVING LIFE!

    THANK YOU

  68. octopuss says:

    A great feat patiently winning a poor cat's trust who has obviously suffered disappointment and mistrust, and winning back his health and well-being as much as possible. Big warm cheers for you both, Caroline and Meatie!

    • caroline says:

      Aw, thank you. I was really shocked the first time Meatie let me touch him. I guess he decided it was time…

      He was a hard nut to crack hahahaha

  69. sherry stevens says:

    thank you for being such a loving soul . without you meatie would have suffered horribly. i to have taken to looking after a small female feral cat . she turned up in my yard , this spring afraid and starving. I have a large nurtured male inside cat, and he started sitting by the door and meowing every time she came on the step.I made her a shelter out of an old Styrofoam cooler and gave her food and water.now she greets me and wraps herself around my legs , when i feed her. .named her Silver

  70. JohnWilson says:

    It's hard to say just what grabs us about these creatures. As so many have said Meatie is one lucky cat and you are one lucky lady to have had your lives cross like this. It seems that Meatie doesn't bond easily but when he does it's totally with his new companion in life and that's you now. May you have many years of life together. I'm sure he has stories to tell you, he appears to have and one way or another, I'm sure, he will.

    • caroline says:

      I would venture to say Meatie has never been close to another human. I believe his whole life was lived on the run, foraging. He was quite scary looking when i first saw him. But what i understand now is that these cats live in fear and must project the fierce aura to protect themselves. Feral cats never play. They have no concept of being silly. It's uncanny. Meatie's whole look changed after he came to trust me. But if one of my friends came near, he would again assume that fierce look—quite intimidating. He remained afraid of other humans.

  71. clara says:

    You are Meatie's guardian angel, and I know it is not just one-way. He is an angel to you as well. He loves and appreciates your kindness, and he expresses it in the best ways he knows.

    You have done a huge service for all animals, and you are so appreciated.

    Wishing you the best, and many years with Meatie….hugs to you both.

    His eyes are bright, and look like they have never been infected. He is beautiful.

  72. jess says:

    While both of my cats came into my home from the outdoors, just one of them was a feral, my Chester. He went through his share of health troubles too: worms, fleas, ear mites… they cleared up relatively quickly in retrospect, and did not encounter the grave health troubles your kitten did, but his becoming comfortable with me has taken a lot longer. He's lived with me for three years now. i cried when i got to the part of your story where you posted the photo of you and Meatie cuddling on the bed. Chester and i still haven't done that, and we might not.

    When i first brought him in, he was very lonely, relating to other cats and not knowing what to make of humans (besides FEAR!) and after a few months i brought my former stray in, Taro, who loves people but also keeps Chester company, and has been trying to demonstrate well-ajustedness to his adopted brother for years now, unsuccessfully.

    But i understand you completely re the small milestones. If i distract Chester when we're playing with string, or if i reach around the back of a chair so there's something between us, he'll let me pet him, and this big snorty purr will emerge, pretty well every time. When he realizes it's me, he usually runs away. We've begun to communicate in the past year or so — he'll come in and look at me, occasionally following me from one room to another, and if i bend from the waist and don't show my hands he'll stare at me and i'll chat with him and he'll relax a little.

    Thank you for your story. I love Meatie! He looks like a happy guy.

    • caroline says:

      Aw that is so touching. Dear Chester…he may NEVER be a lap cat, but you will love him for who he is. And he is loving you the best he can. I had another rescued feral who hid behind the couch most of his life. It used to really hurt my feelings, but I finally accepted that that was the best he could do, given his fear of humans. He was from many generations of feral cats. Toward the end of his life he started coming out, staying out and laying on my feet. It was just unbelievable! That was after i had him for about 10 years.

      Never give up!

  73. Dee says:

    Carolyn, you are a special person. I love this story and the pictures of Meatie are beautiful.

    I am so glad that someone like you found and is taking care of him. You probably saved his life, this story of hope may have saved many others. Thank you for sharing with us. You and Meatie are special….

    • caroline says:

      Thank you, Dee. I am amazed that my photos attracted comments and interest from around the world. I feel so privileged to have the opportunity to care for an innocent little animal like Meatie.

  74. hetzer says:

    Kudos! Just lost the battle to keep alive my blind and partially deaf feral rescue cat Princess, this year. She survived a stroke, being blind from birth endless ear infections and lived for 5 happy years with me. Despite them returning only grudging thanks, taking years to learn to trust us etc we love them the most! She broke my heart when she died!

    John

    • caroline says:

      I believe in the other side of the Rainbow Bridge where all of us will be reunited with our beloved pets–in perfect health and in happiness for eternity.

      Bless your broken heart.

  75. KittyTron3000 says:

    Waaah! This story makes me happy and sad at the same time. Do you happen to have a picture of Meatie with Teeny? Also, has Meatie found a new companion since Teeny's passing?

    Thank you for sharing your story with us and your front poarch with Meatie!

    • caroline says:

      Please jump over to my Flickr photos. You'll find many many more photos of Meatie.

      Here is on of Teeny.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/indee/2081705113/in/
      He became so tiny and ill, that i finally scooped him up—this cat NEVER let me near him until he was too weak to resist—and brought him in the house so he could die without being in fear. He was in my computer room for about 4 days before he finally passed away. I had him in a basket and put a small litter box in the room. He could barely stand up–i fed him with a spoon. Actually I don't even know if this cat was male or female. Some how this kitty managed to get out of the basket, jump onto my lap and just touch his face to mine as i was at my computer. Even this deathly ill little kitty managed to express a moments affection before he passed away the next day, about 2 hours after i checked on him. He is a garden flower now.

      Here is a link to the entire Meatie set
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/indee/sets/721576118

    • Caroline says:

      Meatie is a loner. I think Teeny tagged alaong for protection.

  76. KittyTron3000 says:

    *porch!

    ^-^

    o o

    =x=

  77. elaine lively says:

    this makes me sad because it reminds me of a dear old feral tom i used to know , but thankyou,thankyiu for helping Meatie, and Teeny as well

  78. JoeShiner says:

    This is a very touching story, and you're to be commended for caring for this poor guy. I have recently gotten a similar situation. Despite having two cats (one grey, one orange tabby) I saved from the Shelter, who are obviously neutered having come from there, I have also inherited another orange tabby thanks to my daughter Cora. She knows I'm a pushover when it comes to cats, esp. orange tabbies, of which I've had several. Oort is actually more loving than either of my cats, and that's saying a lot. He's obviously been a housecat in some past, because he's both neutered and declawed (the latter being a high crime in my book). His being declawed made it that much more urgent that I save him – he couldn't begin to protect himself in the wild. One thing, 'tho' – he seems to have very many black sections and spots on his gums. I can't tell if this is just a discoloration or something else. I can't afford to take any of my cats to the vet unless it's for something absolutely urgent (don't have the money). Can anyone tell me what this black gum thing can be from? Thanks for any help. You can reply to roger@rogercloud.com.

    • caroline says:

      I saw that on Meatie—I asked the vet:

      orange cats get that dark pigmentation on the tissue around their mouts. It is just pigment! Do not fear. The vet told me it is a trait only orange kitties have. It is Not a health problem.

      WHEW!!!!

      Thanks for stopping by and don't give up on your kitty!

  79. Carol G says:

    Hurray! Thank you for caring so much for this poor abandoned animal. I'm amazed at what simple kindnesses will do for an animal (although closing in half the front porch for Meaty couldn't exactly be called a 'simple' kindness).

  80. Dru says:

    Great story! Some of the best pets are the ones who adopt us :)

  81. misanthropope says:

    when i was in college my mom acquired herself a feral black cat. he loved loved loved our dog, a husky. probably six months before any of us humans could lay a finger on him, you couldn't take caesar out for a walk without the cat coming along.

    but the first day that blackie (not my choice of names!) set foot inside, was the last time he was ever out of doors. not quick to trust, but feral cats know a good thing when they find one.

  82. Janice says:

    He will love love you, no matter what.

  83. Sharon says:

    That is such a beautiful story, and God bless both you and Meatie. :-))

  84. May Gilchrist says:

    It does your heart good to read of the kindness of others to animals. Similar story with me when I took in a black blind feral female cat we named Tinkerbell (Tinks for short) and it has taken 5 years for her to come over from the dark side. I can hardly believe this little bundle of black joy who was found filthy and abandoned now sleeps under the covers with my husband and I, much to the annoyance of my three other big boys. She rules the roost and if she could see the size of the other cats she might be less inclined to chase them around the house. The joy she has given us over the years has far outweighed the cost of her operations and damage to our home – we also cat proofed the garden so she has the full run of this without the worry of her going awol. The other cats are able to get out and run free in our quiet neighbourhood. Life is so much fuller with cats around…and as I type this I have one cuddling next to me in sunny Scotland….life doesn't get any better!

  85. lynn says:

    Hi, great story and so touching! How sad that you had such difficulty obtaining medications. Although, I understand why a DVM must examine an animal in order to prescribe medication.

    Next time (or anyone else in a similar situation), try a veterinarian that makes house calls. Given the situation, they would most likely be willing to evaluate the kitty from afar (if kitty won't let them touch) and provide medication/problem solve to provide treatment. Compounding pharmacies can make medications (ex. pills) into yummy flavored elixirs.

    Also, lots of kitties are exposed to feline herpes virus (not transmissible to people). Stressed kitties are more likely to develop problems (many cats never have problems). You might try to research FHV and consider a prophylactic anti-viral like L-lysine (available o.t.c.).

    Thanks for being a kitty crusader! I got both of my kitties as sickly feral turn-ins at my clinic, and they are oh so special! I feel so very lucky that good samaritans delivered them to my doorstep. Now my kitties return the good deed, by donating blood to kitties in need. They're hero kitties :)

  86. Mike says:

    That's a great story. We had a similar situation. In the spring of 2000, a black feral cat holed up under our shed and gave birth to 3 kittens. Momma and kittens hung around the back yard, and we put out food and water every day. When the kittens were weaned, I got an animal trap and trapped the kittens. We took the kittens to a group that domesticated them and adopted them out. Meanwhile, I got a bigger trap and trapped "Momma Cat", and off she went to the vet to get spayed. I brought her back home and released her into the yard. It took almost two years of feeding her until she let me pet her. At first, the only way my wife could pet this cat was if she wore my coat.

    That was over 10 years ago… and Momma Cat still lives in the back yard. She is still extremely feral, and very afraid of people. We now have two toddlers whom she tolerates but keeps a distance. We are fortunate that Momma Cat has had absolutely zero health problems, and even today is in good shape.

    We have faithfully fed her and took care of her all these years because we agree with you… it is our responsibility as humans to help take care of God's creatures the best we can.

    • caroline says:

      I feel so much love and compassion when i read each individual story of a rescued kitty. I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to learn so much about feral and stray cats. Meatie has been quite a project and so many people have given me moral and technical support…i feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I know one thing–once you really see the plight of ferals and strays you can never go back to not being involved on some level. Thank you for reading and contributing to my article. All the best to you and all of yours Mike!

      indee

  87. lynn says:

    Regarding FIV… You bring up an interesting topic. I've recently looked into starting a trap/neuter/release program for my neighborhood and I've been struggling with whether or not I should FeLv/FIV test. I would hate to expose negative cats to the positives that I release. I also would not consider euthanizing any simply because they are positive. Adopting them out would be quite a task.

    Any thoughts? Have you tested feral cats in the past? Or is it better to not know?

    • caroline says:

      Well, i hesitate to answer for fear of being lambasted for my opinion, but i DO know that i can't fix everything. I CAN tell you how i figured out what to do in my own personal household situation. I kept Meatie separate, which was his desire anyway. All the other cats have a cat door and go outside too. They learned quite quickly not to go onto the front porch. They are innoculated and vaccinated. However If any of them became down with FIV+, i would treat them just like i would an HIV+ human; address each malady as it may occur. I would not euthanize any of them. Please don't hate me.

  88. leslie says:

    What a wonderful story Caroline. Maybe you could help me with a dilemma. I have 3 indoor cats. They never go outside, but love to look out the window. During last winter, which was very cold, several stray cats showed up at my house, and of course all the cats were staring at each other through the window! The cats looked so hungry, and it was terribly cold. I used a plastic storage box with a hole cut in it to create a shelter for them, with blankets and wood chips (they didn't really ever use it), and of course, started feeding them. At the beginning there were 3 cats and one baby. I e-mailed every no kill shelter I could find in Atlanta, and every one of them was full. I tried to trap them, but they weren't having it – too smart. And, even if I had been able to trap them, what would I do with them? Now there are about a dozen cats that show up to be fed, which I'm happy to do, but the real need is to get them spayed and neutered. Last night one of the cats showed up with 3 kitten!!! There is one organization that I know of that will spay/neuter for a small charge which I could afford for a few, but 12 is a stretch for me. Two of the original cats and the kitten are still my regulars, and one of the boys will even let me pet him. I thought I would make another attempt with a hav-a-heart trap I have to get the kitten, and even thought I could get the one friendly male into a cat carrier. No such luck – he was not happy and scratched me pretty bad. There wasn't any biting, so that was good. I'm feeling overwhelmed and responsible. Do you have any advice or suggestions? Any would be appreciated. Thanks, Leslie

    • caroline says:

      oh my gosh, leslie, you definitely have a situation that needs to be addressed. I would be freaking out. I would probably make a box city for them somehow, but not all the neighbors around would appreciate that.

      I will consult my friend Sherrie at the Helen O. Krause no-kill shelter in PA. I'm sure that crew can come up with some suggestions.

      Do you mind giving me your email address or should we just meet here again? :-)

      caroline

    • Anonymous says:

      i just got this response form Sherrie at the Helen O. Krause no-kill shelter in Pennsyvania:

      contact me @

      mowhag@yahoo.com

  89. Tim O. says:

    If you need to get Meaty to the vet, get some "ACE" pills from the vet and crush one into his food (best with wet food) and it will dope him up real good to the point of easily handling him. Meaty looks to be in the 10 pound area, so a whole ACE would do the job. Have had A LOT of luck with it for one of our former ferals, who is a sweetheart, BUT NOT when it comes to a carrier! Good Luck!

    • caroline says:

      Thank you, Tim, i will keep that info handy. He's about 13# in the winter (8 of that is his meathead :-D) and 9 in the summer.

      got it.

    • caroline says:

      i also bought a dbl wide carrier in case i have the opportunity or need—it would be alot easier to get him in it!

  90. Wendy M. says:

    Caroline–What a touching story about Meaty and Tiny. I regularly contribute to the organization Alley Cat Allies, which focuses on trapping, neutering, and returning feral cats to their own communities where they can live in peace without reproducing. My heart goes out to all feral cats who haven't known the luxury of having a comfortable home as my 5 rescues have.

    You are a special person, Caroline, to help Meaty and Tiny the way you did. Animals are the best–they express their appreciation in their own way.

    I notice that you made a couple of comments about the "Rainbow Bridge." This is where 2 of my babies are now. I lost 2 of them within 2 weeks of each other. Fortunately, each of them lived to be about 15 years old.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with everyone; it means so much to me.

    • caroline says:

      Yes, i choose to believe in the Rainbow Bridge because my heart cannot bear to part with my beloved companions. We will be reunited on the other side. If Billy Graham says it then it must be true!!!!

      I am so sorry your sweet innocents have passed from this earth. Love is unchanging and eternal—they will always live in your heart. BTW i have volunteered for litterbox duty on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

  91. Judith McLeod says:

    I was truly touched by your story of Meatie. I have just brought a two year old feral female into my home. I have named her Willow. She is chocolate brown, long haired with a white spot around her nose and mouth. I picked her up from the vet on Friday afternoon and she just started eating late last night (Monday). I was getting pretty worried that I had done the wrong thing by bringing her inside. I am hoping in time she will begin to trust me. For now, she is living in my ensuite bathroom.

    • caroline says:

      Hi Judith,

      As i learned "give them time and space". Hopefully she will come to trust you and even be your dedicated companion! But that may or may not happen with a feral cat—depends on the individual. Just keep doing what you do and hopefully a bond will form. Don't give up!

      Best wishes.

    • caroline says:

      HA! MY latest foundling is Willow (Willoughby, WillowBee, Williebee, Willa—all my cats have at least a half dozen names.

      he's on Flickr too…
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/indee/3884543976/in/

      he likes to lay on his back. silly willy

  92. Martha Skinner says:

    You can put food in a have a heart trap and take the kitty to the vet for shots and any other problems he might have. You can also get

    a mild tranquilizer from a vet and put it in food and just put him in a cat carrier. But he really should be seen by a vet for shots and any problems. He sounds like a real love.

    • caroline says:

      Hi Martha,

      Thank you for your suggestion. I'm writing it down. I'm getting quite a list of helpful tips!

  93. Marty says:

    Caroline: Hi. Lovely story about Meatie. I've been rescuing cats for 23 years, about 20 total, I presently have 11. My oldest died two years ago, Big White who was 21 when he died, rescued at 7 mos.! Though none of mine have been feral, but abandoned kitties, previously owned, I've always spayed and neutered all the kitties I've rescued.

    One was "Wave" a polydactyl Tuxedo Manx that I'd watched for years be ab-used by a neighbor down the street (I live in Interior Alaska, -40 in the winter typically). Wave's eyes were totally shut by infection, he had half a coat of fur, the very tough skin of a unneutered male, large head. He tested positive for FIV, and my vet said that it is only transmitted by unneutered males who spend their life outdoors, through fighting, biting and scratching. He ended up dying of kidney failure after I'd had him 1.5 years, despite trying sub-q fluids for a for days. He's the only male I've ever rescued with FIV.

    One reason I'm writing is to abjectly disagree with your vet, saying Meatie is too old to be neutered. Why is their reason? I've never heard of that before, and I just called my vet and she said the only reason is if they didn't feel a cat would survive anesthesia. I personally would get another vet opinion. Most cats that I rescue (I've kept most all of them), are between 7-10 yrs old, the oldest a 14-r old.

    Meatie will live a much longer life if he is neutered, as he's more inclined to continue to fight being un-neutered, and males un-neutered have a higher risk of testicular cancer.

    Meatie looks just like an orange polydactyl male, Rodney I adore, with 1/2 his ears (frostbitten before I rescued him, cold winters!).

    Bedding for outside cats – staw or hay is WONDERFUL in a box or dog house (I have two in my yard for any other strays to find before I find them). It keeps them very warm, cloth is great until it gets cold them their body heat creates moisture which can condense and freeze. All dog mushers here use it for bedding, and all dog owners with outside dogs. It's used for farm animals everywhere, and it's inexpensive!

    Lastly, I just got a heated water dish 3 years ago and leave that plugged in outside all winter (why I never thought of that before?!), keeps the water just above freezing. As you know water is so crucial to us, as well as animals – so those of you in cold "Lower 48" State climates and other worldwide climates, think about a heated water bowl.

    That's my 2 cents worth – and lots of love and thank you's for doing the wonderful work you do saving those kitties (I do rescue dogs too but find homes for them, as a 1,000 sq ft house just isn't big enough for all the cats and a dog or two!)

    All my kitties are love bugs, but I find orange tabby's so mellow. Even my non-feral Rodney will swat me at a drop of the hat when he's had enough petting. I just love the picture of you, Caroline, with Meatie snuggled up to your head.

    They just all want to be loved, no different than humans. A WONDERFUL website for helping all animals release trauma or any kind, I've tried it and it's remarkable, even surprised my skeptic friends AND vet, is Tellington Touch. Check out: http://www.tellingtonttouch.com or Google Linda Tellington-Jones PhD (Hon), the founder. She started with horses and zoo animals. There are practitioners worldwide. An email is info@tellingtonttouch.com (I am not affiliated with them at all!) I just have used it with my traumatized, unseamingly unadoptable cats, with unbelievable results.

    Purrs from Laura, Tonkali, Lavendar, Rodney, Oliver, Sunshine, Luke, Bari, Andy, Inge and Cowboy =^..^=

  94. Marty says:

    Caroline: I just went to your flickr site, OMG, absolutely adorable pics of Meatie. Too bad we can' save them all! He is sooooo loved, and shows it in your pics…=^..^=

  95. caroline says:

    omgosh a poly tux manx!! INCREDIBLE! Poor fella. You did what you could for him.

    I have a semi tux man named Izzy–my alpha @ 17 years old. Awesome boy. I love polydactyls AND manx cats and I am a sucker for a good tuxedo!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/indee/4461632075/?ed

    Yes, the anesthesia issue at the spay/neuter clinic. I agree he needs alteration. It's for his own good. I'm still afraid of Meatie sometimes.

    Sounds like you've got a great system to aid the ferals and strays in your area. I have a HUGE collection of slee[ing bags blankets old towels, cushions and clothes that i line boxes with in the winter. Works great. Cats love to snuggle up in a small space.

    Thanks for all your kind words and helpful input.

    All the best to you.

  96. Becky says:

    Caroline,

    Such a beautiful story about Meatie. I too have dealt with feral cats. We had a calico feral cat around our neighborhood and it spent it's nights in the shed off the garage, only I didn't realize it at first. One day my dog "Britty" an Irish Setter, kept going to the garage door and whinning. When my neighbor and I went into the shed we saw the calico who immediately ran out of the shed. We were about to leave when we heard mewing. Under some planks we saw little tiny paws that belonged to a little grey and white kitten. Then some more tiny paws and out crawled a tiny dark tigered long haired kitten. Then a third set of paws which belonged to a little calico kitten. They were perhaps three or four weeks old. Rather than leaving them out there, we decided to bring them in so for two reasons. First we were afraid that they would become ferral like their mother.Second, there was a male coon cat who was also ferral roaming around the shed and we were afraid that it would kill the kittens. We tried to coax the mother to get her to stay with the kittens but no matter what we did we couldn't get her to come near the kittens. The worse thing was she looked just like a 20 year old cat that I had just lost….even the markings were almost identical. I spent hours trying to find her, but never saw her again. In the meantime, we were bottle feeding the kittens and getting them used to us. Long and behold, "Britty" was becoming very motherly towards the kittens and the kittens loved her! They would claw and play with Britty and she would wash and protect them. By the second week the kittens had actually caused Britty to lactate! Britty then took over the nursing and the kittens were content, happy and growing fast. We realized that the kittens were part Coon. When they were about 10 weeks we found homes for them and one (Cuddles) that my cousin has turned out to be the most cuddley, affectionate, and happy cat.

    Meatie at least has you to watch out for him. So many who are abandoned or neglected don't have anyone to watch out for them. You are right, if people neutered and spayed their cats it would help, but there are many that are just let go too. I live in the country around farm land and people are always dropping their cats off in this area. I guess they figure a farm will be a good place for them. Little do they know that these cats become so wild you can never domesticate them again. They go back to their natural instinct after having to fend for themselves. They don't get it that small farmers can't take care of all the cats!

    • caroline says:

      you are so kind to help the cast offs. it is out of control. WHY CAN'T NEUTERING AND SPAYING BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE?????????????????????

  97. Big Bob says:

    You are a good person.

    We've 10 cats that showed up over the years but only 1 was a true feral. It took about 6 months to gain his trust. He's part of the family now and all have been spayed/neutered and get annual checkups at the vet's.

    • Anonymous says:

      backatcha, BigBob! We've been smitten by the kittens!

      i love em all. But mostly the ones who are homeless and/or "unadoptable". Dear little creatures.

  98. krystal says:

    I left food out on my porch for strays when I moved to my new house because it was cold and I'd seen 2 wandering the streets.

    A little gray long haired cat would show up at dusk to steal food–one bite at a time. She'd take a bite, run down the steps, then creep back for more. I sit out on my deck all the time, even at night, so she was doing this when i was out there. If I even moved my hand, she'd run away and creep back after awhile.

    It took me over a year of feeding her and one day we opened the front door and she was laying in the sun on my porch! This was the first time I'd ever seen her during the daytime!

    I spent a lot of time outside with her and the first time I petted her, she turned and looked at me like she was shocked that I'd touched her and it felt nice! She started rubbing all over everything and ended up in my lap!

    Needless to say, she spent her days with me on the deck and when it was really hot, I kept ice water for her and I'd take cold wet rags and rub her down to keep her cool. (yes, she just let me do it). I finally decided it was long enough, I wanted her inside. I had 2 other cats already, so I wasn't too crazy about the fleas, etc. so I treated her, gave her a bath (she let me blow dry her fur!), and I kept her in my bedroom and she laid under the bed on a heating pad for a week or two and would only come out for me.

    Eventually, she got brave and came out into the living room and that was the end of her timidness. I've had her for almost 6 years now and her fur has grown long and fluffy and I call her my little monkey because she wants to be on me in some way ALL the time! If I'm standing 3-4 feet away, she will JUMP on me like a flying squirrel and climb up to put her head on my left shoulder. Besides, she knows I won't let her fall. Now, I can see it in her eyes when she's going to jump and I back away. She did have some problems a year or so ago and I had to take her to the vet. She was missing two canine teeth when I got her and they were broken off, and the stumps were black and infected and another canine tooth was infected too, so all 3 pulled and a few small teeth were bad too, but they were pulled and she was SO much better. Now she has one canine tooth left and she eats canned food and she is spoiled rotten.

    She has grown a little in size, I'm guessing she was small from malnourishment and she has never gone into 'heat' or 'season'. She has not been fixed, according to the vet, and she has never had babies, so we think her body just shut those down to stay alive and it never came back. She has never wanted to go back outside and right now, she's curled up in a furry ball sleeping next to me (my computer is on my lap, otherwise she would be!).

    I love her so much. I've had cats my whole life and she's the first cat I've ever owned who's like her. She is the most touchy-feely lovey cat I've ever seen.

    I don't know what I'll do when she's gone.

    P.S.

    I still put food and water outside every winter and build a kitty warm-house on my deck for the strays. (there is always at least one stray roaming around) I haven't had another stray stay around like this one did, but I'm here if they need me!

  99. victoria says:

    I like this story alot have read it over 3 times and each time it makes me cry. thank you for writing it.

    • i am grateful to the 2 people who asked me to write and to publish this story. I am privileged to be here writing…i know there are countless untold stories similar to Meatie's—as in the comment from Lin, just below yours. There are many wonderful, compassionate people giving of themselves, asking nothing in return to aid an animal in need. I am sure you too are one of those people; one of us.

  100. lin says:

    Thanks for your compassion…..I wish it was mandatory for every child in every school in the whole country starting in grade 1 – 12 to work in an animal shelter 1 day a week…the lessons learned could never match any lessons learned in school…would produce a whole different society of "human" beings….I have done what you did my whole life…..with ridicule from every so called friend, co-worker and every man I dated….having to hide my feelings of compassion for helping an animal in need has been the saddest thing in my life….and always doing it alone with no help from anyone

    • My dear Lin,

      You have my utmost respect and empathy. You should be proud you have so much love for the creatures we share the planet with. You have just not been around human beings who share your compassion: kindred spirits. My love to you and my gratitude to you for stepping up to the plate in a cruel world.

  101. heather says:

    this is great. i currently have 11 cats and heave had many more in my lifetime, all of which we have taken in off the streets and saved from the pound. and i think it is such a rewarding feeling to know that you saved a wonderful creature and made a great friend. Along with the fact that each cat has its own personality and you know they appreciate your love and kindness, it kills me that so many are put to sleep everyday.

  102. Marina says:

    this is such a beautiful story. it brought me to tears. thank you for sharing, and being such a wonderful human being.

  103. Dave says:

    God bless you.

  104. dana says:

    oh my gosh thank god for people like you! i love my cats sooooooo much i would help any kitty in need.

  105. Emily says:

    This is a beautiful story. I have been a cat person my entire life and have had many wonderful stories of outside cats.

    • caroline says:

      you should take pictures and share!!!

      I never dreamed so many people would be interested in Meatie's story and send so much love!

  106. Jill says:

    What you've done is amazing. I'm glad there's still caring people in the world, we are a dying commodity.

  107. Mel says:

    This story warms my heart, to know that there are people who really care, that will take the time from their busy schedules to tend to, what most people would think is unimportant. We are all put on this earth to help each other. The big and the little. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you made a difference. I commend you for your quest to get Meatie antibiotics. It payed off.

  108. Erint says:

    thanks for this story. I've never read one quite like this. I got my little Fattie from a barn and she hid behind the washing machine for a year . . . but as soon as I named her, 6 days in, I couldn't let her go. She had mites and fleas and gritty flea shit all in her thick coat and was so brown from dirt that I didn't realize she was a pretty tortoise girl with big dollops of orange and white. Gradually she'd run by me full speed. Then she moved under my bed, and even playfully pushed a tea-light around. Those very small, near imperceptible changes always gave me such hope that she'd turn out alright. It took her 5 years to really come around. Now she's 9 and lying all over my craft supplies drooling and purring away . . . thanks again for your story.

  109. Debra J says:

    He looks so happy laying in the clothes with you.

    I am so happy to see that there are other people who are happy to get just that small amount of affection returned from such a frightened animal and with that patients came his gratitude and his love…. Bless you for being such a caring person. All my animals I currently have 2 dogs and 2 cats are all rescues and that's who I feel loyal to are the ones that need our help. Please keep us updated with meatie and how he's doing with you.

    • caroline says:

      thank you, dear!

      i posted some links below to some new photos of Meatie. He disappeared for 3 months, April-June. I cried every day and walked the neighborhood area calling him for those 3 months. then showed up one morning in his apartment skeletal and beat up with a terrible wound to hi rear leg. I am STILL working to get him healthy again. He is more affectionate than ever!

      his name should be Gulliver.

  110. Caitlin says:

    I have a 4 year old feral cat that I rescued from the animal hospital that i worked at. he was thrown from a car when he was just a month old and his right arm was broken. This arm just hangs there making him look like he's saluting. We have discussed removing the arm all together, but i doesn't bother him in the slightest. This little bogger is the best thing that ever happened to me. he loves to cuddle and be petted but make one wrong move and he'll be all over your face. he hates strangers but fell immediately in love with my boyfriend after only meeting him twice. earning a feral cat's trust is hard, but in the long run its so worth it :)

  111. Shari says:

    That is a Beautiful cat!

  112. Marlene says:

    This is amazing..thank you for sharing and taking care of the pretty cat. Animals are so special they deserve our care

    • Thank you, Marlene! He's pretty now, but he been through many illnesses and injuries from life on the street. Now his happiness and contentment radiate from his big sunshine face.

      our best to you for stopping by!

  113. Sanjay says:

    Excellent story. Keep up the good work. He looks like a very happy cat when he is with you.

  114. caroline says:

    A sincere and slobbery "thank you" to everyone who has stopped by to read about Meatie and leave a comment. I know we are all kindred spirits.

    Love to you and yours from Caroline & Meatie!

  115. Mavis says:

    Thank You Thank You Thank You…What a beautiful story. Meatie is alive and well because of your love and kindness. God Bless You. The bible says: Blessed is the person who cares for the life of his/her beast. Still true today. :-)

  116. Rebecca says:

    i have an Old cat, the owner passed away and it is very scared of people. What can i do? I also may not keep it anylonger due to my dog.

    • caroline says:

      it takes time and patience. just keep being kind and feeding it, hopefully he/she will come to trust you. Sometimes it may never happen. If you truly can't keep the cat, please find a no-kill shelter in your area where it can live out it's natural life safely. And make a $$ donation if you can! Good luck.

  117. Linda says:

    oh i just love this story. you are an angel sent from heaven above. it pains me so to see a homeless cat. there is one now in my area that i can't help, other than setting out water for it. there were two together. two black ones. maybe a mom and teenager. now i only see the one. it comes out of the shrubs across the street from my house every night. my dog barks like crazy at it. i wish i could help it. actually i just remembered two more. haven't seen them much lately though. i think one is living at the house next door. i doubt the man feeds him or notices him. i did resuce an orphaned baby kitten about two years ago and that is a miracle. i have to take expensive allergy medicine to keep it but i love love love having a cat indoors. i wish there was an easy way to take care of the others. i don't have a porch so that makes it difficult. meatie is precious.

  118. Joanna says:

    This is just an amazing story. It too, brings tears to my eyes. My husband and I rescured three feral kittens in Febuary of this year. They were approx 12-14 weeks old. We had to trapped them and we bought them home. It has taken months and months for them to trust us. They are now 9 months old and have been netured (eventhough the vet almost lost an arm in the process)lol. They come running when we come home from work, sleep on our bed and are very nosey. However, in my option, I think they will always have a fear of humans because one loud noise, sudden movement or stranger in the house and they are off under the bed. I guess with time, they may one day come to trust humans but for now, I love them just they way they are and they are provided with everything they could ever want. To have found them and have them in our home, is truly an honor.

    • caroline says:

      THAT is a wonderful story and a house filled with love. They may always be skittish, but since they are young, I'm thinking they will come to feel at ease and totally trust you.

      You are so kind to take them in and work with them.

      Best wishes from me & Meatie!!!

  119. bel says:

    Usually it is the cats who bring tears to my eyes. This time it is your big heart & love for Meatie, Caroline. Your dedication reminds me of the fable about the woman who learnt the patience to pluck whiskers from tiger.

    This world needs more compassion for everyone.

  120. Ain Porcelain says:

    it's wonderful..!

    oh Meatiee the round face feral ;P

  121. connie says:

    This is a wonderful story and thank you for helping an innocent victim. I too found a feral stray kitten (very small)in a drain pipe at my neighbors house. We finally became friends and I had her spayed. When I moved out of town, I put her in a carrier and took her with me. She has become a great house cat but still hides when strangers come around. She has never purred but shows me her love in other ways. Thank you again for your kindness!

  122. Nikha says:

    God Bless you!! It is stories like this and people like you that keep me believing in humanity. So many people would have turned their back on a stray and never given it another thought but it takes a heart of gold to take time to care about another living thing that way. Thank you! Give Meatie some love from Michigan :)

  123. ellen says:

    I love the story & the supportive e-mails as well. I've had kitty companions for many years–all strays. 3 of the ferals are now "jello cats"–they can relax and be like jello when carried or held. (For decades I did paid work caring for wild and domestic animal species. My formal studies focussed on animal behavior, motivation and learning processes.) I now do work as a cat behavior consultant and, rest assured, I've found there are many other very caring people around us.

  124. Zoe says:

    Such a beautiful cat and you are a wonderful human being. God bless you both!!

  125. riki yoko says:

    Bless your heart; its not everybody that is brave enough to shower love and compassion on a feral cat. We feed about 40 ferals in the Ballito area ( north Coast of KZN, South Africa); we have them neutered and spayed and they get treated by a local vet when need be. We trap them for medical treatment and the babies are handreared until a suitable home is found for them. Caroline, you are a living angel, you will be blessed. Give that boy a big kiss from me!!He is adorable..

  126. anche says:

    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_Qogq3ys5M8M/S_ANHKyTrtI/AAA

    precious!

    best wishes to both of you!

  127. Bon says:

    I loved the story of "Meaty". I've been feeding a stray black/white Manx cat for a few weeks. I thought it was a male at first but I now believe that she's a spade female. She had a collar on when she first started coming around but, as it was getting tight, I took it off her. She's friendly but cautious & tries to come in my house.

    I have another 12 yr. old female who is mostly an indoor cat who doesn't like the idea of this intruder eating on her patio but she hasn't been able to convince her to leave. I hope I can tame this pretty kitty as she seems healthy & I think would make a good pet.

    • Honestly if i found a cat with a collar on, i would make a sincere effort to locate the owner. Think how sad you would be if your kitty was lost! In my town, the newspaper does not charge to run a "Found pet" ad. You could also put posters up at your local humane society or animal shelter and pet food stores. I hope this story has a happy ending however it urns out. Thank you for stopping by@!

      Caroline

  128. caroline says:

    i think i would place an ad in the "Found Pets" column to see if i could find its owner first.

    I have a black & white stubbie manx who has been my companion for 17 years now. He has a most unusual athletic physique to this day.

    They are very special! Hope you get to keep her, but someone may be crying their eyes out.

  129. cousin says:

    Bravo !! Ca fait chaud au coeur de voir ce genre de choses surtout avec ce que l'on entend sur les abandons en cette période de départ en vacances :) ce monsieur est un grand Monsieur !! Longue vie à lui et à ses protégés .

  130. Katsonya says:

    I love you and I love Meatie.

    I am a feral cat rescuer who has also seen the merits of saving one feral cat at a time. Sadly, my city has over 300,000 stray and feral cats, so despite my personal acheivement of rescuing (or TNR'ing) 343 cats in the past 4 years, I feel my efforts have barely made a drop in the bucket to the relatively large problem.

    Any human being who thinks it is a good idea to get a free cat needs some serious education, because many so-called owners do not take care of the pet, leaving it either unaltered and allowing it to produce multiple litters, or straight out abandoning it to fend for itself.

    If everybody would spay and neuter their cats, there would not be such a large population of unwanted cats on the streets.

    Thank God for citizens such as yourself, who cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the creatures suffering in your back yard.

    I pray that Meatie soon figures out that inside the full house is just as safe as his apartment, so that he can enjoy the luxury of beds, couches, chairs, everything a spoiled cat should have!

    Thank you so much, your story moved me to tears. I would love to email you directly.

    Sonya from Healing Animal SCARS

    PS: if you lived in my area or had been in touch with me, I would have told you to use a humane trap to capture him safely, then transport him to a vet to be sedated before they started treatment on him. My vet and I have developed a program where the cat gets tested for FeLeuk and FIV, spayed or neutered, then fully vaccionated and given parasite treatment before they wake up!

  131. Bean says:

    Blessings to you for your compassion and commitment!

  132. Judith McLeod says:

    Thank you so much for caring for Meatie. Your story brought me to tears. I, myself, have 12 rescued cats. I fostered and bottle fed most of them as tiny motherless kittens. Others came to me from the streets. If only people would spay and neuter their animals. It breaks my heart also when I see cats who are suffering. I do what I can with a friend of mine. God bless you. You are an angel.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you for your kind words and understanding, Judith. I feel blessed to have Meaatie in my life. This experience has really changed me as a person.

      Caroline

  133. Kiki says:

    It's a love/hate relationship, these touching stories makes me so happy and sad at the same time. I'm just sooooo glad he found you and you are willing to take such good care of him, he looks like a beautiful, healthy cat! Sooooo adorable I'd never think he's vicious.

    • caroline says:

      Kiki,

      Meatie gets sweeter every day. He is very healthy right now. Makes me wonder about the potential each and every homeless cat has to be a loving pet and companion. Wish i could give them all a chance.

      caroline

  134. Angela says:

    What a beautiful story! Bless you for taking care of this handsome kitty!

  135. Linda says:

    oh dear i wish i had a porch. i just found a little black kitten who has been wandering the area for a week with an icee cup on it's head. the kind with the bubble top. a week! my neighbor finally caught it and got the cup off. i put it in a cat carrier with a little food and water and sat it in the shade out front. when i went back it had eaten all of the food. i gave it more water. i called the local no kill (always full) shelter and they won't be open until tuesday! now what do i do? the mother cat and her other kitten were with this one for awhile. i think they have been wandering the area for a few weeks. but its two parking lots and two busy streets. i don't know how this little has survived. i thought about taking it across the street and putting the carrier in woods or bushes but i hate to let the poor thing go. i can't afford it so i have no idea what to do.

    • caroline says:

      Linda,

      I am sure that your situation has resolved by now. I would be in a tizzy too—i guess feed the kitten till the shelter opened.

      At least you tried.

      caroline

  136. kacee says:

    thank you for taking care of Meatie and Teeny…so glad you gradually earned Meatie's trust and sadly Teeny passed away but my heart is happy to know you were there to care and love them. Meatie has a huge, adorable head, so the name was fitting :)

  137. Jenny says:

    There is something about orange cats! I love ALL those pictures! What a CUTIE!

  138. Denise says:

    this made me cry too, when I lived in a house we had 5 indoor strays and 4 outdoor. two feral.One we called Bullhead because of his large tom head.He would come every couple of days and never came closer than 20 ft.until we left so he could eat his food.one day he brought with him this large kitten who could not make it on his own, he was scared and hungry.It only took 3 days for him to let me hold him, a week for him to move in. We never saw Bullhead again, thank's to him I have the most loving big gentle cat ever.He wasn't a stray he was a throw away. I can't understand that,I feel lucky I was the one to catch him.

  139. Linda says:

    I'm so happy that Meatie has a comfy home!

  140. wilma watson says:

    i like this story of "Meatie"

  141. joyce says:

    ♥♥♥Love this story …

  142. Cath says:

    What a wonderful story. I think you are a really wonderful person for looking after Meatie. He is lovely

  143. Kim says:

    I just love this story!! I have a soft spot for kitties, especially big orange ones. It is so wonderful that you were able to form a relationship with Meatie, even if it took some time.

  144. Tracey says:

    What you have done for Meatie is just beautiful. You've given him what every domestic animal on earth deserves – love, care, shelter. My heart absolutely breaks every time I see a homeless cat at a drive through window or in other places where they can forage for food. In heaven, all animals will be well cared for and loved, just like Meatie.

  145. ORPHA DESS WILSON says:

    YES, YES, GOD BLESS YOU AND MEATIE~SO THANKFUL FOR SOULS LIKE YOU~I HAVE A FEW FERALS I FEED AND SOME RACCOONS~

  146. Alex says:

    2 years ago, a stunning black longhaired female turned up in our yard, looking for a specific sort of trouble. She found it…and summarily had 4 children, one of which is presently attempting to dissect my leg. It isn't easy to win the trust of a feral cat, but you certainly seem to be on the right track. Nori, as she is now known, was taken in by my neighbor, and later produced another 8 before finally being spayed. She now lives with her eldest son from her last litter, while her eldest daughter from her first, Ziva, lives here…and is still trying to rearrange my leg.

    • caroline says:

      alex

      I hope your wounds are healing! LOL.

      Cats have to figure out their boundaries with humans—that can only come from being around them. Kittens are always clueless. I brought another cat into my household about 2 years ago—a beat up young tom. I neutered and innoculated him. He had never been in a house and was perplexed by furniture, He refused to get on the couch or chair, was panicked if i got my face close to him and bit me when i petted him. OMgosh you should see him now. i have to laugh while i write this, I can't get him away from me. Everywhere i go, HE goes. He kisses me and lays n my lap—touches me with his paw. He even jumped in the shower with me. HAHAHA that was so funny!

      Anyway, time will tell. I've been told some cats NEVER get over their fears. I guess it is all according to what has happened to the cat before a kind person befriends them.

      Best wishes!

      Caroline

  147. Neil Corwin says:

    Excellent story !! We would be happy to publish any of your writing on our soon to be launched site(aprox one month)…nice job. info@cathugger.com

  148. Kathryn says:

    Love your story. I had an almost identical experience with a red tabby. I fed my boy in the yard for a couple of years. I don't know how he survived. I finally trapped him for innoculations, etc. & released again. Finally, a tame stray showed up and Pookie fell in love with him. The tame stray (Big Boy) came inside when winter came and Pookie followed. Pookie hid from me in the basement for another couple of years and finally the day came when he let me touch him – then he was in love with me!!! He became the best, most loving cat I EVER HAD. He became loving, trusting and grateful for the life I gave him. He loved me and showed it more than any cat I ever had!! We were together until FIP took my boy. I will never forget that very special little survivor. I gave him a home but he gave me a life!!! Never give up on your boy!!!! Kathryn

    • caroline says:

      A true love story that will remain in your heart forever.

      I feel that loving Meatie has made me a better person. Watching him change and warm up to me has really been a humbling experience.

      I am privileged to be able to love and care for him.

      Caroline

  149. Celeste says:

    I love your story about Meatie. I took in a feral tom several years ago that was sneaking in my friends dog door at night to eat. He was ratty and beat up looking and is FIV positive. But now he is my buddy and even likes to snuggle (and purrs!) But like Meatie, my Burglar has his moments where I'm thinking please dont bite me.

    • caroline says:

      I assume Meatie is FIV+ too. I will care for him no matter what comes up. Right now he is doing great. Recently had an abcess from a cat scratch and it healed really fast. I feel Meatie is in relatively good health. One day at a time around here….

      thanks for commenting

      Caroline

  150. Hassie says:

    Such a beautiful story. As hard as it has been, Meatie knows he is safe with you. Whatever happened to him before he met you, now he knows safety, kindness and love. You have blessed his life with your kindness. Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. He is a beautiful boy. God bless you both.

  151. cassandra says:

    i cant express my heartfelt love and appreciation for your story. you made my day. thank you :)

    cassandra

  152. Lisa says:

    What a beautiful, heartwarming story. Every animal wild or not deserves love. I like you try to help the strays around the neighborhood. We get nasty winters up here by the Lake in Ohio and I just can't imagine any animal out there trying to survive in the deepest of winters. Thanks for sharing your story and I hope you and Meaty have many happy years left together…..

  153. Anne says:

    Wonderful story. I also adopted two feral cats and they live with me and my big dometic tabby. He treats them like annoying younger sisters and we all get on well. Only when people visit do I remember they are not tame as they disappear in a flash. All those poor cats out there just need a loving home. Caroline, thank you for sharing your lovely story.

  154. Linda F. says:

    Your story (and Meatie's) was both heartbreaking & heartwarming. I hope he's still resting his head on your lap and purring his love and gratitude to you. You deserve it. So does Meatie. :) Linda

  155. danzer says:

    … great story … brought a tear to my eye … hugz to you and Meatie

  156. Krista Taylor says:

    Hi Caroline, Meatie is a beautiful boy boy! It sounds like you live in a climate that's cold in the winter. Have you looked into one of the pre made feral cat shelters? Feral Villa is a good one for 65.00. It will fit on your front porch too. You can line them with hay or something like.
    http://www.feralvilla.com/

  157. Beverly says:

    I love learning about people like you, I am so encouraged that there are so many of us coming "out of the woodwork"… you are an absolute angel… your story brought tears to my eyes. I recently moved to a new apartment and there is a feral mamma and three kittens that I started feeding on my deck. The kittens have grown and look healthy, and aren't nearly as frightened of me any more… but still won't let me touch them. I haven't seen mamma in a while and worry about her. I will always keep food and water out for anyone who is hungry… I also set up three carriers with waterproof covers and soft towels inside for when it gets cold… it hurts my heart to see these precious babies out there, they've never known love, and I want to give it to them so badly… I have six kitties of my own, all rescues, and the love they give me is the most wonderful thing of my life. God bless you for being the wonderful, caring and loving person you are for these precious babies.

  158. Minna Marttinen says:

    Love from us, one human, two ex-stray cats and one adopted from an alcoholic home. What a gift it is for us all to heal each other and see love & trust grow. May peace reign on Earth : )

  159. melanie miller says:

    Thank you so much for being the kind of woman you are!! Feral cats need us so badly and you actually TOOK THE TIME to make a tremendous difference here. You are giving him love and a reason to live. A very comfortable life indeed! God bless you, God bless Meatie. Thank you!!!

  160. Gerry says:

    Hi Caroline,

    I love reading about your relationship with Meatie. It is so sweet of you to take care of the big guy.

    He reminds me of our feral cat Wild Cat. Although he is gone now, I will never forget him. He died of kidney problems. Near his last days, I would inject him with fluids to keep him strong. The vet taught me how. I thought I wouldn't be able to do it, but if something needs to be done, you do it, right. I was only able to kiss his head and face during this time.

    I will be praying for your little big guy :-)

  161. Chimmer says:

    Hello! Your story is so touching! Where I live we get a lot of strays.Its heartbreaking to think of them on their own..cold,hungry,scared,in danger.I also have an orange kitty who was a stray.His name is Kitastrophie 8)) and he has became my best bud.I dont have to tell you how amazing it is when they trust and love you.TY for being there for Teeny & Meatie.

  162. Blue says:

    OMG Caroline! Your story breaks my heart but it also swells with gladness because you have spent so much of your time and energy to help this poor soul. He's not poor anymore! You are a special person to take on the care of Meatie and make his life better. He looks fabulous and we can see that you have done your best for him and he knows it. We can see his appreciation for what you've done for him in all of the pictures. WONDERFUL!

  163. Susan says:

    My former feral cat is Mr. Black and White. It took me years to get close to him, went through the trying to medicate a cat that lived outside. He's been my buddy since 2001-he now spends most of his time inside, loves to lounge on my lap and be snuggled. However-if there is a loud sound of a stanger in the house and in a flash he's out the cat door! These cats have been through so much…What they give back to us is to be treasured!

  164. shar says:

    They have cat traps that I use all the time to trap ferals and take them in to be fixed/vaccinated etc…..it doesn't hurt the cat…..you put food at one end and then they go in for the food and step on a platform and then the door shuts at the other end…..

    Once the cat is in the trap cover it up so the cat will think it is hiding and stay calm….

    You should get one and take Meaty into the vet where they will tranquilize him while still in the trap and then get a complete check up…..and fixed….etc….

    Cats can be in a lot of pain without you even knowing about it.

    also, I get herbal/holistic medicine from http://www.onlynaturalpet.com

  165. Olivia says:

    This has got to be one of the most beautiful stories about cat rescue ever! It brings tears to my eyes to read about how you loved him so unconditionally even after he scratched you! I guess it's because you understand that he is doing that for self defense and from fear, not from hate. He is the most beautiful kitty and I can see how loving he is towards you! All those photos are great :) It was very sweet that him and his companion chose you like that, I bet they did exactly that. Chose you. Even sweeter that his companion was a boy too! Very sad that he passed away but at least he was loved and cared for by you.

  166. Carey Kravitz says:

    You are a saint! It's sooo sweet to see people who truly care about animals, even feral ones. Meatie is very lucky to have someone like you in his life. So many people would give up on a cat like him. He appreciates it, you can be sure of that! Even if he never showed ANY thanks at all, you are still doing the right thing! Animals like meatie and teeny need our help, whether they are feral or not. The reward is always the knowledge that you have helped an animal in need. Everything else is just icing on the cake! Take care, and thanks again for being such a good person!

  167. beth says:

    God bless you, my dear! I have a very similar story with another lucky orange tabby, aptly named Orange. Thank you for sharing!

  168. Mary says:

    What a heartwarming story! I'm SO glad you didn't give up on Meatie, and ultimately saved his life. Your "reward", I know, is his affection, no matter how limited. He's also a beauty; I would have fallen for him at first sight:)!

  169. Theresa says:

    Great job, Mom! Hope Meatie is doing well these days.

  170. Sharon says:

    Terrific story, well told! Love your photographs, too. I feel like I know Meatie too. I have a similar visitor, and I feed him and open my car window (in an enclosed carport) in the winter for him to sleep. I do worry about my 3 indoor/outdoor cats as they are not peaceful neighbors, but so far, he has been hale and hearty. Something I have not done is name him. After reading this, I can't wait to find the perfect one. :)

  171. Demitria says:

    Oh what a WONDERFUL surprise to find of my favorite flickr cats AND humans here!!

    I can't ever even THINK about Meatie without smiling and feeling happy inside. He is truly a GIFT to everyone who is fortunate enough to know him!!! Thank you, Caroline AND Meatie!

  172. Diana says:

    This story made me cry. There was a neighborhood feral cat that my parents would occasionally feed. She was a beautiful grey cat with huge green eyes. She would come and greet me every time she saw me, but I was never able to get close to her to pet her. One day my father found her dead on the sidewalk in the winter. Not sure if it was something she ate or she was just sick. But I still think about her everyday.

  173. th says:

    it's the most beautiful story and best relationship betwen you and cat!

  174. Claire says:

    Thank you for sharing this truly moving story. God bless you and Meatie, and may you have many more wonderful years together. It's people like you who give me faith in this world.

  175. Amanda says:

    We have a little feral cat outside that lives on our back porch named bandit. A beautiful black and white boy. He doesn't go tom catting about like the males. He just stays on our porch waiting for his meals. Running whenever the door is opened. I wish so bad to tame him. He's such a pretty cat. He'd find a home in no time. I've built him a apartment on the porch like you did. And I dream of the day I could even get a pet from him.

  176. Jamie says:

    Caroline,

    Just browsed by this site for the first time today and read your article. Your tenderness brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for being out there every day and representing the good in all people. As a cat lover I am eternally grateful for your efforts.

  177. Nancy Nickle says:

    Your story makes me feel not alone in what I have done over the years for ferals and strays. Ferals are a special kind of cat, even working with them you can't make they domestic. I have four ferals that I caught as kittens. The two females I can't even touch. The males however are less feral and let you love them. My journey with cats is something I had to do. They all would have died without my help.

    So I understand about Meatie. He is a beautiful boy!

  178. Lori says:

    I have read many many stories on this site and have shed a tear or two over some but this is the most heart warming, tear jerking story I have ever read here. Thank you for being so loving and may God have a special place in Heaven for you and Meatie

  179. Melissa says:

    How wonderful. I also have a feral, "Mother Mary". Born to a stray or feral in the summer of '09. Neighbors and I fed them all until only Mary remained…and always stayed nearby. Until last spring when I saw she was pregnant. I finally got agressive, set a trap and caught her immediately. 4 days later, 6 healthy kittens, all of which Mary let me immediately hold and begin socializing. 5 kittens found wonderful homes, one is even now a therapy cat! "Mother Mary" (catholic school influence on my boys) and her daughter Rosie are family members now, along wilth my 9 year old cat Brandy. ALL ARE LIVING PEACEFULLY together now. It has been a long, slow, hard process but well worth it. Couldn't imagine our home without Mary & Rosie. Mary is the sweetest cat I have ever known. Still difficult to hold, but we are working on it and progress everyday. She follows me like a puppy and comes when I call her name. She sleeps on the bed with us but is still somewhat fearful. Please everyone open your heart to a feral, no greater reward.

  180. Julie says:

    I wish we had more people like you to care for the abandoned ones. There are far too many of them. I, too, feel partly responsible as a human being for what others have done to these animals. I volunteer in a shelter and do what I can to comfort the innocents that come in.

  181. June says:

    What a touching story. I manage 2 neighborhood feral cat colonies, and I have a lot of experience with feral and stray cats, so I can tell you that you don't need to wait on someone to give you a special antibiotic powder to put in a feral cat's food. You can take antibiotic tablets and mash them into a powder, and then work them into wet food. Also, many vets can give you a liquid antibiotic that you can also work into food. And amoxicillin, the most widely prescribed antibiotic for cats, also comes in caplets with a loose powder inside. There are many different options, but nearly everything can be crushed and mixed into wet cat food, or even tuna or sardenes, and the cat will eat it.

  182. Deboraha P & May says:

    I love your story about Meatie. God Bless you both. Maynard came to me the same way as Meatie did to you. I now have a big Orangie named Cruiser (looks like Meatie but with long hair) and he has his harum of 5 girls and they did have several litters this year until Cruiser got FIXED in Oct. I would like to suggest that you fix him (and your other kitties) some Chicken Liver Soup (chicken livers, carrots cut fine, meat from chicken legs, cooked in chicken broth, then add instant rice). This is great for helping their immune system and giving him 9can be reheated in microwave) a warm meal on cold days.

  183. Tammy Wynn says:

    Thank you for sharing Meatie's story. He is such a handsome fella. I to found a feral kitten. She was covered in motor oil. I was able to catch her and take her straight to the vet and he said that it looked like someone had tried to drown her in motor oil. Anyway she was about 8 weeks old then and now she is pushing 14 years. She has been inside my house since the day I found her but she is still very fearful of everything. I feel so bad for her, but I know she is healthy and well fed and warm so we just let her be. She does come to me sometimes to get a scratch on her head but I can't hold her. She can be sweet to me but no one else ever sees her at all. Sometimes we have to settle with what they feel they can give and just love them. Bless you for being such a loving mommy to Meatie!

  184. Catluver129 says:

    Thank you Caroline. Thank you so much. God bless you and Meatie. I am reading this article at work, and it brought me to the brink of tears. You've done something very amazing, and it is people like you that makes this world a beautiful place. I once watched a foreign film about domesticated pets, and in the film they mentioned that to us, these animals are part of our lives, while to the animals we are their entire life. So what you did was truly amazing, as you've turned this cat's life around and gave him his life back. Cheers and best of luck to you!

  185. Caroline says:

    I couldn't help but cry reading this. There are feral cats in our neighborhood that I try to do the same things for. It's very hard because of a city ordinance that results in very high fines when city officials/animal control find my feral cat shelters or food bowls outside. Everyday I'm afraid I won't see one of them. Year round I put a capsule l-lysine powder into their food to boost their immune system. During the summer, some d-earth too to help with intestinal parasites. I try to keep any of my indoor cat's antibiotic drops in case of emergencies but the vet is really now help other than that. It's very hard to find people who will help me. I wish more people like you lived in my neighborhood. It's very hard to watch these cats pant in the summer heat and get frostbitten ears during the winter…

    • i tell you what, every time i come back to see if there are new comments i am brought to tears by the stories, the well wishes and the kindness of the people who read my story.

      I am so grateful for this opportunity and for the privilege of caring fo animals in need. My heart is overwhelmed with compassion and love.

      It is so sad to lose the battle of illness and injuries, but the joy outweighs the heartache. thank you everyone for the encouragement and kind thoughts.

  186. Caroline says:

    I know i typed a lot just now, but i just wanted to add it bothers me how many people think that a cat can always find food and warm shelter by themselves. I have no idea what has lead them to believe such a thing. True, the cats are helpless, and will find someplace to get out of the elements, but it doesn't mean its warm. Sure, they may luck up and catch a bird occasionally, but it doesn't mean its tummy is always full…

    • You are absolutely right. Domestic animals have a terrible time left to their own ability to find food and shelter. I only hope humans get smarter and more caring and stop dumping pets. We are responsible for these innocent creatures.

      thank you, Caroline!

  187. Angela says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. You both are beautiful beings.

  188. simone says:

    this is beautiful, i came across this story as i have got a kitten recently who is really "feral" he will bite, scratch my hands and try to climb my leg and is full of energy but i absolutly love him, so im trying to search for hints, this is lovely and i wish u all the best :)

  189. pumbie says:

    This cat must do exercise and undergo a liposuction!

  190. Jenny says:

    God bless you for what you did and do. It's wonderful story. Meatie is beautiful and very lucky cat. wish you both a wonderful 2011.

  191. erica says:

    thats sweet

  192. jennifer says:

    you're an angel to Meatie.

  193. texicat says:

    Hi Caroline…Meatie is one lucky dude! For winter, check out the heated mats for pets. They make them for indoor use and outdoor use. Safe way to keep Meatie warm. Designed to get warm when the cat gets on it and heats only up to their body temp. Got two for my outdoor cats and the LOVE it. Just google heated pet beds…but you just need the mat about $30.00

  194. Gloria Rego says:

    Hello Caroline What an amazing story, it brought tears to my eyes, May God bless you for all the love and devotion you have showed this cat…I have worked with ferals myself and will do anything to help them …Hugs to you and Meatie,He is truly a one of a kind cat . They have so much love to give and are so gratefull to be saved…Your pictures tell a story…Cats leave pawprints on our hearts.. Thank you for sharing…

  195. rosalyn says:

    he's so sweet and brave

  196. What a story. I'm shouting out. Check:

    [link]

  197. Charbar says:

    I read your story and cried. It reminded me of Kiwi the big gray feral cat that my husband & I took care of for a year. Sadly Kiwi passed just as he was begining to over some of his fear of us. I cried for days after he was gone. Bless you for being Meatie's guardian angel.

  198. Aimee says:

    What a lovely, sweet story! I myself have a Meatie, although his name is Loqi, after the law Res ipsa loquitor- "The thing speaks for himself." I am his fourth adoption after being picked up from the streets and continually being shipped to vets and shelters because his raging temperment and human mistrust. Even where my boyfriend adopted him, they had to sedate him just to get him in the carrier and he still caused some lovely claw damage. I was not there when he was adopted, but I was waiting when he got home. He hated the apartment, hid and howled and screamed at the other cat that was there. Did not want my boyfriend near. However I stayed because I was the cat person, and stubborn to make him feel comfortable. I had fallen asleep on the couch, felt this heavy thud on my chest- and the wild Loqi was asleep, curled in a tight ball. He still mistrusts many, and has a vicious bite as well as claw, but my little man is now an extension of myself. It's so amazing what patience and devotion does for such a cherished little relationship! Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  199. Sherol says:

    This is such a great story and one I can relate to. My husband and I do alot of cat rescues in Jacksonville, FL. This past summer we rescued and adopted out 19 kittens. We have an album full of pictures of every cat we have rescued. We have a brother and sister outside feral cats we began feeding over 10 years ago. It took us years before we could pet them. The have been fixed and have been loving outside companions.

  200. Tonya says:

    Thank you for being such a beautiful, devoted and courageous guardian for Meatie. Your story touched me deeply and you are an inspiration. Gentle pats to Meatie.

  201. Reg says:

    THERE IS LOVE <3

  202. Christine says:

    These cats need all the help they can get. It's very sad to see them lose their territory & get driven off & you never see them again.

    It's difficult when there are no TNR groups in your area to work with, but there is information online from groups like Alley Cat Allies. There is special equipment & techniques for handling feral or scared cats so they can go to the vet & get neutered. Once they're neutered, after a couple of weeks they no longer have the same urge to fight & are usually more tolerant of other cats. Less energy is spent roaming & they lose muscle, so the food they eat goes more to repairing injury & keeping warm. The more cats in the neighbourhood that get fixed, the better as diseases are mostly spread from cat to cat through bite wounds. It's good to preventing unwanted births too.

  203. Chris says:

    That's wonderful that your taking care of him. I manage a colony of feral cats and have found that even the older more aggressive males can become quite docile after they are neutered. I have adopted one who was previously thought untouchable but is now a total lap cat. Just wondering if you've had Meatie neutered?

    • the humane society told me he was too old for anesthesia. No he is not neutered. I wish i could do it myself. I know he would never roam of he was altered. I'm always scared to eat some overzealous TNR person will get a hold of him and that will be it. Meatie only lets me touch him.

  204. Ruth says:

    I am so moved by your care of Meatie!! I have a feral cat too and fortunately he was young enough to become an in house kitty. He is deathly afraid of men except one of my friends and my son. He is so very greatful for what I have done for him and shows it every day. He is a love-bug!! I now live in an apartment so I am not able to collect strays and ferals. I so miss that!! Thank-you for being Meatie's Angel!! My heart goes out to him!! I try to concentrate on all the good we can do.

  205. azazazaz says:

    Thank you for this wonderful entry. You've given me a bit more hope for my own little feral kitty.

  206. Peggy says:

    Bless you for caring for Meatie. I wish there were such a good home for every sick kitty-cat, and for each and every child in the world

  207. Helen says:

    I'm in love with Meatie! It's such a heartwarming story. The photo of the two of you napping together is really special. I can tell you are a very kind person. Best of everything to you two!

  208. didie_nabz says:

    that is a very beautiful story…im happy and smiling while reading it.. i encounter same thing, however, i neve miss feeding the stray cat at my back home… yet they still alfraid of human.. its ok to me and i will x stop feeding them…

    you done a great humanity job…:)

  209. Fiona Campbell says:

    I think Meatie is a very lucky boy. I had a wild cat who I managed to trap and neuter / vaccinate and have a tooth removed. He then got an eye infection but wouldn't be caught twice. After many months of gaining his trust, he had started to sniff my hand. Unfortunately we had a very large earthquake and I havent seen him again. I worry about him everyday and hope he comes back so that we can start the trust process off again.

    Fiona, Christchurch, New Zealand

    • caroline says:

      oh Fiona that is heartbreaking.

      I'm sorry to hear he has gone missing. But as i can see from your writing about him, he is a part of you, in your heart forever.

      Maybe some kind people have found him.

      Caroline

  210. Krista says:

    Aww. Meatie is very, very lucky to have you. We have 2 former ferals; oddly enough, they were befriended and brought home by one of our other cats, which made the socialization a bit easier. Nothing warms your heart more than watching a feral slooowly come to trust you.

  211. Avril says:

    What a wonderful person you are,I have the same thing a tom ginder and white cat has came to me,just like Meatie he won't let me touch himHe weow's at the windo when wanting fed,mt other 2 cats seem to dislike him and hiss all the time but i will see if he belongs to anyone before I get the sspca come pick him up.

    • caroline says:

      Thank you for caring. We all know that cats have an extremely hard life without the help of humans. they are domestic animals.

      You are doing good things.

      Thank you.

      Caroline

  212. Gale says:

    How wonderful that this thread has been kept alive for so long! I just found it by accident and it really resonated with me. I live in NYC and rarely see stray cats but we have 3 that we adopted from euthanasia lines. They are precious to us beyond comprehension or explanation. Just as Caroline's story brought tears, I find myself crying over every solicitation I receive, with the pitiful stories and winsome photos on the envelopes – I now contribute to at least 50 shelters because more fine me every day!

    • caroline says:

      the big picture makes me so sad, but i try not to beat myself up. I’m doing what i can do which doesn’t really make a dent in the problem, but God gave me Meatie. I try to raise people’s consciousness about “stray” cats. People need to have more compassion for animals across the board. In most cases Humans are the problem behind the results.

      I have made a no-kill shelter my beneficiary. They need all the funding they can get!

      Love to you,

      Caroline

  213. Joan says:

    Hi, Carolyn.

    Well, I'm thinking the name "Hagedorn" must mean "gentle, kind child of heaven" or something of the sort. I knew a John Hagedorn back in the 70's and 80's in Washington, DC when he worked for MCI. You may not be related to him, but your heart is every bit as kind, warm, and loving as his. May you be ever blessed for the goodness in your heart and I sure as heck hope Meatie is still alive (it's April 2011).

  214. omgosh what a beautiful story! we have a lot in common with our timid strays . I can't believe she let you blow dry her fur! Even the tamest cat is afraid of a hairdryer. I wish you and your little monkey many more years of love and companionship, and thank you for your patience and compassion. Love conquers (almost) all!

    Caroline

  215. the big picture makes me so sad, but i try not to beat myself up. I'm doing what i can do which doesn't really make a dent in the problem, but God gave me Meatie. I try to raise people's consciousness about "stray" cats. People need to have more compassion for animals across the board. In most cases Humans are the problem behind the results.

    Love to you,

    Caroline

  216. caroline says:

    Just a general statement to anyone who has written a comment in 2010:

    I am sorry i have just now seen your comments. I like to answer each and every one. Last year I cared for my husband in hospice at home until he died in Nov., 2010. During that time I was rarely on the internet. I had no idea people were commenting on my Meatie story! Oh how happy i am to see so many people reading it and commenting. I have to tell you all an amazing thing that happened. Meatie let my husband pet him! He actually walked out of his apartment to my husband who was sitting on the front porch. I looked on in awe! He is the only other human besides me that I know of who has ever been able to touch Meatie! Meatie hides from everyone except me.

    Now is that a love story or what?

    Thank you all so much. I still intend to reply to the comments.

    with gratitude

    Caroline

    • Ellen says:

      Caroline, I just now read your comment about how you had cared for your husband before his passing, and that makes what you've done for Meatie even more special and touching. You truly have a big heart, and it's clear you've been a blessing to all the creatures in your life. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I hope that your cat friends have helped to provide some comfort. I lost my husband over 15 years ago to cancer, and my animals have helped me cope with that and so many other challenges over the years.

  217. Jacqueline says:

    An amazing story, thank you for sharing. I worked at a shelter for almost 2 years and we got many feral cats in. Unfortunately, we were unable to help the adults but my boyfriend and I were always the ones who took in any feral kittens to foster. The ferals, even the fairly easily-rehabilitated kittens, were often overlooked as adoptable animals. Seeing a foster get adopted to a loving family was always a rewarding experiences, but seeing a foster grow from a feral, unadoptable kitten destined for euthanasia to a family pet really hits home. This article is wonderfully inspiring, kudos to you for helping that big, cheeky man Meatie and his friend Teeny, may he rest in peace; there are so many homeless cats and it is always the ferals seem to be overlooked.

  218. Serap says:

    love form Istanbul to Caroline and Meatie. :)

    I love and feel your story by heart. I have feral cats in my workplace's garden and take care of them. and I have had similar experiences with them all the time. lately I had such contact with a kitty, abandoned by his mother and having difficulty in trusting people. now he is a loving black cat, his name is Minimoy and getting closer to other people everyday. :)

  219. Ellen says:

    I love this story! Caroline, it is wonderful how you have gone out of your way to befriend and nurture this beautiful cat–how you have been willing to be with him on his terms. I take care of stray cats, on a property away from my home, and I always wish I could do more for them. At least I was blessed to tame one kitten enough that I could bring him home. His name is Toby, and brought much happiness to my home for over three years now. Blessings to you for all the good work you've done.

  220. Sylvia says:

    What a touching story!

  221. Tracey Brown says:

    You are a true inspiration; I know now that if I ever came across a feral, I would be able to help it. What one woman can do, another can do.

    You truly deserve a medal.

    Rock on, Caroline!

  222. Laura says:

    really heartwarming story, your dedication and love for him is beautiful.

  223. Cindy Delaurentis says:

    You r just like me with a great love for all cats ESP. feral. We have 15 cats that have been left behind by neighbors when they move. We sterilize them, vet them then if able adopt them to good homes or keep the ones we can't find homes for. I too have had my porch cats. Like you making shelters for them in the winter. We included our back porch 4 our cats & keep the litter boxes there & in the garage. We have cat doors every where. Last summer my husband bought a big play house for the feral cats in the back yard. They have a electric heater & air conditioner. Plus, he bought a big barn for the ferals that don't mix with the others. When our ferals pass, we burry them in our pet cemetery in the back yard. We name them all. For our house cats we keep them mostly indoors & have them cremated when they die. I have a trunk full of little pine boxes with their names & date of death. When I die I told my husband to sneak as many pine boxes as he can into my coffin. I am so touched by your story! As a ER nurse i can vouch for women who come in all the time with shredded extremities & bad infected hand infections from their cat bites & scratches. If you get bit by a feral or house cat especially on your hands go directly to your ER or clinic for antibiotics. This can be a true medical emergency if your bite or scratch gets infected.

    I will follow you on your flickr photostream & I hope you will look at my cat pictures too. May God watch over you & all your cats. I pray meaty will become even more socialized so u can fix him. I agree, you should publish your story. Cindy

  224. Sherry says:

    I just love that story. It reminds me so of our Big Grey. He too was abandoned and we fed him and medicated him best we could for several issues until he died a few years later. It is so nice to hear of others that feel they have to help out those kitties who are less fortunate than our own. Good for you. Sherry

  225. vix says:

    I just read Meatie's story, and am always grateful that there are big-hearted humans out there. Your work is greatly appreciated and very important. Blessings upon you and love to your fur-babies!

  226. angelica says:

    i absolutely love your story!!! thank you so so much for sharing!

  227. claudia says:

    Oh thank you so much for helping these cats !

    It is so rewarding to give these poor neglected animals a chance at life.

    People walk right by these poor neglected animals daily. If they knew how hard life is

    for these feral animals,they might help more.

    It can be done. My sister rescued a feral cat

    and it turned out to be her favorite cat and loving companion for years.

  228. Ted says:

    I think you are a great woman for helping Meatie. I also have two cats that I took in. One a beautiful Chocolate Himalayan male and a White and Tan Longhair Female. Sam & Cassie. A neighbor of my niece tossed them out of the house one day and never let them in again. Even kicking them when they tried to come back home. Sam was about 3 yrs. old and Cassie a kitten. Because of being a kitten, she became feral after a year outside. When winter came I couldn't stand seeing them freezing & starving so I told my neice if you could chatch them and get permission. I would take them in. I've had them for 9 years now. They are both healthy and spoiled indoor cats. Sam is in constant need of affection and when I go to work waits in the window till I come home. Cassie has a fear of humans. She stays in the closet when someone visits and I can't touch her. I have a 3 foot range that I can get near her. Other than that she is happy and plays with her toys and Sam. Sam has actually saved my life but thats another story. Good Health to you and your pets = Ted

  229. Dorothy says:

    Caroline, I just found your story. You are a SAINT. Best regards, Dorothy

  230. RedCat430 says:

    Beautiful story! Feral cats have a six sense to find people that love cats!

  231. tunafeather says:

    Awwwwwww what a wonderful story, it made me cry.

  232. Jen says:

    Thank god for people like you. You are a hero. Just look how hard you worked to get Meatie the antibiotics for his eyes.

    You are not a quitter, you keep on until something is done. I hope you have a wonderful, long life with your kitty.

    Thank you for all that you do.

  233. Judi says:

    Thank goodness for people like you. Meatie seems to know how lucky he is to have a home and a mom who loves him.

  234. Cyndi Dallow says:

    A beautiful story. I am currently caring for a feral cat. I believe he was once owned by someone in the neighborhood since he has been neutered. My problem is not that he is afraid but that he likes to many people. Not a shy bone in this boys body. I have tried to bring him in but if a window is open he tears out the screen to get back outside. Since I live in a condo town house complex, neighbors have complained of him digging in their gardens and have threatened to have him trapped. Not sure how to keep him in but working on it.

  235. Schley says:

    I love people like you. There is still love and goodness in the world.

    I have a big orange tabby that was a stray rescued by my fireman neighbor about a year & a half ago. He was in kinda rough shape too, but was only 6-8 months old. Now he is a two year old & we got him a little brother a few months ago. They have toys all over the house, sleep with us, and make my life happier in return.

    Sometimes it works out right.

  236. Kate says:

    Thank you for caring!

  237. Ashley says:

    Awwww Meatie’s story reminds me of our formerly feral now 9 yr old calico, Callie. When she was a kitten, she feared humans. A lady had rescued Callie & her littermates, who were living by a dumpster. Callie would growl, hiss & refuse to allow humans to pet her. We brought her home with us & my older brother worked with her. By the evening of the same day we brought her home,she let my brother hold & pet her. When she was just under a year old, she had her first litter of kittens & absolutely loved getting her belly rubbed while she was in labor! She has had other litters, all of which found great homes. We still have 2 of her offspring. Callie started out as a cat who feared touch & now she will get up in your face & meow until you pet her! :)

  238. Jenna says:

    What a wonderful story Caroline! I also brought a feral cat named Ampersand into my life. She is now 4 years old, and everyday she gets more and more lovey. She still hides around the apartment often, but she loves to cuddle. I’m amazed at how much she has grown to trust me. How is Meatie doing?

  239. Antonija says:

    Your story about Meatie has made me cry, honestly. You rule! And Meaty, too. Lots of love to you all.
    Antonija

  240. Debra says:

    This is a beautiful story. I hope Meatie is still bringing joy to you and you to him!!

  241. Maggie Crooks says:

    I seem to be turning into the crazy cat lady of my town. I had 6 cats of my own & rescued 3 others, one of whom was pregnant. So now I have 12. 3 beautiful little kittens, & nobody wants them. I have dealt with ferals for quite a few years & love them. It’s a challenge that is so satisfying when you overcome it, although many times only partially. 4 of my furbabies look a lot like your Meatie. I love orange tabbies. Blessings on you for taking care of him & Teenie.

  242. Kimmy Page says:

    … great story… *sigh* i have a boy named meaty too, but hims gone now… :(

  243. Kimmy Page says:

    .. ahhhh, hims one tooth… i can see it in the yawn picture… those gummies… :P xoxoxo I <3 Meatie ~

  244. Susan says:

    God Bless you for the love and compassion that you’ve shown these two animals. He knew where to send them when they needed someone. I know that they have been blessed, as well! Meatie knows that you love him and Teeny left this world feeling warm, fed and loved, as well.

  245. cami says:

    You are an angel for all you do for Meatie, thank you! he’s beautiful & I’m just so glad he has a safe home with you…even if it’s not in your house. To love a feral cat unconditionally is such a selfless act.
    We took in a feral as well but were able to tame her. I guess she was was never mean…as much as just plain scared. she might not have been fully feral but rather abandoned/abused. But she is certainly a wonderful cat now.
    I also have another cat who’s a ginger. His name is Tucker but I call him “Mama’s lil orange boy”…hehehe…his nickname is longer than his actual name! :)
    gOD bLESS YOU AND MEATIE! <3

  246. Christine says:

    Thanks for caring about Meatie.

  247. Lora says:

    Caroline you have a GREAT heart. We have to take care of animals.God gives You and Meatie his blessings everyday.My heartiest thanks to you Caroline for your effort to save Meatie.And I wish good health for Meatie.

  248. nat says:

    Meatie’s owner is a hero! god bless

  249. Vicki says:

    I loved this story so much. It touches my hear, I too have had experiences with feral cats. In fact my oldest now, Harley is 11 and he was a tiny sick feral baby when I took him in. On the brink of death he would barely let you near, but the emergency vet clinic and then several days in the hospital brought him around. We have been buddies ever since. There is no greater feeling than earning the trust of a feral kitty. Thank You for sharing!

  250. Stacy says:

    Hi Caroline! I just found this story and fell in love with Meatie! Then I found your last post and am now crying like he was my own. You are a beautiful person and if only more people were like you there wouldn’t be such lonely hungry kitties. I am so sorry about Meatie, he was gorgeous and you were lucky to have each other.

  251. Cindy says:

    Loved your story. I rescued 5 ferals who live with me, 2 who come inside and go outside (they were pregnant before I could touch them but I took them in when they were in labor and kept them with me for 12 weeks. I found homes for all the kittens and then had the moms spayed), and three additional cats who stay outside (also had them fixed). They have all turned into loving, sweet, warm, wonderful animals. Meatie reminds me so much of one of my “babies”…Thanks for all you do.

  252. Cindy says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss….Didn’t realize it when I wrote last comment. He was a lucky boy and you made his last years safe and warm….

  253. Ilonka says:

    Awwww… What a nice life Meatie has. My big Munch was a feral who we managed to trap, neuter and vaccinate. Brought him in and he hissed and spat in the guest room closet for a month. Then he started coming out for food and is now my constant purring companion. He took to indoor living and has no desire to go out again. Like Meatie, he has those gorgeous Tom-cat cheeks and loves to be petted and brushed. He’ll never be cold, sick, or lonely again.

  254. Regina says:

    Thank you for putting your big gigantic heart out there for this baby. I understand you completely. XOXO

  255. redsla says:

    This story has given me so much hope. We have cared for a feral cat for about 4 yrs now. Every winter we make a warm bed and this year my husband built Chablis a real house with insulation and a heated mat. It was up for a month and she loved it. THEN on New Year’s eve the gun fire and fireworks spooked her and she was gone, not to be seen for 15 days when she came back home, a little worse for wear. She picked right back up on her schedule of knowing when I would get her food. She is there every night when I get home and I just want her to know she is safe here and can stay as long as she wants. My poodle and house cat get along fine with her and they noticeably missed her when she was gone.

  256. Cory Raymond says:

    What a great story. Thank you so much for saving Meaty. He’s so adorable and you are awesome!

  257. Potato says:

    Oh Meatie, I bet he missed Teeny too bad he didn’t make it. … All my cats were ferals or abandoned kittens, nearly all of em are spayed now.

  258. What a great story. I wish you and meatie and your other kitties a wonderful life… : )

  259. Ilonka says:

    Caroline–I shed many tears reading your story and looking at the many gorgeous pics of Meatie. He was so special. I’m so sorry you lost him. He had a great last year or so of life and like all creatures, deserved to feel loved and taken care of. You inspired me to write my own story about my rescued feral. Happily, Munchie was young when I brought him in and is in good health and FIP negative. Hi story is here:

    http://deephoundthoughts.blogspot.com/2012/04/munch-from-feral-to-forever-home.html

    Thanks for all you do for your cats. They are so special.
    Ilonka

  260. Wanda says:

    what an amazing story of love and dedication.Iwas like a was reading my story . I had a Meatie once I name my Negrito .He got close to me we bonded and i know that in the time we spent he knew love

  261. Margarita says:

    You are amazing Caroline! Just pawesome!!! May you always be blessed for all your goodness!!! We need more people like you in this world!!! Big hug!

  262. Francine says:

    Bless your heart for taking in this beautiful cat in. He found YOU! I have a feral cat who found ME too. It was not as long as you that I could touch him, but after 8 months of soft whispers, food, coaxing, I finally was able to pet once his sweet little head before he scooted away. Little by little, like you, Cooper has become friendly and now spends most of his nights inside with me. He’s had a rough life too, poor baby. I’ve had him fixed and all cleaned up and he is my joy now. Thanks for saving your precious kitty.

  263. Monica says:

    Dear Caroline, I love your story, as how you went SO FAR, and above and beyond to help this cat because it helps to repair the parts of my heart that die for each cruelty story that I hear about. I too have turned many stray/feral cats around so that they now know the love of a human companion. I can never turn away a hungry and or lonely kitty in need. You have done such a wonderful thing for Meatie and
    you are an outstanding person. Thank you for being the person that you are and doing the wonderful things that you do.

  264. Brandi says:

    Wow, that sounds almost identical to my story with my adopted former stray, Paco. He is gray but he even has big round cheeks like Meatie! I couldn’t bare not to help him. We feed him daily and he has a little apartment made of rubbermaid totes (3-one inside the next that are lined in between with old blankets for insulation) with on the front porch that he now owns. He even stayed in my lap and we napped together on the front porch. It didn’t take Paco as long to tust me, but he is still pretty young. I do get swiped by his razor-sharp claws often when petting him, but he loves attention and I can’t say no. He comes in the house but never stays unless it’s the middle of winter. Plus, my other cat is an indoor kitty who is curious about Paco, but when Paco comes near Dexter gets scared and Paco thinks it’s time to attack so I can’t let him in unless the conditions are right for me to hover over him and protect Dexter. He does like dogs though, tries to rub his head on my three yorkies which they don’t understand. It’s pretty funny! It is tough, but who knows where they would be without a little love? Knowing their lives are better makes it all worth it and makes our lives more meaningful :)

  265. C says:

    Sweet Meatie!! Thank you for loving him & taking care of him, Caroline. It’s a wonderful feeling to nurse a sweet innocent animal back to life!!

  266. Monica says:

    God bless you for the special love and care you show this big guy. I feel a special connection with you and Meatie as I too have a “Meatie” in my life with basically the same story, only mine is “Bruiser” cause he was just so big and rough and tough. We were blessed though as Bruiser was in good health when I found him. But He was extremely scared of people and it took a lot of love..and FOOD before I could touch him. NOW, He comes in the house, jumps in the chair and stretches out all over me!! And hogs the chair. Now he has all his shots, and is neutered, he is now just the bigget lovey smoochy big old teddy bear. I hope Meatie is with you for a very long time, and now that Teeny is looking down on you both with love in his heart for you both.

  267. Amethyst says:

    He’s always sleeping. HAHA!
    SLEEPING LIKE A BOSS! :DD

  268. Terra W says:

    What a heartwarming story! Too often, people give up animals. They do not understand there are no bad cats, just bad experiences these poor animals have had. I adopted a feral cat after about a year of coaxing. He became the most loving, wonderful pet I have ever owned. Worth all the effort, the scratches and bites. God bless you!

  269. Christy says:

    Bless you for helping him. I wish more people in this world were like you.

  270. Cattywumpus says:

    Aww, I just read Meatie’s story – how lovely! Bless you for persevering and making such a difference in his life!

  271. nina lyn lansa says:

    great story God bless u and meatie :)

  272. Sandy says:

    We have a feral colony here that we have been feeding for over 13 years. We just lost the patriarch, Tiny boy, a beautiful tuxedo kitty. He was a cousin to our indoor boy Scrapper. We found Scrapper outside when he was just maybe 5-7 day old, his eyes were still closed. We brought him inside and hand raised him.Tiny and his siblings and cousins stayed near to the house, and some of them got to the point where we could pet and handle them. We did manage to get most of them fixed, and the rest were done in a TNR program. I miss our Tiny boy.

  273. Yati says:

    It’s really a great story. keep it up!!

  274. Sue says:

    I,m in the same position with a cat I’ve been taking care of for 4 yrs now. What was the medicen ( powder ) you were told to give your guy. Mine also has issues just like your cat plus his paw was broken a couple of yrs ago. It healed crooked so he walks a little funny. My goal is to bring him in before the snow starts to fly. I’ve spent many a sleepless night worrying about my Sylvester and he finally knows I’ll NEVER hurt him and always love him. He sits on my porch looking in the screen door as if to say ” Can’t I come in and live with you ” but I also have another cat and my husband and I have adopted a rescue dog. I’d love to get him as healthy as I can before I take him to the vet to get netured.

  275. Jeff says:

    Thank you so much for all you do for that beautiful cat, Caroline.
    And thank you so much for sharing your story about Meatie with us.
    Due to social networking there’s much more exposure to horrible tales of animal cruelty and neglect.
    It’s so nice to come across a story that depicts the opposite.
    This is a lovely example of how amazing humans can be when they take on a responsibility of caring for something greater than themselves.

  276. samuel and sheila crook says:

    you are the best. god bless you

  277. Bernadette says:

    Hi Caroline,

    I also take care of a feral cat. I call him scruffy. It has been 4 yrs now. I spotted him one spring day. We opened the garage door and he sprang out. He was a mess. I started to feed him and give him fresh water on a daily basis. When winter approached, I bought an electric bowl so his water would not freeze, and my husband built him a cat house filled with straw and placed it in our detached garage. The garage door is always left ajar for easy access. He comes up on our back porch to eat and drink. I can talk to him through the door, but as soon as I open the door he runs away. On hot summer days he likes to sleep in our and our neighbour’s garden. I am hoping that one day he will let me near him. I really enjoyed reading Meatie’s story. Thank you.

  278. jasmin says:

    absolutely lovely thing to do so happy another homeless cat is safe :,)

  279. Chuck B. says:

    I absolutely love this woman. There is no greater joy I have personally experienced that winning the trust and love of a feral animal. I’ve been taking care of a colony of cats that started feral, but have become my great friends. After 3 years, I’m finally able to pet one of the last hold-outs. I understand this fully. Great story and thank you Caroline.

  280. Ana says:

    I have a 12 week old feral kitten that hissed everytime I get close to pick him up. I took him only 2 days ago and I feel frustrated that he is scared of me. This story gives me hope that maybe in a year of caring for him he might change.

  281. Shar Prasad (@RenaStarluck) says:

    Hi Caroline, this story touched me like no other. It reminds me so much of a stray boy i used to look after
    Would love to hear an update about Meatie xx

  282. Gail says:

    Wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. You are a lucky lady. Bless you for accepting him on his terms, and I know how privileged you must feel when he plops himself down on you for a nap. There is NOTHING better, and purrs are my favourite sound in the world.

  283. Pearl says:

    Beautiful you are, Caroline, and so is Meatie. May God bless both of you :) Hugs.

  284. Tracy says:

    Wonderful story – a true cat lover – I would do the same! They deserve kind people in their lives. I have 3 cats, the latest ginger had been handed back to the rescue home by someone who just didn’t want him anymore. He hissed a lot initially but now he is so loving – it is so rewarding when re rescue them isn’t it!

  285. anne smith says:

    you are a wonderfull lady and the world is a better place because there are people like you in it,he is a beautifull cat x

  286. Lisa C says:

    I love this story. I have a cat that was about half feral when I found him. I was in real estate and showing an empty home when I saw the most beautiful cat sitting in the back yard, waiting for people to come out of the house. He had been abandoned. He was so nervous and scared and anxious. And he was dirty and SO skinny! I began visiting him regularly, bringing food and water. (He was living in a barn on the property.) One day fires broke out in that area and I knew I had to get the cat. I spoke to our vet, who told me how to medicate him so I could get him in the carrier. (Due to my own health issues, I had the medication.) So I mixed it in his canned food then waited til he became very relaxed. I then stood the pet-carrier on end, covered kitty with a towel, and gently dropped him in the carrier. It just so happened that the next morning we had an appointment at the vet’s office for our other cat. I just took the new kitty instead. It turns out he had already been neutered and was just dirty and a bit scrawny. I tried to find him a new home since at the time we had 3 guinea pigs, 1 rabbit, 1 cat, and a tank with fish and frogs in it. But I quickly fell in love with this beautiful new addition who to-this-day must be near me at all times. I thank God for leading me to “Whiskers”, with his gorgeous eyes and fancy tuxedo fur =^.^=

  287. iNovaa says:

    I would allow Meatie to eat me :P

  288. Kimmy says:

    .. How’s Meatie doing now? (years later), I still think bout hims… xoxoxox

  289. Vanessa says:

    Wonderful story, that made me cry.

  290. Angela says:

    That made me tear up. Thank you for showing such patience and understanding. Even when he hurt you. He is a beautiful cat!

  291. Teresa says:

    So how is he now? do you still have this handsome little guy? Thank you for all you’ve done for him, and for Teeny too. God bless you for caring and doing something to help

  292. Lydia says:

    Bless your heart Caroline! Thank you for all that you do to care for the homeless babies that needed help. You have given me hope. You are truly an inspiration. Thank you, with all my heart.

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