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Natasha was rescued in
1992. She was approximately 3 weeks old when we trapped her, her
siblings and her mother. All four of the babies were very sick with a
particularly virulent form of upper respiratory disease. Natasha was the
sickest and we really did not think she would pull through. Treating her
was extremely difficult because she was so wild! She fought us tooth and
nail and our hands and arms were ripped to shreds. One of the most
important things to do in this situation is to keep the cat eating. When
cats cannot smell their food, they will not eat it and that is usually
what weakens and ultimately kills them.
About a week after we had her and after
an exhausting bout of trying to feed her, she suddenly relaxed and
looked directly into our faces for the first time. After a moment, she
began to purr and started kneading with her feet. That defining moment
of trust was one of the most gratifying we have ever had!
Although Natasha has mellowed somewhat
over the years, she still remains very shy and aloof and only permits
the occasional contact. She was thus deemed to be unadoptable, and it
was decided that she would stay here with us where she feels safe and
very much loved. When we make a decision about the feasibility of
adoption with feral cats, we have to take into account not only the
desires of the future owner but also the amount of fear and stress this
would put upon the cat. With feral cats, we have found that the enormous
amount of stress brought on by adoption to a strange environment, (after
having already been displaced from their original home to the
sanctuary), can trigger serious illness and sometimes even death.
Therefore, the well being of the cat plays an large part in our decision
as to whether we should try to place them or not.
Many times feral cats are happier
remaining at the sanctuary with their "colony" as most often,
they prefer the company of other cats to humans. This was the case with
Natasha. She was particularly attached to her mother, Momma Bee, who was
one of the most feral cats we have ever had here. Therefore, we were
very concerned when Momma Bee lost her battle with cancer two years ago.
We didnít know how well Natasha would function without her. However,
she has adjusted well and actually has developed a better rapport with
the other cats since then. She has even relaxed somewhat towards us
without her motherís ever vigilant guard over her.
still cannot touch Natasha at will, we are at least able to medicate her
when necessary. We always live with the hope that some day she will allow
us to show her how much we love her. That day hasnít yet come. However,
even if it never happens, it is reward enough for us to know that she will
live out her days happy, healthy and well cared for in the safety of the
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