Thomas T’s Tail
Thomas T. is an adorable tabby and white boy who has been with us since May of 1997. A frequent visitor to the sanctuary had made a comment about the new kitten playing in the driveway. As we did not have any small kittens at that time, and if we did, they most certainly would not be running loose, we thought that perhaps he had mistaken one of our smaller female cats for a kitten.
The following morning, much to our surprise, we spotted this tiny little guy trying to make friends with some of the big cats. They were swatting and hissing at him and wanted nothing to do with him. We judged him to be about four weeks old. Somebody must have put him over the gate because we have a cat proof fence and it would have been impossible for him to climb it by himself – especially as tiny as he was. It was so sad because he was obviously looking for a mom cat to nurture him! As soon as he saw us, he quickly disappeared under our truck. We looked all around but couldn’t see him anywhere.
Throughout the day, we would catch glimpses of him but then he would disappear under the truck. As he didn’t come out the other side, we guessed that he must have been hiding inside it somewhere. Sure enough, when we crawled under it, we found his hiding spot tucked high up inside the truck. He looked at us with huge, alarmed eyes. There was no way he was going to come voluntarily and he was too far out of reach for us to be able to grab him. Sadly, it doesn’t take too long for these poor little guys to learn their distrust of humans.
For the next few days we left food and water by the truck so he would get used to staying there. We would occasionally glimpse him wandering through the woods, his tail held high – so tiny, so brave, so alone! Then one morning we set out a manual trap and quietly hid behind some bushes to wait. Patience goes a long way in this business! Thomas would climb down, take a look at the food in the trap and then climb back into his hiding place again. After about an hour of this cat and mouse game, the tempting smell of the food overcame his fear, so he plucked up the courage to walk into the trap! Success! Little stray no-name, no-sex kitty became Thomas T! We immediately had him vet checked. He was underweight, had parasites and also tested positive for feline aids. As this test is not accurate in kittens, we had to have him re-tested when he was six months old. Thankfully, he tested negative at that time.
Although Thomas adores the company of the other cats, he is absolutely terrified of people. Whenever he hears the sounds of strangers, he melts into the woods like a gentle ghost in the night. There are those that say he doesn’t exist, but if you look very carefully through the undergrowth, you just might see the hint of a beautiful golden eye solemnly peering back at you!