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A friend's neighbor told her that she had a feral cat and her five kittens living in her shed. We decided to rescue and civilize them, but the mama cat anticipated our actions and moved the kittens to a new hiding place. We finally trapped the mother and two of her kittens when the kittens were three months old, by which time they were completely feral, covered with fleas, and terribly thin. Naively I brought them home with me, thinking that lots of TLC would transform them into pets. However, they were so wild and frightened that it took months before they learned to like me more than fear me.

Seven months later, they are still skittish and distrust most humans. However, they have made incredible progress. They have learned to play, and have discovered the tactile joys of being petted and scratched in just the right place. They also sleep with me on my bed, and spend a lot of time in the kitchen cajoling me into giving them treats. Taking in feral kittens should be done with caution, knowledge, and more patience than I thought I had, but the result can be very rewarding. I am very grateful that Marmalade, Olivia, and Duiker are now a part of my furred family.

Lynne Fullerton
Albuquerque, NM

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