Ask Lyle - Frightened Feral Seeks Freedom
I was recently brought inside by a human. I was previously living under a deck, catching my own food and while it was scary sometimes, I had things under control. I was found, brought inside to one place with other cats, and now a human has taken me to her house.
Let me tell you, it is scary here. I have found a nice place to hide, but she keeps finding me and trying to touch me, and she keeps holding a square that lights up in front of her face – how unpleasant! I just would like to go back to my quiet life, because this is all very stressful. The one nice thing is that she keeps forgetting her food on the floor, and then she leaves! I have been quickly eating that, it is rather tasty, and it’s nice to not have to hunt for it, but I am worried she will catch on that I am the one eating it and I will get in trouble.
At any rate, I don’t know that I am suited for this life and would like to be back where I know what is going on under my deck. Can you give me any advice on getting back to my old life.
Formerly Feral Fitzgerald
Wow! It sounds like you have hit the jackpot in your new home. I know some feral cats who have been brought into a house, and they tell me that they had many of the same anxieties that you are talking about. It is totally normal for you to be a little bit wary of your new situation—after all, you have been surviving in a difficult situation by your instinct alone. Now it sounds like you have a real nice human who wants to take some of the stress out of your life, and I encourage you to try to trust her.
As to the mysterious food leavings you talk about, I think I know what is going on here. You might want to hold on to your hat for this one. Your human isn't forgetting her food. That food is meant for you to eat. I know, I know, it seems absolutely crazy! That is just how much she likes you. And about that flashy square thing she is bothering you with? I'm pretty sure it is a Fone. A Fone is a device that humans use to show other humans what their cats look like. It won't hurt you, and the more she uses it, the more you know she thinks you are one handsome gent.
If your new human wants any further help with her new cat, she should check out this great article: 5 Ways to Help a Semi-Feral Cat Adjust to a Domestic Home.
While you might miss the freedom of being out in the world on your own, I bet you will come to love living in your new home too. You can always encourage your human to give you lots of good playing opportunities with indoor birds and mice, which will help you feel even more settled. Oh, and I know you might not be ready for it yet, but you should definitely work up to having a full out cuddle session with your human. One of my cousins, who was feral before she met her human, used to sneak up and sit on her mom's stomach while her mom slept. It is a great time to get to know your new human, and the risk for you is very low—she'll be so groggy she won't even remember you were there. Best of luck, and thanks for writing in, Fitz!
If your cat has a question for Lyle. just write him at asklyle(at)moderncat.com, and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the cat who needs advice so that we can post it with his response! Follow all of Lyle's adventures on Instagram, @Lylestagram