Sunday, October 16, 2016

Mudpie Interviews Former Feral Oona #FeralCatDay


Meows from Mudpie!

This year for National Feral Cat Day we wanted to look at this important issue from a different angle. While brainstorming for a topic we kept coming back to an amazing book we read, To Catch a Cat: How Three Stray Kittens Rescued Me, by Heather Green. I decided to reach out to Oona, the mother of those three kittens, who now lives the good life as a former feral with the wonderful humans who saved her little family.

What's life like for a feral mom on the streets? What made her decide to trust a human and become a pampered house cat, and does she think more kitties could adjust to life "on the inside"? Here's what Oona had to say!


Welcome, Oona! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started life as a feral cat?

Hi Mudpie! It’s so much fun to chat with you! One of the mothers in the colony I hung out with was a Tortie, so I’ve always liked the tortoiseshell crowd. Between you and me, I’m not really sure where I was born. But the place I called home was Manhattan Avenue in Union City, New Jersey. It’s really urban. Row houses, concrete sidewalks, busy streets.

What were your days like back then?

Well, you know how it is for ferals. There are great days, lolling around in the sun, catching mice in the abandoned woods, just kicking back. But mostly, it was tough. I was out there fending for myself, trying to avoid being hit by cars, always on the lookout for food. The winters were the worst. I had a nice warm coat, but it gets cold in New Jersey. The snow is the worst.


At some point you found yourself "with kitten". That must have been terrifying for you. What made you finally decide to let humans help take care of your babies?

It’s hard being a mother on your own, trying to get enough to eat to feed the kittens. So when two meals each started showing up out of nowhere like clockwork morning and night, it didn’t take me long to realize these humans in the house next door to where me and my kittens were living might be ok—as long as they didn’t get too close. 

Then help came for you. How did you initially feel about Heather and Matt's intervention in your life?

It was confusing, let me tell you. I was really protective of my three boys. But I could tell that Matt and Heather cared about us. Still, going from not trusting any humans to suddenly having them feeding us, building us a house, taking pictures all of the time, that was a big jump. And just as I felt like I knew them, bam, suddenly they took my kittens and then the next thing you know there were hauling me into the vet. I totally felt betrayed for a while, but since they kept feeding me and after those dumb tom cats stopped bothering me, things seemed to get better between us. 


You're now known as a "former feral"...what made you decide that letting humans take care of you was a pretty good deal?

We got to know each other bit by bit. After that operation nonsense, they kept feeding me and spending time with me outside in their backyard. During the winters, they’d even put a heating pad in my house. Now that was a nice change from my first couple of winters. I could tell they cared about me and I got to like being petted. And then one day, when it was cold, Heather fed me in her kitchen, the way she liked to do when it got really bitter and then closed the door on me and she wouldn’t let me out. I was pretty upset for a few days. But you know, there’s something nice about not having to worry being outside.


What's life like for you today?

Life is good. Soft beds, good food, my humans. I miss being outside sometimes. I spend a lot of time at the window. A couple of times, I’ve even run out the front door when my humans weren't paying attention. You know how they get so easily distracted! But you know, I got out there and I realize that it’s pretty scary on the streets. So each time, I came back in. They plan to build me an outdoor area where I can roam around in a protected space. I’m excited about that.
 
Do you think more feral cats could learn to adjust to life as a house cat if people would only try? What tips would you give on this process?

Totally! With time and patience, it works. It’s easier if the people don’t have too many other cats. And if they can just give us time for us ferals to trust them. I spent a lot of time under Heather and Matt’s bed at first. Now, thought, I sleep on the bed. It’s softer.


Lastly, what are the most important things you want people to know about feral cats and how we can help them?

Fix us, feed us, love us. After Heather and Matt fixed the adult cats in the colony I was from and found homes for the kittens, the number of cats on our block just plummeted. TNR works.

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Thank you so much, Oona! I'm sure after meeting this lovely lady you're interested in reading her human's book. It's available on Amazon and all your other favorite retailers, and if you missed our review you can find it here!


Since it's Sunday, we're also entering Oona in the Sunday Selfies blog hop hosted by The Cat on My Head.

32 comments:

  1. We had lots of feral cats in our old neighborhood. Although I wanted to take them all in, they were well taken care of by everyone. I enjoyed seeing the same cats all the time. I encourage people to make shelters for feral cats during the winter months so they can keep warm. Great interview!

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  2. How awesome you interviewed Oona, Mudpie! I think one of best things to do to celebrate National Feral Cat Day is to give feral cats a face and identity - and Oona does that so well.

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  3. That is an important Message to get out there My Grandpa in the US takes care of the local community cats by TNR ,providing food ,shelter and water and he even socialises and rehomes those that he can too,xx Speedy

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  4. Great interview and great selfie of Oona. This topic is close to our heart because much like Oona, Bear was trying to make it as a feral when we met. He didn't have kittens - but I'm relatively sure he couldn't hunt. I think I found him around the time his Mom made him leave the nest. The day we met, he stared at me from under the deck by our front door. In that look, I think we both saw each other as our other half - and we agreed to give each other a chance. After that first time when I left food out for him, he came around every day around the same time and he let me pet him. He even ignored the food for as long as I was outside. Soon, he was crawling in my lap and turning on his back so I would pet his belly. How can you not fall in love? Every day of the last 10 years, he's saved my life. Not bad for a cat that would be considered a nuisance by anyone else.

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  5. Great Interview, Thank You Bona for sharing with Mudpie. I shall be getting this book. purrs from a Stray turned into Princess. ERin

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  6. We were rescue cats from a house that had more than 100 cats there and we hadn't been neutered.
    The RSPCA went in and fetched most of us out and made arrangements to have us all "done". My last cat had just died and I happened to be there in the right place at the right time and got Hannah and Lucy who now have their own blog.

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  7. Wonderful interview. So glad she has a great home now.
    Sue B

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  8. What a good interview. We're glad Oona has a comfy home now. Many feral cats aren't as lucky.

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  9. What a great interview. We're so happy that Oona has found a home where she is happy and cared for. Ashton started out feral and still is a bit feral at heart, so we love hearing stories of cats who joined families and learned to trust like she has.

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  10. Thank you so much for featuring Oona! She is the purrfect example of why humans should not give up on ferals. We LOVED To Catch a Cat.

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  11. Mudpie and Oona, this is such a wonderful interview. I very much enjoyed learning more about you, Oona! I am so glad that you and your human are spreading the word about feral kitties with your book. And I am also so glad that you are one of the lucky ones, and that you found the purrfect home. Purrs, and thank you for sharing this with us!

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  12. This is a lovely interview with Oona, and so nice to hear about life from a former feral's point of view.

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  13. Wonderful interview. Us ferals know how great it is to be indoors!

    Cats of wildcat woods

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  14. What a wonderful story- it's so important to be reminded about what we can do to help ferals!

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  15. I'm glad Oona learned to trust her humans. Sounds like she has a wonderful life now. Our cat Daisy was a former feral who did socialize. However, we wrote about Buddy today - a feral that lived in our yard for years and preferred his feral ways. My assistant tried her very best, but he was set in his ways

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  16. What a great interview ! Oona's story is the kind of story we wish to read about every feral ! It's very important to remind us how to help ferals, and how important is TNR. Purrs

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  17. GRATE to meet you Oona!! You remind me eof mee birth Mumma Tori!! Shee iss a Trotie kat who was feral all so...mee was born inn a barn an you know what?? Mumma Tori iss still inn thee barn butt shee iss not feral anymore!! Shee even lets Mumma Mary-Ellen (thee Hu'man) scratch an stroke her!!!!
    Wee iss so-o happy you have a forever home...
    Yur a berry purrty Ladykat.
    Sinseerlee, Purrince Siddhartha Henry an LadyMum <3 <3

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  18. Pawsum innerview and posty Mudpie. Oona sure is purretty. We're so glad she got gotted.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

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  19. Great interview with Oona, I love that book. I was very pleased they adopted her.

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  20. OOna sure is a pretty girl! What a great story. WE are so glad she accepted the invitation by her humans to come indoors!

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  21. Mudpie, what a great interview! Oona is lovely and we enjoyed reading her story. It does our hearts good to read a happily ever after ending.

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  22. MudPie! What a great interview with Oona! Thanks so much for your great interview so we can get to know her better and it sure is great for Feral Cat Day!
    Kisses
    Nellie

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  23. What a pawesome interview - and we're so happy for Oona!

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  24. Awesome interview with Oona, Mudpie! We are glad she found a safe and happy home.

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  25. Oona was so excited to be interviewed! Thanks Mudpie! She was as feral as they came, but she's really adapted to being inside. I couldn't imagine not having her in our lives.

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  26. Your story, and with yours a lot more, touched our heart, Oona. We're glad that you have found a furrever home and that this TNR proect is going to get started everywhere in the world. Thanks for he interview Mudpie :) Pawkisses for a Happy Day :) <3

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  27. THAT'S MY HOOD!! TW delivers food to a man on Manhattan Avenue who feeds the feral cats there! We still haven't gotten the book but plan to.

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  28. Thank you for this great interview with Oona!

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  29. What an amazing story of love and patience--on both sides! Thank you for sharing this lovely interview with us.

    Jean from Welome to the Menagerie

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  30. Brilliant story Oona. I am so glad you found a home. We need to look after our ferals!!

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  31. Wonderful! I've not yet got a feral cat to spend quality time indoors voluntarily, although my "Aunt Dotty" did. (Feral cats' kittens, yes.)

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