How I Rescued a Feral Cat

I first saw Eloise as I was driving through a fast-food restaurant for coffee on the way to work. Something darted in front of the car next to mine and leaped into the grassy median. It was a tiny tabby kitten with most beautiful green eyes I had ever seen! Judging from her clean, well-fed appearance, it was obvious she had just been abandoned - and just didn't know it yet. I didn't have time to stop, but the image of that helpless kitten stayed with me all day. After work, I went back to the restaurant to look for her, in vain. I guessed (hoped) that someone else had picked her up. Another week went by, and suddenly there she was again, scampering in front of my car! I began to leave food for her near the recycling bins, but she would never let me get closer than a few feet.

Finally I knew I had to get serious. A restaurant parking lot is no place for a kitten! I rented a trap from the animal shelter, taped on my phone number and baited it with a plate of tuna. Within a few hours, I got a call from the restaurant manager: "Come and get this cat right now!" I took her straight to the vet, who pronounced her "about four months old, very robust and very FERAL." They suggested it would likely take months to tame her. The first two days she hid and wouldn't come out. Then she would come out when I brought food, but kept a wary eye on me. The next few days, I lured her with a "fishing pole" toy; she'd chase it, but never come near. On day nine, when I came in with her food, she didn't run away! Slowly I knelt down and reached out a hand. She crept a little closer, and suddenly I was touching her. Within minutes, she was purring; the sweetest sound I'd ever heard!

Eloise has been with me for a month and a half and is the most loving cat I have ever known.

Story submitted by Lisa M. from Ft White, FL

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