sara-waits-for-dinnerEver since I bought the new house, the question of what to do with our little semi-feral, Sara has been weighing heavily on my heart.

Since last fall, she has been  living outside at the old homestead. She had her little “house” which was the tool shed with a cat door cut in the side.  In there, I made a space for her where I put a little cozy cubbie bed with a body warming pad inside so she was warm in the winter and safe from the weather.

Still, everytime my cats went outside and saw her, they’d chase her into the woods or up a tree.  We developed a system where I’d get them in the house and then call her for her dinner.  In all that time, I was barely able to touch her. ..though she obviously craved love and attention.

I knew I couldn’t bring her with me to the new house. For one, it was smaller. Only two bedrooms and no place to keep her separated from my other cats.  Second, inside, they’d pick on her and terrorize  her. Outside, they’d run her off.  She’d end up lost somewhere where she didn’t know where she was.

The only option was to try and trap her and take her to the local animal shelter, which is a good one and does an excellent job of moving animals into no-kill rescues.  However, with the economy so bad, they are over-run and have a sign on the door saying they aren’t taking any more animals.  And even IF they took her, she’d be put to sleep because she’s so shy.

Sara had few options.

The week I moved, I hardly saw her. All the commotion and moving trucks, etc. no doubt scared her off.  Afterwards, I came back several times but never saw her even though I called and called.

Meantime, the neighbor I rented that house from agreed to put food out for her, but he couldn’t tell if she was eating it or a raccoon or what.

Yesterday a.m. I went back early in the morning, when I usually fed her, and brought a soft-sided carrier and a can of food. I hoped to scruff her and get her into the carrier. After that, I didn’t know what I’d do. Just take her home, I guess.

Well I called and she came running. She wasn’t thin at all, but she was happy to see me.  I got the can open and as she began to eat, I did scruff her and did get her into the carrier, but the zipper stuck.  While I worked to free it, she clawed and fought and got away, running into the woods.

I called her again, and she came right back.  I decided to just leave her the food and talk to Steve later.

Steve has a big vegetable garden in front of the tool shed.  He likes cats and has one indoors.  He knows they’re good for keeping the bunnies out of his lettuce and the squirrels away from h is tomatoes.

So I emailed him and asked him if she couldn’t just live her life as his “garden cat” since she’s already happy living in the tool shed and my cats aren’t there anymore to run her off.  He said he’d been feeding her in the wood shed behind the house and she was slowly warming up to him. He agreed she’d be fine living out her life as his barn/garden cat. Since she’s spayed there’s no need to worry about kittens either.

It’s a big relief. Steve is big guy, with a tender heart, and I was happy to learn that he’s been as concerned about her as I was.  She’ll be happy there and I’m happy knowing she’s finally found her permanent home.

It might not be what I would have really liked for her..a home inside where she was the only cat of a patient kind person or couple…but it’s the best we could hope for here, especially in this economy.