Months pass, things finally settle down and all three girls are getting along fine. I can finally relax, knowing it is all working out, but deep within my heart I still had the guilt, the ache of not having little Turtle, the room just wasn't the same.
In January 2007 a big orange tom started spending more time in my shelter. I first spotted him five years earlier roaming the neighborhood, often coming into the shelter for a bite to eat, and quickly leave. He never stayed around long enough to think about trapping him. He was very unpredictable. I wouldn't see him for weeks at a time, and when I did see him, it was never a set time. Many times he was seen wounded. One particular time his neck had a huge slash through it, at least a couple inches wide. Several people in my neighborhood referred to him as Oscar the Grouch, because of all the fighting.
First Video leading up to his rescue.
Oscar started sleeping in the shelter, more and more and only leave when I would approach. He never bothered my other ferals, he just wanted to sleep and be left alone. Unfortunate for him another Tom Cat in the neighborhood had other plans for Oscar. Fights between the two became constant. Everyday, this other Tom would hunt Oscar down. Many times Oscar would be sleeping in a kuddler minding his own business, and out of nowhere. the other tom would jump and attack him.
I struggled for two months to trap Oscar. I soon realized he wasn't a fighter. He really was a good boy, and just wanted a safe place to sleep; he didn't want to run anymore. Part of me was afraid to approach him, and attempt to pet him. Each day as I was outside sitting in the shelter talking to him, getting the courage to reach out to him and clean his wounds, I would often cry. Seeing the look in his eyes, what he had gone through, all the battle wounds. I was falling in love with this boy. I told myself no, I lost Turtle, and many others, I don't want my heart broke again.
The end of that 2 months, I was able to just scoop up Oscar ( he was no longer the grouch) and put him in a carrier. My friend who helps me with rescue took him for his neuter, vet check, and to recuperate at her house. When I first set out to trap him, I had all intentions on releasing him back outside. Instead, because he was so good and so sweet, my rescue friend was going to put him up for adoption for me.
Oscar recuperating after his neuter and bath at my rescue friends.
During the two months of struggling with taming, befriending, and trapping him, I had a very special friend that lives in another state that kept me going. I was silently falling apart. I just didn't want to rescue anymore. I didn't want to go through the pain of losing another one, possibly failing again. She kept encouraging me with Oscar. She supported everything I was doing with him, and gave me the courage everyday to do what I was doing. When I was told that my rescue friend was going to find another home for Oscar, I wouldn't have that. All I went through with him, I knew he had to come back home. He belonged with me. My good friend encouraged me and convinced me everything will be ok. I need to open my heart again. Losing Turtle was not my fault. So, with her encouragement; Oscar came home.
Oscar in his forever home, my cat room
That is where it began. I was lost for awhile, I did not rescue Oscar, he rescued me, or perhaps we rescued each other. He was sent here for a reason. At the time I was giving up, he came into my life. He also brought my good friend to me too, as I did not know her well until Oscar came around and she reached out to help, even miles away.
I still miss Turtle, and it took a long time for the guilt and the hurt to go away, perhaps the hurt is still there, but the guilt left.
Stay tuned, and you will all see what Oscar and Turtle have to do with a special little kitten.
To be continued.....