Orange Kitty (later to be named Marvin) appeared just before Christmas in 2012. I had seen a light colored cat running through the yard a few times at night, but had no idea where it belonged. The day after Christmas I woke up and saw there was something in one of the feeding stations. The weather had been very cold and snowy so I was leaving a bit of dry food out at night. I caught a faint glimpse of this orange colored cat who just like the others ran and hid as soon as he saw me.
As December led into January 2013, this cat began to come around 7pm each evening. He would eat and eat. His eyes were full of crusty mucous and the tips of his ears were black. The winter had its ups and downs. It wasn’t bitter cold, but there was snow and some cold nights. This cat was seen trying to get into the shelter where Shadow and Patches stayed. Yet he wouldn’t stay. I placed a shelter for this cat in different locations around the deck. He never used one. In mid February 2012, I had a few scratchy mats on the deck that Shadow and Patches liked to use with some catnip. I also had a few catnip toys on the deck. One evening Orange Kitty was rolling all over the deck going crazy for the catnip. It was there a caught of glimpse of more fuzzy male parts. So now this is my 3rd unaltered male.
Orange Kitty continued to come each evening for a meal. Then he would go under the deck and often I could hear him chirping. He made a strange sound that was not quite a meow. Yet he did not want me near him. Shadow tried to be friends, but Orange Kitty would have nothing to do with it. I had to break up occasional spats. This was during the time period when Patches was coming and going. With he and Orange Kitty both unaltered at the time, it created a lot of tension. Some nights the yowling was so loud and there was posturing by Patches as he paced the deck with Orange Kitty underneath. I knew it was time to get them both fixed.
I had hoped to get Patches first, but once again he alluded the trap. The morning after a failed attempt to trap Patches, I had the trap ready and Orange Kitty appeared. It took less than one minute for him to go in. He did not thrash and was very quiet. He did very well with the neuter and staying all night in the trap in the basement. I released him the next morning and he came back for food the next evening. Once he was neutered I knew it would take awhile for his hormones to calm down.
In late April 2013, he began to come onto the deck and watch as I was interacting with Shadow. Patches had not returned after his neuter so Shadow was very lonely. Orange Kitty would watch and watch. It wasn’t long before he came over and wanted me to pet him. I figured that Orange Kitty too was a previously owned cat turned feral from living his life outside on his own. Shortly after he wanted pets and loving, I decided he needed a new name. So Orange Kitty became Marvin!
Marvin began to hang around the house constantly. I was fine with this, but he was not being nice at all to Shadow. He was preventing Shadow from coming on the deck when he was present. He also was chasing Shadow as well as hiding out in the yard and ambushing him. It was a daily struggle to keep Shadow safe. This continued for weeks. I had to temporarily move Shadow to my front porch so he could be safe. It was a constant worry. I shed many tears over Marvin and Shadow. I decided that I needed to find a place for Marvin. I tried rescue groups (there was even one just for orange and/or black cats), humane society and friends. Every one was full or no one wanted him. He wasn’t socialized and therefore not adoptable. As a last ditch effort, I decided to bring him into my home. It required major juggling inside my house. I will save his domestication process for another post. Here is Marvin in early February 2013 and then in May 2013 shortly before he moved into the house. Additional pictures of Orange Kitty are available on my Flickr site.