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Old 10-29-2017, 10:40 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,662 posts, read 1,408,583 times
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The more OC among readers here may think this belongs in the"Pet" section, but I relate it here because barn cats aren't exactly pets. You don't own them; they merely choose to live in your barn, for the most part, more feral than domestic.

Anyways-- back in the old country (IL) we had 4 barn cats- 3 litter mates ~7 y/o and a newcomer who wandered onto the property as a lost kitten and stayed for the past 2 yrs. We took them with when we moved to rural WI 14 months ago. One of the males stayed about a week and then we haven't seen him since...

...Until last week. The neighbor about a mile away called to ask if we had lost a cat. One had shown up on her property a day or two ago and looked pretty beat up and emaciated. Lo & behold, it was our prodigal! He had been in the woods on his own for 14 months. Back in our barn now, he hasn't ventured too far for ten days and is gaining back weight on store bought food. Formerly aloof, he now craves human touch.

I guess living by instinct is ok, but civilization is so much easier.
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:06 AM
 
Location: LI,NY zone 7a
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Nice story guido. When I was a youngin my father had told us our cat had gone to kitty heaven. A year and a half later the cat shows up, meowing at the back door. Don't know how many miles away heaven is, but apparently it was not far enough.
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Old 10-29-2017, 07:26 PM
 
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Cats somehow have an amazing ability to find their way back to somewhere even years later. I don't know how but I've it myself. It's incredible.
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Old 10-30-2017, 08:41 AM
 
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I wonder if he went back to IL? If so, I guess he didn't like the new people.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
He had been in the woods on his own for 14 months. Back in our barn now, he hasn't ventured too far for ten days and is gaining back weight on store bought food. Formerly aloof, he now craves human touch.
Awww. Poor guy. Glad he's back.
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Old 10-30-2017, 11:09 PM
 
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When I bought my property it came with barn cats, and I promised the previous owners that I would continue caring for them. I have, and it's been really interesting.

I've spayed/neutered/shots all but one that I haven't been able to catch, and put out food and water for them and shut them in an out-building every evening so they don't get eaten by coyotes or owls overnight, then let them out in the morning.

But even so, some do disappear for months at a time, then reappear. I always wonder where they go. It's very very rural and sparsely populated here.

I know most cats can get food from hunting prey, but I've always wondered how they get water in the wild. I've read that cats always need fresh water to be healthy. So, do they walk all the way to the river to drink? Or do they lick dew off of plants/grasses in the mornings? Or dig a little to find water in ditches and low lying places? Or do they get enough fluids from the bodies of their prey? This is a question I've often thought about.
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Old 10-31-2017, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
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Cats who eat a natural diet need very little (or even no) water. They get their water from their prey.
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Old 11-01-2017, 02:05 PM
 
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Happy he is back. Get him fixed.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:11 PM
 
Location: colorado springs, CO
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Out of all domesticated species, I’m sure cats must be one of the species most capable of invoking their primal, survival instincts. I think they are fascinating ... & fierce.

Does anybody else remember the cartoon “short” from the 1980’s “The Cat Came Back”? It had a really catchy tune & ever since I saw this thread’s title I’ve had it stuck in my head!

It’s about a grouchy old man; Mr. Johnson, who had a showdown with a “reoccurring cat” who refused to actually not come back. No matter what.

OMG, I used to laugh so hard when I was a kid watching that. Everything Mr. Johnson does to try to get rid of the cat, ends up turned around on him instead (Kitty Karma?).
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Old 11-02-2017, 02:41 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
3,662 posts, read 1,408,583 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
Happy he is back. Get him fixed.
He had been neutered many yrs back. The three sibs, Inky, Dinky & Stinky, were the offspring of another barn cat, Mabel, who wandered onto our property and stayed. She threw two litters in the next six months. We found homes for the first and kept the second and then had all four neutered.

Mabel eventually wandered off in the direction from whence she originally came and missed the boat when we sailed. She was exceptionally affectionate for a barn cat, as are her three babies. I spend 10 minutes each AM & PM feeding times petting them. How do people with four kids find enough time to give adequate attention to each?

...And if Evolution really works, why do Mothers still only have two hands?
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