I was born in an abandoned shed on the outskirts of town. It sounds like a tough life, but it really wasn’t — there were dozens of us cats and kittens living in the area and while we did have to scrounge for food now and again, a couple of women would come by nearly every day and feed us. But then they started putting out these boxes with yummy tuna in them! You know I had to check that out, and next thing, I was trapped in the box and taken away. You can imagine how panicked I was — I screamed and thrashed around the box like crazy and tried to tear myself out of it. So now I’m being held prisoner in this place with a bunch of other cats. Most of the other cats seem to think this is okay and they kiss up to the humans who have us locked up. I won’t do it — I hide every time they come in and try to hang out with us. I don’t really like humans, even though I do appreciate the food they give us. Honestly, I just want my freedom back. I’m five months old — almost six! — so as you can tell I am almost grown up and I can do just fine on my own. How do I get outta here?
Freaked Out and Feral
You may think you’re grown up at five months, but trust me, humans still think you’re a kitten. And really, you are, even though it may not seem that way. In your world, cats might have kittens when they’re barely seven months old. And that’s what these humans who have captured you are trying to prevent. I imagine that along with picking up overly-curious kittens like yourself, they are also doing something called TNR, which stands for Trap, Neuter and Return. They find colonies of homeless cats, capture as many as they can and spay and neuter them so that they don’t produce more kittens, thus keeping the population down. This is actually a good thing because it means less cats wind up in pounds, or are killed by predators, dogs and mean humans. The other thing these people do sometimes is capture kittens and try to “socialize” them (make them human-friendly, in other words), and then find them homes. It sounds like this was the intention with you — but obviously, you are a hard case.
Unfortunately, if you have been held prisoner for a while, and not just spayed and released, chances are that the humans have no intention of setting you free. In spite of your bad attitude when you were captured, you were deemed “adoptable,” and they are probably intent on making you human-friendly somehow. As you can tell by your fellow inmates, often their tactics work… and sometimes they don’t. But even if you never warm up to humans, you probably won’t be set free again — you’ll just be held in limbo with a group of other cats like yourself, who were captured wild and who prefer to stay that way. You can deal with this one of two ways: make friends with the other cats, eat the food the humans leave for you and continue to hide. Or suck it up, make friends with the humans, get adopted… and figure out an escape route as soon as you get to your new home. Oh, or you could always figure out a way to tolerate human companionship for real (after a few months of goading, pleading and a lot of effort on the humans’ behalf), but I get the feeling this may be below you.
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