Claude was a stray being fed twice a day for about six months by a kind person. During that time, contact was made with someone on Kijiji whose cat had gone missing and seemed to match his description exactly. Unfortunately, there was no follow-through in retrieving him, and Claude remained homeless. Over the months, he became quite familiar with his meal-provider. She was able to pick him up and pet him, and he waited for treats following his meal. But in January, 2019, as the winter grew even colder, his rescuer contacted us for help. She felt that life was not going to turn out well for her little neighbourhood friend. A plea went out from PAW and one of our long-time volunteers offered her home as a temporary refuge. Claude was distraught about being placed in a new environment, but foster mom managed to kennel and deliver him to the vet clinic for his health check, neuter, vaccinations and de-worming. He had to go through the trauma of another vet visit a few days later when he developed an infection but after a course of antibiotics, he felt well once again and regained his full appetite. He tested negative for both Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Viruses.
The people who thought Claude had been their lost cat said they got him as a kitten from a barn and therefore he was best suited to an outdoor life. The term "barn cat" is sometimes used in a negative way, as if those cats have less value. But for rescue groups, we know cats who happen to be born or live in a barn are just as valuable as any other cat. Cats can and do make the transition to being strictly indoor house cats. It simply takes time to help a cat develop a relationship with his or her home. Play-time, grooming and making a stimulating environment with cat furniture, cardboard boxes, toys, etc., will all help a cat adjust to indoor life -- that and being extremely careful when the outside doorways are in use.
Foster-mom is working on their relationship and Claude is making progress. He does very well with the two resident neutered males, but little old foster girl, Mitsi, puts the hissy-spits on any cat that dares to enter her personal space so all three boys steer clear! Claude keeps himself clean, uses the litter box well and will eat anything put in front of him. He is very quiet which is not unusual for shy cats. Cats meow to get their needs met (first from their mothers, then from their humans) but for a long time, there was no one for this sweet fellow to ask. Claude is quite active now that he is feeling more comfortable in his foster home. He charges up and down the stairs and uses the cat furniture to his best advantage. The future is looking very positive for Claude. His life has improved by leaps and bounds - the only thing missing is a family of his very own. He would be a great pal for another cat who would like a friend and he will continue to learn to trust his world and the people with whom he shares it.