While doing a TNR job (trap-neuter-return) at a Metal Works site, I was able to trap 17 cats. All the cats were trapped, brought in to the feral cat clinic for spay/neuter, vaccinated and given a medical exam. All cats checked out as healthy except one. This cat was estimated to be three years old and the vet diagnosed him with Fasciitis of the throat which is painful inflammation . Because of this he had not been eating much and was extremely thin. He also didn’t groom himself and had painful mats in his fur.
I didn’t have the heart to put him back out in this condition, so I borrowed a large dog crate and set it up in my garage with a hiding spot inside the kennel to help him feel comfortable. In this case I used the lid part of a covered litter box. Feral cats aren’t aggressive by nature, they just have had little to no socialization with humans and want to stay away from them. I administered his medication by mixing it in his wet food.
I called him Feral Fred and although he hissed to “greet” me, I knew he started to feel more comfortable with my presence as the days passed. As he started to feel better he started grooming himself and his weight increased.
The goal from day one was for him to be able to be treated medically and to be healthy enough to be returned to the only home he ever knew. The workers at the Metal Works shop said of all the cats, he was their favorite. Even though I referred to him as Feral Fred, I found out that the guys have been calling him “Grey” for years.
One month after I trapped and neutered him, he was healthy and ready to return to his home! I couldn’t just dump him off and leave him for fear that he would get nervous with the transition and run away. I loaded up my car with the exact kennel set up and eight cases of food donated from kind Instagram friends who were cheering Fred on in his recovery. I drove him down to the industrial part of Las Vegas to the Metal Works warehouse. The employees were so excited to see him return! I told them that he would stay in that kennel setup for a week or so in order for him to get reacclimatized back to his environment.