Feral cats are unowned cats that live life outdoors and have never been socialized to people. Though they look just like household cats that live as pets in our homes, they’ve learned to live a life in the wild, outside away from people, and therefore aren’t able to adjust to a life amongst people and live as pets. Still, they’re able to live, full healthy lives outside with their feline families. The Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method is the only humane and permanently effective way to reduce the population of community cats while helping them live happy, healthy lives. During this process, some cats in colonies are actually found to be friendly stray cats that at one point did socialize and live with people, while others are confirmed to be feral and need to be returned back to their outdoor homes. To learn more about our TNR program and community cats, you can check out our website here for more information.
In 2017, Josie was part of a TNR project in New Britain. Though it was clear she was not socialized around people, it was also clear that she had more medical concerns than a typical spay and return. The vet discovered she had a circumferential wound around the base of her tail and it was completely paralyzed, therefore it needed to be amputated. Most of her teeth were missing, with only two remaining. She had deficits in both her hind legs and walked with dropped hocks. Then, on top of everything, she had significant hearing loss. In this condition, it was impossible to release Josie back outside knowing she was at a significant disadvantage from the adversaries of the outside world. Her only options were euthanasia or the Sanctuary, therefore we opened our doors to our first feral cat at the Sanctuary.
Over the years, Josie has found her little niche at the Sanctuary. Everyone knows Josie and she’s become a volunteer favorite given how special her story is. People can often catch a glimpse of Josie when taking a nap or when she’s gobbling down her meals. Or they hear her little snort sounds or meows from another cat room. She still remains shy and distant around people, making sure no one comes near her. However, she’s made small steps towards allowing people closer to her and doesn’t even seem to mind some company in her room as she naps, as long as they respect her space.
At 10 years old, she’s even made a few feline friends during her time at the Sanctuary. She’ll never be comfortable with close contact, but would thrive in a quiet home or barn where she can live independently and safely indoors. She’s very low-maintenance not needing constant human companionship and could easily transition to a home where someone has a busy life, but wants to provide a warm home to a cat in need. Some would even consider Josie a “socially awkward” cat, which many could relate to! Josie isn’t your typical cat looking for a home, but she’s still a cat needing a safe, sheltered place with people that love her for who she is. While waiting for her own people, Our Companions is solely dedicated to Josie and providing for her until that time comes. She will always have a place to sleep, food to eat, and people to love her… from a respectable distance, of course! To learn more about this very special girl, please contact Our Companions at 860-242-9999 or email Helpline@OurCompanions.org.