We have been looking for a home for Ebby since he showed up, and through his TNR and since then we haven’t stopped. He’s friendly enough that we could surrender him to a rescue, but we need to find someone who could foster him indoors to see, first, how he reacts, and then to work with him to grow accustomed to being indoors full-time. Denise still takes him into her garage overnight when the weather is cold, wet or otherwise uncomfortable, but she can’t let him into the house with her other cats. In good weather he’s usually a block away from her on his preferred neighbor’s porch, as you’ll read below. Unfortunately that is still a conflict though everyone involved is cat-friendly, and in fact has cats indoors who react badly to Ebby showing up on their windowsill. He really wants to live there and tries to get in.
I published Ebby’s story in January when this situation with our neighbor first came up. Now, through the cat-friendly caretaker of the rental house, Ebby has a chance to go to a rescue I know about an hour away from us. A foster for that rescue takes friendly and almost-friendly cats and keeps them in a large barn divided into three areas depending on their socialization status. He works to get them accustomed to being indoors and to being handled by humans. They can move through the socialization areas at their own pace and then be listed for adoption. If they don’t socialize to being indoors, it’s in a rural area and the volunteers are in touch with many good barn homes in the area.
Denise and I agree this is a great opportunity for Ebby—we haven’t come up with anything that worked for him at all, and of all our community cats we worry about Ebby all the time, checking in if he doesn’t show up as he normally does. We’d love to keep him closer, but we are working on getting him contained without trapping and the rental house caretaker would be able to come and pick him up.
But we really would love to adopt him to someone we could keep in touch with. If you are anywhere near, like within 50 miles or so, or know someone who is and would like to give Ebby a chance let me know. He’s a big, sweet lovable black kitty! My original post from January is below so you can read about his behavior and activities.
A sketch of Ebby from a follower
One of my followers actually did a pastel sketch of him in an art class from the photo above. Isn’t this sweet?
All About Ebby
This particular black cat showed up at Denise’s colony early in 2020. Denise named him Ebby and found he was not feral. He was intact and there were occasional conflicts, but overall he was a nice boy. We had him TNRd and fully vaxxed, but knowing Ebby was a friendly cat and could easily be adopted, we also wanted to find a foster or forever home for him.
Three years later we haven’t given up the hope of finding Ebby his own forever home, and now it’s more imperative. He’s moved onto a neighbor’s porch and wants to come in, and is pretty bossy with that neighbor’s cat. Denise had been taking him into her garage every night since he was neutered and until earlier this year he was a regular with that. But over the summer he quit showing up, though he still has his meals with Denise. He actually comes when she calls him!
A neighbor posted a photo of Ebby and asked if anyone knew him. We answered right away and thanked the neighbor for letting us know where Ebby was staying.
But a few weeks ago the neighbor messaged Denise that he was having trouble with Ebby. Ebby is non-stop friendly and has never been aggressive or tried to scratch or bite, and was rubbing all over the porch and the man when Denise and I visited. Ebby was also greeting the man when he went to his car, and the man had a hard time pulling out because he couldn’t always see Ebby.
However, the man has an older cat who he rescued and who mostly stays indoors, though he’ll come out on the porch and has a heated house there. Ebby would chase this cat when he went outside, and though it never became a fight it’s darned rude to try to chase a cat off his own porch! And then Ebby started trying to get into the house.
It would be ideal if Ebby wasn’t aggressive with his cat, he could stay out on the porch or maybe slowly transition indoors. But the way he’s acting toward the resident cat doesn’t bode well for that. And there aren’t too many ways to deter a cat that would work on his porch, like barriers. We suggested using strongly scented sprays like citrus, mint or eucalyptus, or even putting the peels and branches of them around the door and in his favorite sleeping place.
So of course, once again, we are looking for a forever home for Ebby. I am also checking with rescues to see if anyone has foster space. We aren’t sure how he would react to being in a sanctuary or cat room sort of situation. We’re not sure how he’d co-habitate with other cats, but he’s not a fighter, even before he was neutered. We’re looking for someone who can give him a try.
Look at him doing his lion imitation!
But I’m telling you, there’s not room in the black cat clowder here no matter how many times he tries to convince me he’s one of them! People look at my household and think I collect black cats, but you can see it’s the other way around—somehow they always find me.
Interested in fostering or adopting Ebby?
Please comment or send me an email! We’d love to keep Ebby in the neighborhood somehow, but we also don’t want him upsetting any neighbors. We will do a veterinarian check and a housing check and we’d like for him to meet you. If you’re distant, I’m not sure how we’d handle transportation, but we could discuss.
Helping cats this way
TNR does stand for “trap, neuter, return”, but studies of stray and feral cat management as far back as 1993 conclude that TNR alone is not an effective way to reduce cat populations. Studies published in 2002 and 2003 and later report the results of studies beginning as early as 1991 that incorporated the removal of kittens and any cat considered adoptable. They showed that the population of even a large colony could be reduced by half or more within a year or two of beginning a monthly trapping and neutering program, and thereafter diligently keeping up with any new cats who showed up as part of the colony. (Julie K. Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; David W. Gale; Leslie A. Gale, BS, 2003. Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population: https://www.avma.org/News/Journals/Collections/Documents/javma_222_1_42.pdf) You can read more about this process in my (award-winning) article “Stray and Feral Cats and TNR”.
So, one way or another, we hope to find Ebby a home, reduce Denise’s colony of 12+ by one more cat, and have one less cat to feed and house on the streets. We think this really nice cat deserves that!
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