Animal stories TNR projects

The Adventures of Marco and Polo in Brianland, part 1

At the beginning of December, I received one of the usual enquiries: “I’ve found a kitten, what shall I do?”

Polo just after being rescued

As he was going to the shop that morning, Brian found a kitten in his car’s engine.  A found listing was posted for good practice, although we suspected the kitten to be feral and probably abandoned by his mother.  Nobody claimed the kitten and Brian decided to adopt him.  Polo was brought to the vet and spoilt by Brian.

Polo enjoying the comfort of his new home

A few weeks later, Brian contacted me again: Mom and the other kitten had moved in his garden.  Brian wanted to get more information about TNR.  His plan was to get Mom spayed and adopt Polo’s sibling, whom he had named Marco.

I thus called in with the trap and within 10 minutes, Mom walked in.  However, Marco was really shy and refused to move from his hiding spot behind the bushes.  We left a feral box there so that he could protect himself from the elements.  While Mom was at the vet for her operation, we kept trying to trap Marco, but unsuccessfully.  TNR requires patience and Marco certainly tested ours.

Mom after her operation

On the day Mom came back from the vet, Marco was nowhere to be seen.  We had set the trap in case Marco would be around and, relaxed by Mom’s presence, would walk in the trap, but Marco wasn’t around.  When we released Mom, we released a transformed cat.  Instead of running away, the way ferals usually do when released, Mom decided to enjoy a big meal before going to look for her kitten.  She even let Brian approach her for the first time and we had to stop her from walking into the trap again!

Brian kept feeding Mom, slowly gaining her trust.  His patience was rewarded when Mom finally accepted to be fed in the kitchen.  However, there was still no sign of Marco.  As Mom would only come around for her dinner and then leave, Brian suspected that Marco was hiding in a different spot.

Mom in the kitchen: she'll come into the kitchen for food but won't eat from my hand. She'll tolerate me standing up and moving around the kitchen though.
Polo chasing poor Mom out the door! He's not that impressed at all that Mom comes to visit. Although, he's getting a lot better about it... his tail isn't nearly as spiky as it was the first day.
Just a pane of glass between them, Polo and Mom enjoy dinner "together".

Yesterday, the good news came in and I received a text from Brian: “Marco is back!”  And Marco was not only back in the garden, but he also ventured in the kitchen, joining Mom for dinner.  Today, Marco even ate from Brian’s hand and licked the sumptuous chicken-tasting hand!

Marco joins Mom in the kitchen!
Marco no longer has to hide behind Mom
Polo checking on the new arrivals: Marco and Mom were in the kitchen again, Marco explored a little but Mom was a bit more nervous. Polo wasn't helping to give an air of calm acceptance, the kitchen door was shut and he was in the hall, crying like I had a secret kitty torture chamber, but he just wanted in to check out the new arrivals (and chase them out of his kitchen).
Close-up of Marco

It looks like Brian will have his own little family pretty soon…

The world would be a much better place if everybody were to act like Brian.  What does it take?  A bit of compassion, love and patience…

7 replies on “The Adventures of Marco and Polo in Brianland, part 1”

I love your compassion and dedication to helping this little family of cats – well done and a job well done. T

Brian, you are a wonderful, compassionate man. If only there were more like you. You have made a wonderful difference to these cats lives and you will be rewarded with love for it.

between myself and my neighbour we have around 15 cats, they come and go, i trap them wehn i can and they are spayed free, 3 have decided to live with me permantly, during the day they just come and go, the other cats come in to eat, sleep, then leave, now that the weather is getting cold a bunch turn up just to keep warm, i usually end up with 5-6 on my bed, i dont mind, they are great company.

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