Animal stories TNR projects

The Adventures of Marco and Polo in Brianland, part 3

The adventures of Marco and Polo in Brianland  seem to be never-ending!  That’s what happens when you have someone caring; the word goes around… 

In last episode, we left Brian as he was trying to socialise Marco, Polo’s brother.  The little family seems to have found its equilibrium.  Although Marco is still wary of Brian, he has become great friend with Polo.  As for Mom, she seems happy to live outside where she has her box to sleep.  She stays around and will make sure to remind Brian if he is late for dinner.

Marco and Polo enjoying life in Brianland

And then, another cat started to show up for food.  Brian had already seen him on previous occasions, but he thought he was a neighbour’s cat.  However, Brian realised that he might also be a feral and very possibly Marco and Polo’s dad.  Engine Dad, or Ed, as he calls him, began to be more regular.  However, unlike Mom, he would never hang around.

Engine Dad

Although Ed was not really a garden resident and would not even come every day, he started to come more regularly.  Brian thus decided to borrow the trap again and chance trapping Ed.

It wasn’t too much of a challenge as Ed was trapped on the second night of trapping.  Ed was neutered and checked at The Cat Hospital before being returned to his environment.  He’s kept his habits and comes whenever suits him and Brian obligingly gives him his dinner…

Engine Dad’s release (video)

The whole family seems now to be living in Brianland, although sporadically for some, and they have all be neutered, are fed and are living a better life than many ferals thanks to Brian.  I bet you that if you had told that to Brian six months ago, he would have probably laughed at you!

Animal stories TNR projects

The Adventures of Marco and Polo in Brianland, part 2

In last episode…  Brian rescued Polo from his car engine.  Mom and her other kitten then moved in his garden.  Although Mom was trapped quite easily to be spayed, it took more efforts to trap Marco…

Mom and Marco having dinner in the kitchen

Brian tried to set a routine for Mom and Marco to come to eat.  They eventually ventured in the kitchen, but that didn’t mean that Marco could be caught.  Brian borrowed a trap and after much effort, victory was his and Marco walked into the trap.

Marco unsure of his new home

He was brought to The Cat Hospital for neutering and for his first shot.  Brian gave himself three weeks, when Marco would be due his second vaccination, to try to socialise Marco.  Every morning and night he sat with Marco in the bathroom.  There were some ups and downs.  At times Marco would seem to be making progress, but then he would go into hiding mode again.  However, Brian did not give up.

Marco finds his hiding spot... behind the loo!
Marco forgetting to hide

Although Marco seemed to relax at times, he would still not let Brian go near him (except with food).  At times, he would even cry when he was aware of Mom’s presence outside.  Brian then decided to introduce him to Polo, thinking that if Marco saw Polo going near Brian, he would do the same.  In fact, Marco was still nervous and Polo’s excitement would even make him hide away.

Marco and Polo get to know each other

When the three weeks were up, Brian considered releasing Marco again, but he was afraid that Marco and Mom would not recognise each other.  Brian adopted a different strategy and left Marco free run of the house, thinking that the contact with Polo might help to socialise Marco.  This strategy caused Brian a few frights like the time when Marco went to hide behind the boiler and stayed there for quite a while.

Marco getting free run of the house

Although Marco and Polo began to become great friends, it was another story with Brian.  Marco would still be shy.  He would sometimes forget about it while playing,  but then remember that he is supposed to be a feral.  He certainly enjoys the comfort of the house, but is still uncertain about his human.

Marco and Polo becoming best buddies

Sometimes, he takes a lot of time to socialise a feral kitten, and they may never become the pet you hope them to be.  Brian, though, certainly has the patience and tolerance it requires…

A video of Marco and Polo