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A Feral Cat.


By siris


I wrote this a couple of years ago when I last visited my Brother and French sister in law in France, at which time I saw that years batch of feral kittens. I never got around to publishing the blog as we hot-footed it back to the UK as Covid struck.

When I saw the two kittens I immediately loved the Calico one and named her Honey.
Open the back door and they were off.
She and her sister were feral cats, born in the wood pile in my brothers garden in rural France. (I assume they were females as the gene for Tortoiseshell and Calico colouring is normally linked to the X chromosome)

Unfortunately the process of importing cats to the Uk is long, expensive and impractical.
First catch your cats.
They must have a pet passport, and be microchipped, to comply with UK regulations, The French have their domestic cats registered by having them tattooed in the ear, if they can be bothered, which does not comply with UK regs. Rabies vaccinated 21 days before entry and scanned. On importation dogs and cats must have been treated against ticks not longer than 48 hours beforehand.
Goodness know how much more complicated it now is since Brexit.

My brother’s domestic cats are all ex ferals, now neutered and well cared for. He feeds the ferals during the winter, so they tend to gravitate to his property. There is just another local, a woman in the village who is sympathetic to the feral cats and feeds them in winter.

This is Ginger, 17 years old and now very athritic. Her mother, with 2 kittens was found next to a dustbin. He kept the young mother, naming her Fileux (Stringy), name later changed to Fifi and managed to place the other kitten.

And this is Felix, a replacement for old Fifi. He also kept a ginger male, which he named Fudge. Many French are irresponsible in not getting their cats neutered.

UPDATE 2021 It became time for Ginger (now 19) to go on a one way journey to the vets.
The 2 sisters disappeared late 2020, when I inquired if he had managed to catch either to take them to a rehoming charity.

He phoned me yesterday Nov 2021 to inquire how my Cataract Operations had gone on Thursday. Well, and I am now recovering nicely.
CATS ….he said all the young ferals this year had disappeared (except one which had been skinned on one side from head to tail, probably by a fox. He took it for treatment and care.
My brother and I grew up with a variety of pets, a dog and a cat at the same time, rabbits his, hamsters, mine. And a couple of budgies. If I was serious about getting a cat now, it would be easier to get one through a UK rescue centre, also I tend to like dogs more than cats.

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I clicked like as it is interesting but like you I dont understand why pet owners don't neuter their animals. It is a problem in the UK again.

I also clicked like because I am so pleased to hear your op went well. Take it easy though.

14 Nov, 2021


Liked for the same reason. They are lovely looking cats and they do look well cared for now. As you say the French attitude to pets is very different. I expect they think we're soppy. Good to hear your eyes are recovering.

14 Nov, 2021


Your brother is obviously a man with a kind heart, Siris. They are pretty cats but it must be hard to know what to do for them for the best outcomes. Having seen the neglected ones when abroad, that is unpalatable. I wish owners were more caring of their animals.
Very glad your op. has gone well

14 Nov, 2021


Thank you for your kind thoughts regarding my op. The world has taken on a new brightness.
My brother is a great big softie regarding animals.

14 Nov, 2021


Interesting blog ... I am always worried about animals in other countries, I don't think they are as caring as we are. It's nice to know your brother looks after some cats.
Having said that I don't think the British people are as caring as we make out either, especially when I hear how people dump the pets they got in the lockdown etc.

I'm glad your cataract operation was successful :)

15 Nov, 2021


I clicked like as I am happy to hear your op was successful and you’re doing ok, Sue. Also, your brother and his wife are just wonderful people looking voter these beautiful cats - albeit feral furries! Me being a cat lover and owner, I felt so sad to hear of the poor little mite that had been skinned…breaks your heart. It’s such a shame they don’t get their cats neutered as we do. It would cause much less distress and reduce the numbers.
I grew up in a dog owning family..but, I gave a cat - they’re more independent when you’re working all day…

19 Nov, 2021


I clicked "like" too as your blog was interesting but sad!
After you got in touch with me,I thought I would have a look at your blogs.
I am pleased I did! Those poor cats which have not really been looked after and I cringed about the one that may have been skinned.
Years ago when we lived in Willow Cottage , we got twin kittens from the rescue centre who happily stayed with us until they were 14.
They were proper little characters and as they grew older , used to follow me about like little dogs, coming to the allotment part of the gardens and would settle down until I was going back and then trot beside me again.
We both still miss them!
When we had to move, unfortunately we were not allowed to have animals, so the lady who brought them to us said she would keep them herself.
I am pleased your op went well! I had my eyes done and it makes such a difference!

24 Dec, 2021


Thank you Rose, I do like to look back at Gou in the dark wet winter months when Ive more time inside and not so busy with the garden and allotment.

24 Dec, 2021

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