Pepper is an unusual cat

Pepper is an unusual cat as she is a feral.  We live in a remote area and came into accidental contact with her on a number of occasions. As she was responsive to us offering food (eventually) we decided to capture her, have her desexed and keep her as a companion.  The alternatives were to let her roam free killing everything in her path or shoot her.  We are vegans so the shooting option was not really an option at all.

Anyway, after getting her used to a feeding pattern we enticed her inside the house where she immediately freaked and sat on top of a curtain rail.  In the morning we could not find Pepper.  Her hideout was under a set of drawers in a very small space.

We let her out and she returned to the feeding regime outside.  Being a female had us concerned that she may become pregnant which would have us looking after a litter of little felines. Yee Gods!

After some time we had her enter the house again and then the fun began.  Remember this was a wild cat. After arranging with the veterinary in a nearly town to desex Pepper, the next task was to get her there.  We do have small plastic rescue cages which are very strong.  I grabbed her unannounced, wearing very thick elbow length gloves, and put her straight in the cage with Lee closing the lid post haste.

Ah ha, thought we, all is well. The trip to the vets showed all was not so well.  Pepper was incredibly strong and tried to escape the cage and nearly did so except that Lee used all her might to hold the lid closed.  Imagine a wild cat intent on escape in a vehicle.  Even if we survived the experience, how would we get her from the car to the vet’s clinic?

To cut a long story short, Pepper was neutered, brought home and she recovered from the ordeal over a few days with a few defecating and urinating upsets in the bedroom the only real hassle. Since then, as we lock her in at night with a standby cat-litter tray available at all times, Pepper has not repeated those episodes.

When we eventually let her outside after the operation she would wonder off to old stomping grounds and come home for food where we would lock her up at night to minimise her quite remarkable killing prowess.  Over time the preferred place of staying was our property.  All this took about a year or so.  The Tabcat finder would have been really great in that period just to find her but now it is equally good that her safety is a priority as there are places she could become trapped and we would never know. (Old water tanks etc) Body finding is another reason as there are dangers with other cats, dogs, cars, redneck people with guns and eating poisoned rodents. We live in a grain growing area and rodenticide is common practice. (Not by us though)

Even though Pepper has changed in remarkable ways, she still has that wild streak in her as well as an unpredictable Tortoiseshell nature.  Sleeps anywhere in the house at night, if cold, on our bed between us and has her own cat type things in and out of the house to sleep on as well.  Pepper has turned out to be a great cat that goes for morning and afternoon walks with us (about a kilometre each time) and seems to appreciate her present circumstances.  Her only troublesome part is when daylight arrives, often an hour before, we have a cat on the bed very insistent that we should all arise and let her out.   As she becomes very offended if we close the bedroom door (not joking) one of us has to arise as the claws, even though unusually gently applied do leave little holes in our skin wherever she can get at us.

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