From Fearful in a Feral Colony to Spoiled in a Loving Home
Sarah awoke to the sound of her two cats running around her apartment. This normally wouldn’t sound unusual, but for Alfie it was an enormous milestone. Just months before, Alfie and his brother Adam were living as part of a feral colony in Brockton.
Deb, a kind local resident, cares for these community cats in need. All too often, she sees vulnerable kitties left thoughtlessly outside to fend for themselves or left behind when their owners move away. With the help of Elaine, a 30-year veteran of Baypath and one of our founders, Deb has rescued over 300 cats in the last 10 years.
After a particularly cold spell in the winter of 2021 and with rumors swirling of residents planning to poison the cats, Deb knew she had to try to help trap as many as she could and work on getting them spayed or neutered.
Spring brought fresh hope, as Deb planned to release some of the feral cats she had managed to trap and spay or neuter safely back into the community, in a practice commonly known as Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR). However, two of the cats – Adam and Alfie – had shed many of their feral qualities, becoming friendly to Deb. Knowing Elaine would point her in the right direction, Deb reached out to see if they may be candidates for adoption at Baypath.
When 5-year-old Adam and 7-year-old Alfie arrived at the shelter, they presented as shy and fearful. Our highly-skilled and compassionate staff knew they needed to give these formerly feral kitties time to decompress and adjust to the shelter environment. Our dedicated volunteers assisted the staff with socializing, working with Adam and Alfie for countless hours at their own pace.
Adam was the first to come out of his shell and interact comfortably with staff and volunteers. After three months of loving care, he was adopted by a friend of a long-time volunteer! Rob, an experienced cat owner, renamed Adam Mr. Chirpy, because he never stops chatting! Rob reports, “He’s still skittish, but now he loves to be pet – and sleeps in my bed every night. During the day he can be found in his favorite chair or playing with his favorite toy.”
It took Adam’s brother Alfie a bit longer to feel comfortable interacting with staff and volunteers, though our team was able to see his incremental progress through daily behavioral tracking. After seven months of not wanting to be touched or handled, Alfie began allowing pets!
Sarah, one of our beloved cat volunteers, fell in love with Alfie and decided to welcome him into her family. Though it took several weeks before he felt comfortable being around his new feline brother Moose, Alfie has now fully-embraced life as a ‘house cat,’ even learning it can be fun to play with toys with Moose!
It was a long road for these two deserving cats, but with help of the entire Baypath community, both Adam and Alfie are now spoiled in loving, doting homes. According to Elaine, “I’m so grateful knowing their former life of living in a feral colony in all kinds of weather, with the possibility of being poisoned, is all behind them.”