After an adventure of extremely surreal proportions, Rango, the most affectionate, and friendliest of our colony ferals, was officially adopted on Monday by a loving family! Hunter Kirkland (a professor at SVA whose class I was in last fall) and his wife, Brooke, were kind enough to take in our precious feral tabby after having recently lost 2 of their beloved orange tabbies..
As is the case when working with feral cats, things don't fall in to place so easily.. Within hours of his fostering, Rango had panicked and escaped from Brooke and Hunter's bathroom window, only to realize that he was no longer with us or his cat colony in Jersey City, but somewhere very new and highly unfamiliar - the Lower East Side of NYC! For days, Rango battled bad weather and avoided confrontation with established cat colonies in the region, as he searched for a place to feel safe.. I was guilt-ridden, heart-broken, and devastated. Rango had been close to Junaid as a kitten, but had grown very attached to me as a young adult. Now, my beloved feral may be lost, forever.. Would he forgive me for abandoning and betraying him? And would I ever see his sweet face, receive his 'kisses', or be part of his fun conversations again? God knew I had only wanted to help him..
Truly miraculously for us, Brooke and Hunter happen to live next to Janet Jensen, a long time feral cat expert - and an angel in disguise - who came to our rescue, armed with patience, advice, a few cat-loving neighbors, and a gifted animal communicator. During one of our desperate nightly searches, Rango decided to come by and greet us - out of affection, gratitude, and respect which moved Junaid and me incredibly.. This new neighborhood was enchanting to a friendly feral like him, with it abundant crawl spaces, trees, grass, flowers, fountains, and many cat-loving residents who provided food at all times. Nothing like the awful neighborhood he originally belonged to. We sensed Rango didn't want to be trapped now, and so with great difficulty, Junaid and I decided to just let him be.. Thanks to this meeting with Rango, I too finally started to feel at peace with myself..
But then warnings of Hurricane Irene approaching NYC had us all concerned for Rango's safety. We just had to get him indoors, since a storm and flooding could be potentially fatal for a lonely, young feral who had just been (accidentally) relocated to a new area without his colony. And so, a day before Irene finally hit NYC, we managed to successfully trap, and reunite Rango with Brooke and Hunter, where he was safe through out the storm.. Thank God!
A truly remarkable gem of a cat, our Rango has been doing exceedingly well in his first-time home :-) We couldn't be prouder of our orange boy. This kitty has worked his sweet charm on ALL the pets of the household. He instantly bonded with Hunter and Brooke's super-friendly and adorable Pitt-mix, Rosie..!! Lots of love and best wishes to our friends Brooke, Hunter, and our boy Rango, and his new life-long friends (Rosie, Pepe and Cleo). Thank God for miracles, good fortunes, angelic cat-loving people.. and warm, furry, happy endings!