Leo (Ginger Tabby)

Leo is about 3 years old and a ginger tabby. Leo was a terrified, physically and probably mentally abused stray cat that came out of near-by fields around 2 years ago. I leave food out for the many strays in the area, most I never see. He stayed near-by for the food, but wouldn't let me near him. I'd speak sweetly to him and eventually he'd let me within a couple yards, but no closer.
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I learned he had a weakness for string, cord, what ever moved like a snake. so I played with him and reassured him many, many times that what I was doing was tossing a cord end to him, not throwing rocks at him. It took months, but he eventually decided I was just barely trustable. He wasn't neutered, and he was a super alpha, so things weren't going too well between us, he was very aggressive. Even today he will swat me occasionally, but it's down to about 3 times a year and now he sheaths his claws and has become as close as any pet can be. It used to be he was always swatting us with unsheathed claws and was always wary.

Before he found our home he had been beaten, kicked, and who knows what else. He had internal injuries he'd somehow managed to not die from and had healed on his own. He's a sweet, gentle boy now, and I can't believe the abuse he went through, why would anyone do that to an animal? I still cry when I think about it. We have gently and patiently re-socialized him. It hasn't been easy, he's had to get over a lot of issues. A lot of love, a huge amount of patience, and a lot of forgiveness has gone into re-socialize him. Neutering helped, as well. it created a gentle, sweet cat from a wild aggressive cat.

His favorite toys are cat whips (strips of flannel with stick handles), string, cord, and me. He so wants me to romp and rough and tumble with him as though I am another cat, but he never has learn to sheath his claws in play.

I just want to say that cruelty towards animals is about as low as anyone can get. A kitten who hasn't had a chance to learn not to play rough doesn't deserve to be beaten. Leo was and is (as all ginger tabbies are) very sweet and loving. If you need a lot of love, get a ginger tabby from a shelter. I can't say enough good things about shelter pets. They just want someone to love. and they will love non-stop. Strays from the field are a piece of work, don't take them in unless you know how to re-socialize animals and are willing to take the time to do so.

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By Nekocat from Oregon

September 4, 20090 found this helpful

You are very good at photography. Ginger in leaves is perfect to compliment his fur coloring and he looks very healthy and loving. Good for you to be so patient and gentle; looks like the tlc provided has definitely paid off.

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Anonymous Flag
September 4, 20090 found this helpful

Thank you for sharing this beautiful story about your dear boy.

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September 4, 20090 found this helpful

How people do what they do amazes me. What a sweet boy. He looks just like my sweet grandcat.

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September 4, 20090 found this helpful

He is so sweet! I'm so glad you rescued him. I agree - how could anyone hurt an innocent animal?

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September 5, 20090 found this helpful

Tabby's are the best.

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September 5, 20090 found this helpful

Awww, what a sweet boy! I also agree. Anyone who could hurt an animal is lower than low. I understand that there are those who aren't the animal type, but if they aren't then they should not own or be near animals. Have the decency to respect the animal enough to leave that animal in the peace he expects to left in.

Hugs to you for your patience, love, and kindness to rescue this beautiful cat. Thank you. Peace.

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September 5, 20090 found this helpful

Good for you! I also take in stray cats...I call them my "garage cats" as that is where I usually find them hiding. I have one cat and her 2 kittens who were garage cats. I have had them in the house for about a year and a half. The kittens are finally letting me pet them, but Mom still won't let me near her, but they all get along great with my other cats and my German shephard/rottie/dobie cross. They are like one big family...patience, patience, patience, right?

Now there is a huge, long furred ginger cat with a fantastic fluffy tail hanging out in my garage. I put food out for the strays, as you do. I would like to catch him before winter sets in. Cold here in Canada. People should get their pets neutered so we don't have so many strays! Keep up your good work! And that's a beautiful picture!

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September 5, 20090 found this helpful

If only everyone thought this way, if only. Marg from England.

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September 6, 20090 found this helpful

Oh how wonderful of you to take the time for such a lil guy. He is so handsome. I am always amazed at how some treat animals. I have always had rescued pets and they give so much love. Of course cats being my favorite thought currently

I am owned by a doggie. Leo is so lucky to have such a wonderful loving home, thanks to you!

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September 6, 20090 found this helpful

He's so beautiful! It's terribly sad how some people treat animals, I'm certainly glad that he found you! God bless!

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September 7, 20090 found this helpful

What a beautiful boy. Thank you for taking such good care of him and for your patience. I wish the laws were tougher on those who commit animal abuse. I agree with the post above, you're a great picture taker. Hats off to you. I hope you win the contest. Then you can buy something nice for you and Leo both; like more kibble. Ha, ha.

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