Date of Birth: ± 2004
Gotcha Day: 04/02/2018
Breed: European Cat
It always surprises us how, despite being a relatively new and unknown sanctuary in a lost part of France, people always seem to find us easily when they’re looking for someone to save animals in need! Ariane got an email saying “Please help save this wild cat she’s 14 years old, she lives outside but was being fed by this man who has now died. His kids don’t want the cat and don’t want her to stay. The neighbour doesn’t want to feed her, nobody wants to feed her. She’s not sociable at all. Who will save Lola?”
It is not surprising that nobody answered an email like that which meant that it was resent regularly.
Finally Ariane phoned the number on the email and said she would try and socialise her. We have experience socialising wild cats so it was worth a shot. The cat was caught in a cat trap and brought over to us. She’s a huge wild cat. She really doesn’t look like any other cat we have ever seen.
At first we had her in a dog crate in one of our units and we could pet her a bit but you could see that she didn’t enjoy it. She was not scratching, hissing or anything. After 3-4 weeks we did not see any progress, she didn’t like us more and she was always hiding in the back of the crate. We figured we would give her more space and let her loose in the bedroom where she stayed for 6-7 weeks. She peed everywhere, everyday. She was sitting melancholically by the window, looking outside and hiding as soon as somebody came in the room.
Finally Ariane made the decision to put Lola back in the crate and put the crate in one of the sheds in the middle of the main field, between some hay. It is important to keep cats locked in (generally inside the house) whenever they are moved so that they get used to their new space and recognise it as their home. We opened the crate after 8 days. It was clear that we were not going to be able to socialise her and this way she was just going to live her life on her own terms. Once she was freed we didn’t see her for a month and although it was slightly disheartening we believed we did what we could but it was not where she wanted to be. After a month, she came back. We started seeing her regularly, then daily. She would again disappear for a week or two or three and then would come back. This is the current situation, we never know when we’ll spot her but when we do it’s generally from afar and never close up. She’s still very much a wild cat. She gets food and water in the shed daily.
Lola has an immense territory because the neighbours see her in the woods and the other side of the road on their properties.