yeah, what susan just said..... i will go and sit in the room with them,
too, with some absolutely irresistable toy and make an absolute fool out of
myself playing with it, ignoring them all the while. often the temptation to
play is just TOO great to resist.... i won't try to force contact on them
(unless it's a situation where they really are close to feral, but we need
to be able to tame them JUST enough in case of medical need, when one goes
for the welding gloves, and forced-fondling--specially around the ears or
base of tail, so they can bite and scratch and hiss all they want til it
clicks that, hey, this feels really GOOD). i let them play, and let THEM
make the first moves.

i will also take a good book in with me, and just become a piece of
furniture--understanding that, for some kitties who aren't born housecats,
that's all any human will really be.....

On Dec 19, 2007 4:19 PM, Susan Hoffman <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> You're actually off to a very good start.
> - Keep holding and petting, whether they admit to liking it or not, and
> keep the feathery toys handy.
> - Keep them in a very small space so you can easily get your hands on
> them.
> - Add a little meat baby food to your repertoire, especially the chicken,
> turkey and ham flavors.  You want to follow up petting sessions with a
> really special treat.  I actually have them lick the baby food off my
> fingertips.  Gets them even more accustomed to hands.
> - Also, whatever space you have them in, play music very softly and/or
> leave on a television set to a low volume.  Gets them more used to human
> voices.
> - Patience and persistence
> - Also, join the feral cat list at
> and read through the very
> extensive files section on taming.
> *Caroline Kaufmann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>* wrote:
> My other issue is that is took in 3 female barn kittens last Sat.  We are
> estimating they are about 8 wks (just got spayed on Mon and all weigh almost
> 3 lbs).  They were born in a barn in Indiana- mom was dropped off on this
> man's farm and had her kittens in the barn.  I don't know too many details,
> but after they were born, they started coming out of the barn a little so
> they were noticed by the farmer and his daughter.  They were not taken into
> the house as far as I know they stayed in the barn until they were caught
> and brought to me.  So my contact at the adoption agency obviously wanted to
> get them fix and out of the bitter bitter cold and wants to see if they can
> be socialized enough to be adopted out.  If not, they will have to
> re-released to the barn.  She doesn't have the time/resources to take on
> this project right now and she was given my name and number as the newest
> "kitten rehabber" on the block I guess.  But I'm a rehabber of sick kittens-
> that's my forte!  And these babies are the healthiest lil piggies I've seen
> in a loooooong time (aw the irony).  (By the by, 5 of the 7 kittens that I
> have nursed through illnesses and fostered since Sept. have been adopted!
> The remaining ones are Yoda- who shows badly b/c he thinks I'm his mommy and
> he has no intention of going anywhere...and the little booger is growing on
> me daily anyway; and Possum (aka "Possee"- my little struggling underweight
> darling who's finally growing and moving around now that we've gone through
> a whole thing of Nutrical!  He's not caught up to Yoda yet, even tho they
> are the same age, but there's been improvement.  He isn't show-ready yet so
> I haven't even tried to adopt him yet.).
> Anyway, I don't know what I am doing with these barn kittens!  Other than
> just generally "forcing" myself on them, I am kind of at a loss.  They're
> not really wild like feral cats or anything, they just would prefer it if
> you didn't touch them.  They kind of go into this panic mode when I do pick
> them up by the scruff where they will just curl up their body like a ball
> and they just kind of go to their happy place-- like lapse into a trance and
> don't engage.  So people who don't truly know cats think they are darling
> little docile things you can just hold forever, but it's not so.  I know if
> you put them on the ground, they would be off and under something and you'd
> never find them again.  It's like they go into survival mode when you hold
> them, so people think they are fun to hold, but really, these little things
> are dying on the inside while you are doing it!  They never purr when I
> scratch them or handle them.  They will hiss sometimes when they first see
> me or I reach for them, but it's really baby hissing and I totally ignore
> it.  Of course, they are scared of sounds and some toys I originally gave
> them, but we are making headway now b/c they love the cat teasers with
> feathers, so I can get them to engage, but only for the purpose of playing.
> *Other than forced holding of them, what can I do to work on getting
> them to engage with people- and even like them?  *I hold them together as
> a group all wrapped up in a towel- I thought that would lessen the trauma by
> them all having each other. Plus, the farmer's daughter (hee hee!) favored
> only one of them and held only that one kitten- so it's more socialized and
> easier to hold than the other two.  It's actually really sad to see the
> effect that that favoritism had on these babies!  *I just want to be doing
> all that I can b/c if they can't be socialized, they will have to be
> released and I will feel like it's partly my fault-- I feel like I can't
> fail here.   *It would be especially sad b/c these little things are cute
> cute!  They have those big round "apple" heads and pudgy faces and huge
> round eyes and they have medium fur that is really fluffy and poufy- very
> distinctive looking and I know if they didn't have "people" issues right
> now, they would literally fly off the shelves at adoption day!  They look
> little bear cubs basically...insanely cute!
> Suggestions very welcome at this point!
> thanks,
> Caroline   * *
> ------------------------------
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