Bozzy is a feral cat who has been around since I started putting out Ronja and Victor's leftovers in December 2016. I only knew the faces of the cats that came around thanks to my wildlife camera that recorded in the night. The original crew that came around was Little Poul, Tommy and Bozzy. Of the three Bozzy was the most unstable. She would somtimes be gone for weeks. While the others would come at night, she often came in the morning. I thought maybe she had a home and they let her out in the morning? This was way before I knew there was a whole cat colony in the area by the way!
I was also convinced that Bozzy was male. Her long winter coat made her seem much bigger than Little Poul, so I just assumed that she was male because of her size. This could also explain why she was sometimes gone for weeks, cause male cats tend to wander to meet more ladies.
I gave her the name Big Poul, cause she had similar coloring as Little Poul and on the black and white recordings they looked alike apart from Bozzy's long coat and size. Bozzy didn't become a regular face at the feeding station untill I moved it further away from the house. By then I thought it was time to give her a new name, so she wouldn't have to share with Little Poul. I named her Bozzy after a Danish rapper called Bossy Bo, who was ind a band that my husband listened to when he was younger.
During spring 2018 I tried to catch Bozzy many times, but failed. It wasn't untill the summer that I finally caught her. But first I had to get a hedgehog out of the way, who just couldn't resist the food in the trap. Check it out 🙂
So as I finally had Bozzy inside the trap, this was the first time I really laid eyes on her. Remember I still thought she was male then, so I was quite unimpressed with her size. I thought for sure that this guy would be a lot bigger. But we were in a dim barn and I thought maybe Bozzy looked small cause she was afraid and made herself small. I volunteer at a shelter and when the cats first arrive they are often very scared and will hide in the back of their cage. When they settle in and come out I am often surprised how big they are, because they can look so small and squeeze into the smallest spaces. Cats are fluid as they say. So I thought that might be why this big male cat suddenly seemed so small.
So the next morning as I delivered Bozzy to the vet, I told them that it was an adult male. I was so sure of it. But later the vet called me and informed me that it was indeed a female and that she must have kittens somewhere because she got milk! I was quite surprised and embarrassed that I never even considered she could be female. And I had clearly missed a big belly too.
I never noticed she was pregnant because her long fur had covered it up. Had I known she might have kittens I would have never taken her. But now that she was already at the vet, we might as well go ahead and get her fixed. When female cats have kittens they can still go into heat and this sometimes mean that they leave their litter too soon to go get pregnant again. By fixing Bozzy we would avoid that and that way give her kittens a better chance of survival. So it wasn't all bad that I accidentally caught a nursing cat. She also had a broken tooth that needed to come out and it was a good thing we caught it before it got infected, leaving her in a world of pain.
A succesful return
We were a bit worried that there might be kittens out there waiting for food from Bozzy, so there was no time to waste, letting Bozzy back out. Normally you would wait before letting a cat back out who has been under sedation. You want it to be able to defend itself and have a clear head. The vet did what she could to wake up Bozzy and I took her directly back out where I caught her. When I took the blanket off the cage, she immediately realised that she was home and wanted out. She ran as soon as I opened the gate and was only slightly unsure on her legs. But then she stopped to look around and carried on in a normal pace.
Usually when I release a cat, it will run in a random direction as fast as possible. It is very nerve recking to let a cat out this way, because I'm always afraid that it will run out onto the road or get lost somehow. Bozzy ran in the right direction and actually slowed down, so that was a relief. I would consider it my most succesful release yet.
Bozzy returns to the feeding station
Whenever I release a feral I know it could be a while before I see them again. They are not in a hurry going back to where they were lured into a trap and taken to a vet. And who can blame them. Eventually they return because they know there is food there, but you never know how long it will take. With Little Poul it took an agonizing 14 days before she showed up again. Therefore I wasn't surprised that Bozzy did not show up on the wildlife camera that night, but that was okay cause I had seen her cross the field a couple of hours after I released her and she looked just fine. Bozzy was back at the feeding station the night after, so she forgave me quick (or really needed the food).
Since it turned out that Bozzy was a girl, I asked my followers on social media what we should name her. Most people agreed that she could keep her name. One suggested the name Bozita which coincidently is also the brand name of some of the vet food we use for the ferals. So she still goes by the name Bozzy, but if anybody asks, it's a pet name for Bozita.
Shortly after I TNR'ed Bozzy we got a new shelter by the feeding station. Bozzy was the first one to eat here and for some she was the only one eating there. Then Miko joined her and today Tommy and Sally occasionally eats there too. This is a movie from the first night with the clubhouse.
The way TNR works in Denmark is that ones you fix and earmark a cat you own that cat, even if it is not tame. It is my responsibility now to make sure Bozzy is fed, has shelter and goes to the vet if needed. This is all easier said than done sometimes, but legally she is my cat and therefore responsibility and surely no one else is going to look after her. If she is someday found by someone else, they can get in touch with me by looking up her ear tattoo online. And of course I do my best to take good care of her and the rest of the feral cat colony she belongs to. Bozzy is my TNR. no. 6 and she has since brought one kitten to the feeding station.