Winter - Spring 2008
Mistake No. 1 in socializing Silver was in not bonding with her while we had the chance. I've read since then that it is possible with younger ferals to ease them into the world of domesticity. What I could have done was play with her while she was in the trap and gradually get her used to my voice and touch.
But I didn't know, so poor Silver found what she thought would be her best friend—Cassie!
Oh, my goodness! I tried and tried to tell her that was not a good idea but she refused to listen. She had met Cassie when she began her backyard visitations and Cassie was out roaming around too. This was another indication to us that it would be OK to have Silver inside. Cassie, in her own "I-am-the-queen" way, allowed Silver to stay close but not too close. Silver seemed to not be afraid (another indication that she's not very bright) and made no aggressive attempts either. So basically they ignored each other.
I ask you, does Cassie look happy?
Silver, to this day, has not given up. As Cassie has gotten older and more feeble, she can barely walk and she is partially blind, Silver stays with her constantly. Cassie is 18 now, and I honestly don't know how Silver will take it when she dies.
As you can see, Silver was comfortable in the house, stayed close to us, and she still does. These photos were taken in 2008, six years ago. That's how long Silver has been in the house. She has escaped twice and you'll read more about that later.
But the important thing to note is that we have never touched her. She has tentatively eaten chicken bites out of my hand, but only using her "Get it and run" strategy. When we have company or even overnight guests, they never see Silver. She has her "safe" places where she goes when strangers are in the house. The two times she left us, she came back, looking starved and more scared than before. But she does come back. It's a miracle she survived because she was gone about three weeks both times. I have to show people photos just to prove we actually have her!
We were one happy little family until the summer of 2009 and . . .
The Huge Surprise!