Little Yoshi is on his way home, though it’s not the home we were hoping for when he was trapped in early August.

Yoshi is one of 13 kittens trapped during a big trap-neuter-return (TNR) project I’ve been working on since June for Rescue Angels of Southern Maryland. The homeowners have worked diligently to get all the kittens and adults so we can stop the cycle of cats in their yard. We’re almost done! (More on that on the blog soon.)

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All of the kittens were placed in foster homes, and a handful of them have already been adopted out. The transformation of the kittens from frightened outdoor cats to lovable kittens – and in some cases, major lap cats – has been nothing short of amazing. We have some of the best foster homes!

It didn’t go like that for Yoshi. He was in foster care for more than two months, but he was still terrified of humans. He didn’t want them to pet him or even to be near him. It was clear that Yoshi was trying to tell us something: People aren’t his thing, and he doesn’t want to be an indoor cat.

Yoshi was born outside to a feral mom, and he was on the older side when we trapped him. There was always the chance that he would resist socialization even if his siblings and cousins warmed up to the idea of life on the inside.

So the other night, Yoshi slept in my garage, and yesterday, he went home. His caretakers are happy to have him back. After a couple of days inside to help him remember where home is, he’ll be freed in the backyard. He’ll be reunited with his mom and other adult cats in the colony that he knows.

He’s been neutered, vaccinated, and ear tipped so that he can live a happy life outside – without bringing any more kittens into the world. There was a time when I would have felt sad for Yoshi. In an ideal world, every cat would have a loving indoor home, but we know this is not an ideal world. Instead, I am glad that Yoshi has a loving outdoor home where he can live out his years as a happy cat.

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