// Tater Tot Flynn


Everyone, please meet Tater Tot! She's the newest addition to the Flynn family. I debuted her on Instagram last week but here's a proper photo. When we started renovating the house we kept noticing a cat that would scurry to leave once we pulled into the driveway. We knew the person who lived here before us must have had a cat because there was a food bowl left out on the deck. (Seriously, I think it's pretty crappy that anyone would move and leave their pet.. who does that?!) It took weeks before we got a decent look at the cat. We assumed it was probably a neighbor's cat or something. One day when we were at the house really early, we heard the loudest meowing ever. I sat down on the deck once I saw the cat and called it over, thinking that there was no way it'd come to me. Surprisingly the cat had no reservations. Not even kidding, two seconds into petting it and I knew it'd stick around. 

Enid wasn't at the new house yet so we didn't have any cat food there. We ran to the store a little bit later and left some out to feed the orange cat. You'd seriously think this cat hadn't eaten in months. Of course when you feed a stray, the stray stays. At this point I exclaimed that I'd call it Tater Tot (I still had no idea what sex the cat was). Mike thought I was being ridiculous (he claims to not be a cat person), but of course he's taken to Tater Tot and he totally adores Enid. 

After sharing TTs picture on Instagram, I was told some pretty interesting facts about orange cats. Apparently 80% of orange cats are male (!!!) and they're one of the most vocal breeds of cat. I can absolutely attest to the latter part of that. And we totally invaded her privacy long enough to find out that she is actually female. We've got a lot of lady pets haha 

She's such a beautiful cat! She wants so badly to come inside, and she's even walked into the kitchen twice, but she immediately turns around and bolts. She's a little skiddish of Pipkin because Pip is a bit high energy, but she'll nuzzle up past Georgia when G passes. Enid doesn't really want anything to do with her, but Tater Tot tries anyway. I'm excited to see how everyone takes to one another once she gets fully settled in. 

Mike and I are going to build her (and Enid) an outdoor house with cat tree so maybe I'll share that process on here. Enid likes to be an indoor cat in the winter, but outdoor once the weather breaks. To be honest she just loves sleeping at the foot of Toby's bed. I made Tater Tot a big blanket bed outside and she sleeps in it every night (!!!) but I'm hopeful she'll work her way inside, too (at least partially).

Since we feed Tater Tot outside, we also indirectly feed 2 or 3 other stray cats. There's another Maine Coon and a Russian Blue who snacks on Tate's food. I don't have the heart to run them off, but we're not 100% sure how to handle it. I don't have the heart to turn away an animal that's hungry, but I also don't want 5 cats haha! Any advice?

We basically have a circus now. I'm kind of excited.

51 comments:

  1. she is the prettiest. we have quite a vocal cat too... but vocal cats have such a great personality :)
    kw, ladies in navy

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  2. Our next-door neighbors left their cat when they moved too. Fortunately the girls downstairs ended up adopting her--come to find out, she was also pregnant, so they ended up with two extra cats to give away. It was sad and adventurous.

    She's an absolutely beautiful cat, and I love that you've named her Tater Tot!

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  3. She is so pretty. I feel bad for her, her old owner just leaving like that? How rude! Maybe you can find the other cats homes? Or best thing is to not feed her outside.
    My mom had a bunch of feral cats in her backyard of her new house. The lady that lived there was alone and old so she fed them and sometimes let them inside. Well... my mom isn't a cat person... or an animal person so she stopped feeding them and they don't come around anymore. Once in a while i'll see one of them though.

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    1. good point re: not feeding outside! that might help her warm up to being indoors with everyone too. definitely need to pop by the vet first!

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    2. Not feeding the cats outside will show Tator Tot that she is not allowed at your house anymore. This may be okay if you were just feeding neighborhood cats and didn't want any, but if you want Tator Tot..this is the worst move to make.

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  4. She's adorable! And it's so nice of you guys to take her in. People can be so heartless. For them, if it's out of sight, it's out of mind. But she's lucky to have you all.

    Priya
    Sunshine Over The Mountains

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  5. Tater Tot sure is cute :) Your story with all your new-found cat friends reminds me of staying with my grandma in the country in South Carolina. There was always some sort of creature nosing around that I wanted to adopt! Heh - much different from my not-quite-city not-quite-suburban home now with one spoiled rotten Bernese Mountain Dog!

    You should google around and see if there are any low-cost/no-cost spay or neuter clinics around that might be able to help with the other cats that have been popping by. A town nearby my area was having such a huge feral cat problem that if you brought in cats/kittens or pointed them towards a den they would spay/neuter them I want to say for free - that way they wouldn't run up the populations at shelters but it would help alleviate wild overpopulation issues. I'm the same way about being unable to turn away from a cute mammal in need - just check out the chomp scars on my right hand ;)

    I bet Toby is in heaven with all these cute critters to play with!!

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    1. that's a great suggestion! unfortunately the town we live in doesn't even have a proper humane society (just some old beat up chain fences that can house about 6 dogs at a time. the rate in which they put them down is heartbreaking, so i don't want to call animal control. maybe the next town over has something!

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  6. This warms my heart. I'm so happy you all have taken her in. My biggest suggestion, before letting her come inside regularly is to take her to the vet. Just to be sure she doesn't have any sicknesses that could hurt your current pets, and or people in the home.

    If I could, I would house all the strays... I'd be that crazy cat woman for sure. My husband stops that. Well him and our current cat that totally owns me... he's king. I don't know how he'd feel about a 2nd cat, so I don't test it, essentially because he's my baby, and I don't want to change our dynamic.

    Congrats on the new darling and thank you for having such a kind heart. :)

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    1. great point! we've been meaning to check out the new vet in town so that'll be quickly going to the top of our to do list!

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  7. What a sweetheart! In regards to the other feral cats, is there a local cat rescue you can call who could possibly trap them, then find foster/permenant homes for them?

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    1. unfortunately no! the state of animal control here is abysmal. there's no humane society to speak of, only men who drive around in city trucks, picking up strays and (in the case of almost all of the cats they catch, and after a couple of days the dogs too) killing them. it's truly heartbreaking because this very thing was reported on the news several years ago (about our town). :(

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    2. Kaelah, message me if you want to learn more about building a humane center for cats and dogs in your area. I work for a no-kill cat adoption and rescue center and I could give you all kinds of information if you are interested in helping the animals in you area! Email me at djkittiex@email.phoenix.edu.

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  8. Tater tot! Love her! I remember commenting on your Instagram about the myth that all orange cats are males. Interesting facts I learned from Google after that!

    Would you maybe be interested in finding a way to capture the strays and take them to the local shelter? They can get spayed and go to a home. That way at least their not breeding and creating an even bigger problem. It makes me sad when people leave pets behind/don't spay and have outdoor cats. :( My little Olive was found in the woods in an abandoned car. It's sad to think if she and the rest of her litter hadn't been rescued they would've been ferral and probably not all would still be alive. Wah!

    I'd love to see the cat house you guys make! I imagine much cuteness and lots of pink and scallop trim coming from you, lol.

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    1. unfortunately there's no local shelter here :(

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  9. She's so beautiful! I don't know how anyone could leave her behind. Shame on them. Glad she has someone to take care of her now!

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  10. Congratulations. I am so happy for you, as well as for Tater Tot. :)

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  11. Congratulations on the new addition! I love orange cats so much! When I first got Sawyer I went to all the shelters looking for a little orange man. And of all my cats ( I now have 4- so I'm way closer to being a crazy cat lady than you) Soy is the most vocal.

    Can't wait to meet the new baby!

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    1. hooray! i need to get some partayyyy invites out to y'all!

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  12. I've taken in many a stray, found homes for a few, and have two "foster failures". The one, Norm, who we took in after he got very sick from being outside, was in the same situation where his family up and left, leaving him to fend for himself in Baltimore City - not a nice place to be a stray cat. At least that's what we assume considering any time we pack to go on vacation, or pack up a room to paint, he goes into total panic mode. It's heartbreaking.

    What I do for strays that come and go around my house, and the neighbor's cat they insist on letting outside - even in Hurricane Sandy- is make shelters from Rubbermaid containers (one on the front porch, one under the back porch), line it with carpet for insulation -you could also use foam insulation or put a Styrofoam cooler inside - and fill with straw so they can burrow down and make a warm nest area (you shouldn't use blankets as they leech the cat's body heat). Instructions are here http://mousebreath.com/2012/01/rubbermaid-subsidizes-diy-feral-cat-shelters/ (but I don't know why it says hay or straw, some cats have allergies to hay and hay can grow mold. Hopefully spring weather is just around the corner, but in the meantime, or for next winter, keep it in mind.

    You should check out low cost spay/neuter programs around your area (http://midtnpetfoodbank.org/low-cost-spayneuter-programs.html) Even if you don't qualify for the low cost programs, if you tell them you're interested in doing trap&return for feral cats around the home you just moved to, someone would probably be willing to work something out with you, or direct you to a group that specifically does trap & return.

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    1. this was the most helpful comment ever! thank you lizzie! i had no idea about the blankets, so thank you for sharing :) we've charted out something similar to that rubbermaid shelter but we wanted to build it from wood. I'll definitely investigate those links more and see if we can do something like that. we have some live traps so we can hopefully easily catch them.

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  13. The same thing happened to a colleague of mine. She moved into her new house and the former owners had actually locked their cat inside! Some people are terrible... Glad Tater Tod found a good home with you guys!

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  14. What a cutie! I think it's so sweet you guys are taking care of her! Of course, I am a biased crazy cat lady with 4 rescue cats of my own.
    And seriously, I can't imagine how people can just abandon their pets :-(

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  15. Awh, Tater Tot is beautiful. (or handsome, whichever) Such a pretty color + amazing eyes.
    It makes me sick knowing that someone would just leave their pet like that. I can't imagine not having my Gregory with me.. cats are wonderful. I wish you luck!

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  16. Try putting her food right inside the door. And then as she slowly acclimates to the new food location move it further and further inside. She'll be more comfortable once she knows that theres food in there!

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  17. She's a beauty! I love vocal cats. It is the most adorable thing when a cat will talk back to you.
    The best thing with strays is look into trap, neuter, release (TNR) options. That way you will at least keep the local cat populations down. A female cat can have 5-12 kittens a year!

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  18. Awww! She's so sweet! Congrats on the new addition!

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  19. This is so cute, and she looks lovely, it's so nice of you to 'adopt' her. I used to have a cat that came to my garden which was adorable, this is so cutexx

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  20. Aw! She's beautiful! disclaimer: i'm a border line crazy cat lady :)
    I've always wanted an orange. I have two adorable fur babies of my own. At first the older one wanted nothing to do with the little one. Now they are besties and it didn't take long. They also became friends with their cousin Yoda in no time. yoda was pretty persistent and even got my shy little one out from under the bed and playing.

    So cruel that the previous owners just left her but clearly she's with a better family now. I hope that she's a loving addition to your home!

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  21. OMG! I am feeding a feral cat right now too and he is pretty much coming around around all the time now. My english bulldog it not happy, lol.

    ~Crystal

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  22. Aw that's so sad that her owners just left her behind. But my dad always says that cats choose their people, not the other way around. So she must have been waiting for the right family!

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  23. My sister has reached "crazy cat lady" status, she has a whole clowder of cats that come to her for food. She has built things similar to the Rubbermaid houses that your other reader put the link up for and she is trying to catch spay/neuter release but is having a hard time finding places that ill do them low cost enough for her to afford. It's nice though, they have always had a rat problem and the cats have gotten rid of them 100%

    Tator tot is beautiful, and so lucky to have nice people looking after her.

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  24. oh my gosh, beautiful! and Tater Tot! ah cute!! :)

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  25. I've made little shelters for stray cats before like Lizzie suggested, and the cats really seemed to like it! It gave them a warm place to sleep and way to get out of the rain.

    Since you don't have a shelter in your area, maybe you could post on Craigslist or another website to see if anybody would be interested in adopting the cats? That's actually how I find our two cats, they were stray kittens hanging around a trailer park, and someone posted an ad on Craigslist for them. I've had them for 7 years, and I love them to death. :)

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  26. PS - Tater Tot is gorgeous (and such a cute name)! :)

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  27. Oh ♡ SO beautiful! And a female ginger! I have a soft spot for that colour! =^..^= x

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  28. You should probably just get five cats. I think that is the answer.

    I have a fluffy ginger kitty (Called Sookie, or SOOKEH as Bill would pronounce it) and I had no idea they were the most vocal cats! Explains a lot though, she is always meowing. You can see five billion pics of her here (her tail used to be larger than her entire body)http://ourdailydress.wordpress.com/tag/sookie/

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  29. We have an orange cat, but the funny part is his orange has faded over the years and he's more beige. Haha! He is very vocal though, so I can totally attest to that. He's constantly "talking" to us.

    We took in a stray a few months back (also orange, but a female like Tater Tot!) and took her to our vet to see if she was microchiped. Unfortunately she was not and we had to find her another home because our cat dislikes other cats in his house. My mom found her a good home with a coworker who texts us pictures as she grows up since she was only 3 months old when we found her.

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  30. D'awwww! I have an orange tabby (fatty) named Bragnadarr the Troll Eater, & a Russian blue who might be part siamese (his meow is RIDICULOUS. Brag was always an indoor cat, but since my grey kitty love being outdoors & hunting, I might introduce him to wildlife, too. Enjoy the cat family! & maybe only feed your cats in the morning & night so you can supervise? That's the only way I'd think to keep the others away ... not that I could bare shooshing away strays, though! Good luck! & welcome home, Tater Tot. =)

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  31. (super high voice) HI KITTY!!!

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  32. My little sisters have taken to feeding the strays around house - except one has run all the others away. We don't entirely mind, though, because he/she is seriously the sweetest cat *ever*! He jumps on the windowsill on our deck and looks in at us/meows loudly until we come out. Half the time I don't think he even wants the food - just to be petted! <3 He's so sweet, and we all want to adopt him, but unfortunately me almost-seventeen-year-old (77 in cat years!) old lady cats *hates* him with a fiery, burning passion and even tries to attack him through the glass (yep! she's a genius, my Abby...). But my family had our way, he'd already be living in our house. <3

    Hope Tater Tot learns to be an indoor cat soon! And also, I love her name! Adorable! xo

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  33. That is just precious! I live in an apartment complex and we have two indoor cats, two dogs, a bearded dragon, an outdoor cat (semi-domestic), and a few others that get fed occasionally but Gucci (the outdoor cat) kinda lives on our porch. The other outside cats pick on her so we chase them off as needed but give them pats at times. I'm a vet tech and work with feral cats frequently, if you ever have any questions please drop me a line: lindsay@craftafarian.com.

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  34. What a pretty cat!I miss having cats around; we used to live on a farm, and there were constantly new litters of kittens to play with. And it's funny that you learned 80% of orange cats are male, because out of all the (probably 10+) orange cats we had around, only two of them were male!

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  35. i had no idea that 80% of orange kitties are male! but my friend does have an orange male cat named titties and he is definitely the most vocal cat i've ever met. . . i swear when i used to live with him i heard that cat say "hello" several different times! and i agree with shannon about the TNR options, if possible :-)

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  36. Such a cutie! So sad that someone abandoned her. Our cat was a similar. She happened to turn up at a friend's house just when we were looking for a kitten & it was meant to be! She's so sweet I can't believe anyone would do that but it's how she got her name, Takara, which means treasure in Japanese because I thought of the saying one man's trash is another's treasure.

    Also back home they do a one weekend a month clinic where they spay/neuter for super cheap It's a rural area so there's no established Humane society but I think it's how my Mom's neighbor affords to spay/neuter all the strays in the neighborhood she can catch. :)

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  37. Kaelah, I work at an ALL cat rescue and adoption center called C.L.A.W.S. here in Grand Junction, CO (http://www.clawsgj.org/), just opened an Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop/PawsWithClaws?ref=seller_info) in honor of my mission for C.L.A.W.S. (http://beautesombre.blogspot.com/p/paws-with-claws.html) and here is the only advice I can give you with cats that feed off other's food when outdoors. (Sorry for all the links, but I absolutely devote my entire life to cats and even have a career out of it through retail and music, I'm DJ Kittie ;P Just wanted to share the message around for that to explain myself).

    Unless the other cats show signs of beating up Tator Tot, it really is not a problem to indirectly feed other cats. As long as you do not let them outside, they will remain outside and will not go further with staying inside. If they do, however, beat up on Tator Tot...make sure that you make Tator Tot an inside cat immediately. If the cat does not come inside ASAP after you recognize the first sign of beaten, you may loose Tator Tot if he gets beaten up too bad or he may be severely injured (which I am sure you wouldn't want). Like I said though, if this does happen make sure you bring her in and the best way to keep the cat calm while bringing her inside is to wrap a blanket around her and to pick her up gently to gain your trust so you can move her indoors.

    E-mail me at djkittiex@email.phoenix.edu if you have ANY more questions or concerns. I'll be more than glad to answer them for you, or for any feline concerns you have with Enid and Tator Tot!

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  38. Hi! I'm not sure if your Mom passed the word along when I got in touch with her, but the previous owner took all his pets, 2 dogs and a cat. There are indeed alot of strays, naturally he didn't take them, just his.
    Makes me feel better knowing he didn't leave any behind :)
    Sharon

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    1. Too bad the "previous owner" let his dogs piss all over the floors and chew/scratch up all of the doors. We spent over $1300 just replacing the floors and doors in the house. Not to mention the insane amount of stink that came from the urine that was puddled up under the living room, the horrific painting work that was dripped all over the cabinets and countertop (we also had to replace those), and the holes he knocked in the walls and carpet he ruined. His dogs caused the floor to start to rot... Of course there's also the ~$3000+ that he screwed my parents out of. So it's great that he had enough integrity to "take all his pets" but it's pretty shitty of him to screw over his "friends". Also - he's an adult, tell him to fight his own battles.

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    2. I really am sorry, that's just how I am
      Anyway, my address is 2104 Springer Rd. B 11 Lawrenceburg 38464
      I don't think your mom has it. Thanks

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB