Saturday, October 25, 2014

Feral Portrait: Blaze


This little lady is named Blaze, for the perfect marking on her forehead.   She deserves a better, more individual name, but I haven't thought of one yet.  She is by far and away my favorite of all the Ferals.

Blaze was the first of the wild cats to show up on my doorstep.  Slightly over two months old, she decided she wanted to live here with her two sisters and two brothers.  All of them are tuxedo kitties, one black like her and the other three solid gray tuxedos (no stripes).  Shortly after Blaze showed up, her mother followed the brood, but Blaze was the first.

Blaze is a talker.  She calls out when it is time to be fed.  She presses herself against the porch gate and reminds me that it's time.   And sometimes she gets lonely and calls me to come outside and keep her company.  I sit on the steps and we just spend time together.  She gets closer than her mother is comfortable with, but Blaze doesn't care.  She lives here, this is her home.  She seems to know she is safe and loved here.  She used to try to come up on the porch, but it wasn't a good idea when we had Sophie living here.  Now that Sophie is gone, I suspect Blaze will be coming back for another try at the porch.   

Sometimes Blaze just likes to call me to watch her fall asleep in the potted plants.  Sadly, I didn't start trying to tame the Ferals until recently, but Blaze was the first one that could be petted.  She wasn't sure it was a good idea at first, but she put up with it.  Now she understands that being petted is the price she must pay for her food, and she no longer seems to mind it.  If I had started sooner, she would be a lap cat.  She has an affectionate character and likes people, even though she still is a wild kitty.

If you take a good look at her face,  you will see that she has two small white markings just under her nose.  For all the world, they look like buck teeth.  But buck teeth are incongruous with her personality, because Blaze is a lady in every sense of the word.  Her manners are impeccable.  She waits for me to invite her before she eats.  She always looks at me as if to say 'Thank you',  both before and after each meal.

Yes, Blaze has been spayed.  She was the first with that, too.   I am hoping that when the weather turns cold, she will find that coming in our home is a pleasant thing to do.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Feral Portrait: Chester


Feral Portrait:  

Currently, 23-28 feral cats show up twice a day on my front lawn to be fed and watered.  Some of them have begun to hang out there all the time, because it is a safe place with lots of good places for a kitty to make a home.  You might be interested in getting to know them,so here is one Feral Portrait.  More portraits will follow.


This handsome Tuxedo cat is named Chester.  Roughly 2/3 of the cats are tuxedos.  When Chester was born evidently there was a problem and he has a broken hind leg.  But he doesn't seem to care.  He runs and plays around freely.  He is named after the Character from 'Gunsmoke' who walked with a limp.

Our county (Kern County in California) no langer will accept Feral cats at the shelter.  Instead they have instigated a program of TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release back into the wild).  So far they have been doing this for about 13 months and have neutered over 2,100 Ferals.

Chester was taken in to be neutered in July of this year.  Sadly when he arrived, they took one look at him and said they would put him down humanely.  Why?  Because they only did shots and neutering, they did not have facilities to take care of broken legs, etc.  We grabbed him back and took him home.  
We live in a tiny mobile home park, one block long, only 31 spaces.  I live at the end of the block in a corner, so it is rather safe for Chester and the others.  Even though he is lame, he does just fine here.

Chester is close to being tame.  He can be petted (but not on the head) and when I go out to feed the cats, Chester weaves in and out of my legs.  He is a gentle cat.  Though he has not been neutered, he does not engage in fights nor does he bat away the kittens who come to eat.  He seems to be very friendly to the other cats.

He never misses a meal, but he also likes to lay about between meals as part of the decorations.  He seems to be the Grand Old Fellow who presides over the entire area.