Sunday, November 30, 2014

Feral Portrait: Pearl

As you can see, Pearl is a very sweet and sophisticated young lady.  She is from the same litter as Blaze, but she was not as quick as Blaze to trust me.  She politely stood back and watched Blaze for several months before she decided that I was safe to be around.   Now, she lets me pet her -- but not too much.   Pearl is very laid back and gives no one any trouble, most of the time.  I have seen her take a whack at some rude cat who might be muzzling in on her food, but she doesn't push others out of the way.  She waits for the most part for her turn.  However, once she has settled down to eat, she brooks no interference.

She is a solid Gray Tuxedo with no stripes except for a hint of stripes on her tail.  Her nose is a very dainty white.  She has two other siblings that look very much like her, except that Opal has a Black nose and Almost doesn't have a strait line down her nose, it is somewhat cock-eyed.  But as you can see below, Pearl is very refined.

Pearl has been inside the house at least once.  She is not the pushiest of cats, but she did look around a bit.   I think Adams might grow to like her.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Colony News

I will get to another feral profile, but first a minor update on the colony.

As you can see, most of the cats are either Black or Gray.  We only have one Yellow cat, no calicos or other coloring -- except for Prince Charming (More about him in an upcoming profile).  There are several different Tuxedo cats, both Gray and Black.  For the most part, they don't really look the same to me any more (OK, except for the triplets).  Naming them really helps to see their individuality.

Lately the colony seems to be shrinking.  I don't know if that is bad news or good news.  I used to feed around 28 or 29 twice a day.  But lately the numbers have been more around 22 or 23 twice a day with about 14 who also stop by to ask for a mid-day snack.  Sometimes they get it.

As to the shrinkage, I don't know if some cats are just moving on, or if they are getting adopted.  Or if they are running into foul play.  It could be any of those possibilities.  However, except for one very friendly kitten, it is not the friendly ones who are disappearing.  I can now pet all but about four or five of the cats.  

Several of them have decided that now that our cat-hating dog is gone, they are moving onto the porch or in the yard in various places.  Three of them came came into the house tonight (Yes, Blaze is one of the three)!  I left the door open for them, and they did come in and explore a little.   A couple of other cats look as if they may want to venture in the future, but they are still working up the courage to try.  Personally, I love it.  I love seeing the cats on the porch and I feel quite honored that some of them think my home may be a safe place for them.  It doesn't get terribly cold in this part of the world, but during the winter, nights can be very uncomfortable for those not used to the chill.  I will begin to build a few small shelters for the cats next week-end.  There is a place by my fence that has some boards leaning against it, like a lean-to.  I'm thinking of making a couple of real lean-tos to give them choices in shelter.  I am also hoping to get one of my sheds fixed up so that I can move my Mobility Scooter into it (like a garage) but also have a doorway or two for the cats to have shelter in there.

When on the porch, the cats weave in and around the dogs, with no fear and only a very little wariness about them.  Of course, two of the dogs are smaller than the cats and the third dog, Fred, is blind, but not stupid.  He knows better than to give grief to a cat he cannot see.

All in all, I am very pleased with the progress of my feline and canine family.  They are getting braver and I am honored by their trust.

The above is a picture of Chester and two of the Triplets down in front.  More Profiles to follow.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Feral Portrait: Lil Mama

Introducing Lil Mama

She is the mother of over half of the cats I now feed.  She is Very fertile.  Every 4 1/2 months, like clockwork, she produces another litter.  She is also very wary of traps or tricks that might end up getting her spayed.    She won't fall for anything.   Of all the cats I feed, she is the one I would most like to trap, and she is also the smartest when it comes to avoiding getting caught.  Alas, she is very intelligent and knows what to avoid.  She takes no chances and has a poor opinion of those who do.

She lives underneath the Mobile Home next door.  It keeps her fairly safe, since most dogs can't fit through the opening she uses.  She keeps her kittens hidden away until they are about 6 weeks old.  Then  slowly, you will see the new litter, poking out their ears first, big eyes on the new world.

Once her kittens are weaned, she brings them out to the feeding area and from then on, they are on their own.  She bats them away from her food, she hisses at anyone else (human or feline) who might come close to her.   She has NO interest in becoming tamed and keeps a healthy distance between herself and the world.   She is very good at setting boundaries.

She is a pretty little thing, the smallest of all the cats and very well-groomed.  She is also always in a  Bad Mood.   She is the personification of Grumpy.  She is perpetually mad at the world and all of us who are in it.  She tolerates no nonsense from the other cats and is not the slightest bit sentimental. Tiny though  she is, the other cats all respect her and give her lots of room.  No one ever tries to fight her for the food.  She gets what she wants.  Period. 

I have no idea how she manages to raise such wonderful  kittens who are so eager to be tamed.  Her children seem to have inherited her intelligence, but not her trust issues.   But to give her due, she is a survivor.  And she keeps her kittens safe while they are young.

I Will trap her and get her spayed.  I don't know how, but she is too darned fertile not to.  She will never forgive me, but  then, she doesn't like me much anyway.  After she is caught, she will still come around and get her food.  She is no dummy.