After cleaning cat cages the other day, I decided to sit outside and watch the feral cat colony. Over the last couple of years, I’ve seen some come and go (and some pass away naturally). One of the cats that is really friendly hasn’t been seen in a few weeks. He’s a huge brown marble tabby I named Hemingway, because he’s polydactyl.
One of the smaller kitties is a tortoiseshell that was born in the colony. She used to be terrified of people. Now she walks right up to the volunteers and sits on our laps. We named her Girlfriend. She rubbed against my legs and then took off behind the wire fence. I thought she was running after another cat at first. When I looked closer to the furry brown object moving by the cinder wall, I realized it was a groundhog. I groaned internally and held my breath. I was certain she was going to attack it. But to my surprise, she didn’t. Instead, Girlfriend perched herself on top of the cinderblock wall and looked out across the golf course behind the shelter. The groundhog made its way on the wall and sat next to her. Another black and white cat hopped on to the wall. Again, the cat didn’t bother the groundhog.
Another of the friendly ferals made an appearance that afternoon. We named him Handsome, for obvious reasons. He’s at the top of the pecking order of the colony. All of the other cats move out of the way when it is feeding time, and he finds the best spots to nap in the heated barn. I worry about him, though. Handsome is one of those cats who test out their nine lives. He doesn’t move out of the street when cars speed by. Luckily (so far), through traffic has stopped for him. I’m terrified of the day when a vehicle won’t stop, or purposely tried to mow him down. Handsome is a funny cat. When I talk to him, his eyes get lazy and he blinks deeply. I can crouch down close to him, but he hasn’t really let me pet him. Occasionally, I can brush his head lightly if I’ve got a platter of wet food to set on the ground. Other than that, though, I suppose I haven’t fully earned his trust.