“Hey,” I hear you all thinking*. “What’s up with the ferals?”
* Not really. It’s a rhetorical device. Relax, you don’t need to invest in metallic headgear. You can if you want, of course. I’m hardly in a position to give you fashion advice.”
I haven’t said anything about them because there hasn’t been much to say. The coyotes–or at least one coyote–are still around. We seem to have them scared: they run past our house instead of lingering in the common space. Clearly, that’s of limited utility in keeping the cats safe, so they remain in protective custody.
MM is still in the catio.
She spends most of her time on the highest shelf, alternately keeping watch, grooming, and sleeping. She descends for dinner, of course, and to use the box, but otherwise prefers to be as high up as possible. Not uncommon among meezers, to be sure, though it’s rare to see them so oblivious to rain.
After far too long in the garage, Lefty has finally made the move inside. I hasten to add that the delay had nothing whatsoever to do with his behavior. We had trouble coming up with a cage that fit into the available space, gave him sufficient room to move around, and didn’t risk him hurting himself through lack of depth perception. We finally combined a large cage with a bunch of snap-together wire panels. Hooray for zip ties!
It took no persuasion whatsoever for him to exchange the plastic carrier for a condo, and the camera frequently finds him sitting on the condo roof. However, he’s still quite shy where bipeds are concerned, and immediately ducks inside when he hears us coming.
He hasn’t met ‘Nuki yet, but they do have one thing in common: a tendency to leave body parts dangling when sleeping in an enclosed space.
Actually, the only one of the crew he’s met so far is Rufus. Not only was Mr. Alexander the logical choice, given his calm demeanor, but the library–Rufus’ home territory–was the only place in the house where there was enough space for Lefty’s domicile and where we could control his interaction with the other cats.
By and large, it’s working well. Rufus is free to roam the room, so he can ignore Lefty or engage with him as he sees fit. Granted, it’s usually the later (note the eyes at the upper right).
Yes, to our surprise, Lefty has turned out to be quite the talker when he wants Rufus’ attention. Ferals are rarely talkative, so we have to wonder if Lefty grew up as an indoor cat.
You can see Rufus’ tail just to the right of the glowing bar. Clearly, he’d rather eat than talk. Which is not to say that he won’t go looking for Lefty when he’s in the mood.
Naturally, Lefty reserves the right to ignore Rufus if he doesn’t feel social. He’s well aware of Rufus’ efforts, however, as can be seen by the glowing eye in the condo in the last few seconds of that clip.
Every so often, however, both gentlemen are feeling social at the same time.
They haven’t become bosom buddies, but their interactions seem peaceful. Quiet regard and cautious nose-sniffing are the actions of the day. That works for us.
As I said earlier, Lefty still ducks out of sight when he hears us coming. But now that he’s indoors and has had some time to adjust, we’ve started hanging out quietly in the library to accustom him to our presence in a (hopefully) non-threatening fashion. A couple of days ago, he accidentally came out of the condo to visit his food bowl while Maggie was in the room. He didn’t panic and didn’t threaten, just watched her for a few seconds, then ducked back into shelter when he heard me approaching. Definite progress.
In the near future, we’ll try leaving the library door open while we sit with Lefty. That should let him begin to meet the rest of the gang while still giving us control over their interaction.
There’s a long way to go before we even consider letting him out of the cage, much less give him free rein to wander around the house. But we’ve taken the first steps.
As “things to be grateful for” go, being able to offer shelter and love to those in need–Sachiko, Rufus, MM, and Lefty in particular–is high up on my list.
On behalf of Rufus and your tribe of kitties, I’m thankful for you and Maggie! Your care for your tribe is simply awesome. Plus, something I never knew — that ferals are generally not talkative. This goes a long way toward explaining our many cats over the years, including the current three-some who will tussle and play and wrestle and cavort with each other … as quiet as (ahem) mice. Although we will occasionally get a birdlike “please feed us now” chirp from TomTom when dinnertime rolls around. Happy Post-Thanksgiving!
Thank you for the compliment. We’d do the same thing without the kudos, but they’re always nice to hear.
And I’m glad to hear I’ve furthered your education in some small way. “No day in which you learn something is entirely wasted.” Unless, of course, what you’ve learned is what those funny-looking plants out behind the house are.
‘Nuki is our main chirper. He’s got such an amazingly tiny voice for such a big, gruff cat. He mostly uses it to demand attentions, not food, oddly enough.