Meet the Neighbors 07

The “cute cats” drought will continue for at least another week. In the meantime, meet some more of our neighbors.

These guys tend to show up, hang out for a while, and then vanish again. They’ve been around lately, munching on the greenery.

Their numbers vary from year to year. I’ve seen as many as six of them at once. They usually travel in pairs, making those two pictures somewhat unusual; here’s a more typical shot. (Yes, we really do see boys as well as girls.)

Unlike the other neighbors I’ve introduced, the deer don’t come into the yard or hang out at the Bowl o’ Krunchies, but I have seen them nibbling on the trees that hang over the fence.

As our neighbors go, the deer are probably the most boring. Unlike the turkeys, the deer go out of their way to avoid confrontations with cars. They don’t bully each other, they don’t ask for handouts, and they don’t break things. They just leave hoofprints and the occasional pile of droppings in the common area.

We’re not totally blas√© about them–they may be boring, but they’re still wild animals right outside the house–but we get more excited about a chance to say hello to Grey Tabby or fire the SuperSoaker at the raccoons.

Meet the Neighbors 05

Since this week’s first two posts were bird-related, I’ll continue the theme today.

In addition to maintaining the backyard food and water bowls, we also have several bird feeders which Maggie keeps stocked with a variety of seeds. Collectively they’re known as the “Cat Entertainment Device”, and replenishing the seeds is usually called “changing the CED’s batteries.” The CED attracts quite a few birds, most of which I couldn’t identify if my life depended on it (I can usually distinguish seagulls, hawks, owls, egrets, and crows. Beyond that, I’m pretty much reduced to describing them by size and color.) I’m pretty sure most of them are semi-regulars.

Then there’s this little guy.

He was quite talkative — squawkative might be a better way to put it. We suspect he was a home escapee: he didn’t seem afraid of us and let us get quite close. He was wary enough to keep enough distance that trying to capture him didn’t seem feasible. Dodging around us didn’t stop him from vacuuming up an amazing number of sunflower seeds.

He’s only showed up once, although I think I heard him a couple of times over the next few days. Hopefully he found his way back home, or at least someplace where he gets plenty of sunflower seeds and doesn’t have to dodge cats.

Meet the Neighbors 03

The backyard food bowl is open access. Even though it was intended for felines, we don’t object to any of the neighbors dropping by for a bite, as long as they behave themselves. No fighting, no wasting of food, and no destruction.

This guy (or gal–we’re not at all sure) drops by from time to time for a quick meal. Since he generally doesn’t show up until after the cats have taken their turn at the bowl, we don’t object.

He’s working the “so ugly he’s cute” thing, and doing a pretty good job of it, especially when he braces one of those little pink hands on the edge of the bowl.

We don’t have a name for him–actually, we don’t even know if it’s always the same one showing up, but we’ve never seen more than one possum at a time. Any suggestions?