8/08/2008

Old Yellow


There has been an influx of feral cats in my neighborhood over the past few months. They seem to be popping up everywhere. They also seem to know when the animal control officer is coming around. They ALL disappear as if on cue. People have been complaining about them since early this year. They are extremely territorial. If one cat infringes on another’s territory, fights break out. It seems this always happens in the dead of night, along with mating.

Feral cats are usually cats that have never been domesticated or were abandoned at an early age. Their life span is usually much shorter than their domesticated counterparts. Their life is filled with violence and hunger. There is one yellow cat that took up residence in my yard back around Febuary. All attempts to catch him or get rid of him have failed. Ralph, my beagle puppy, has chased him repeatedly up trees. But, he always comes back down and jumps on the shed roof to escape Ralph’s incessant barking. I’m really afraid he would hurt Ralph. But, this cat seems to just consider Ralph a nuisance. So, I have just accepted he will be here for as long as he wishes. When he first showed up in my yard, he was gaunt looking and you could see he was malnourished. Animal lover that I am (and realizing he’s here to stay), I started leaving him a few leftovers. That seemed to have given him added strength. Now, six months later, he is a big old tabby cat. He looks like he easily weighs 15lbs…or more. I’ve also noticed something else over the past few months; the squirrels that had taken over my yard are largely gone. I think you can figure out why.

“Old Yellow,” as I so quaintly refer to him, and I have a deal worked out. I come out my back door, he is supposed to run and hide. That is common among all feral cats. He’s never hissed or acted like he would attack. He just would run and hide. Last week, as I got up one morning to go eat breakfast, I found Old Yellow sleeping on top of my red Nissan truck. Now, he’s never done that before. I fully expected him to run for the hills as I approached the truck. He stayed put. I approached the driver side door and he still didn’t move. Stunned, I just stood there looking at Old Yellow and him looking at me. I’m thinking, “Here I am, at 6:30AM, playing stare-down with a stray cat.” This went on for about 30 seconds or so before Old Yellow slowly and deliberately stepped down from the roof of my truck. Then, Old Yellow did the unexpected; he brushed up against my pants leg the way all domesticated cats do when they want to show affection. And, with that, Old Yellow went on his way to find him some breakfast, I suppose. I guess Old Yellow could have been domesticated at one time. It is hard to believe a feral cat would ever allow itself to come in contact with a human.

I think I’ve got me a cat now whether I like it or not.

4 comments:

we rescued a feral tuxedo kitten who is about to turn 3 this year. she's just now getting to the point of being overtly affectionate. all previous affection had to be *forced* upon her. now she requests it. :)

snack, I think that is great you were able to rescue a feral cat. I didn't think they could be domesticated. Old Yellow's attitude toward me seems to be changing. Just this morning, instead of running and hiding from me, he just sat back and looked at me. Nothing threatening or anything like that. I'm not at the point where I would try and pet him. But, he seems to be coming around. Even Ralph is becoming more tolerant of him. Thanks for the comment.

I think I am slowly falling in love with this blog. In fact I have bookmarked it. I just like your style of posting. It keeps one glued on and wanting to know how it ends. Just take the case of the feral cat; we all have them in our backyards yet your case sounds like a story I would like to follow in order to know how the relationship develops with that cat. Interesting post.

Maroa

online empire....well, thanks for the kind words. I hope you continue to fall in love with this blog. ;-) I know Old Yellow has definitely fallen in love with the handouts I've given him over the past few months. I just observe things in my life...and I write about them. People seem to enjoy for whatever reason. Thanks for stopping by.

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