September 1st 2012 4:47 am
[ View A Comments (2) ]
We were kinda tickled to read about this new cat Seamus. Must ask him if he has a similar aversion/attraction to tomatoes...my personal favorite! No tomato is safe with me around...
September 5th 2012 9:28 am
[ View A Comments (9) ]
It’s official: there are 5 – count ‘em – FIVE babies of the Little Mama who showed up for food this morning on the porch! Four of them are blackies (big surprise) and one is a darker tabby who looks suspiciously like Marble! Hmmm….
We didn’t see them all eat from the food bowls, but certainly little Marble and one of the blacks had no problem with what to do with the solid food, including the kibble. The Mama is oohing and ahhing about them all – you’d think they were HER children instead of a bunch of new mouths to feed – hmmph! Only a matter of time, she’ll have them fawning all over her in the sickening way that Seven and Socks do – really, have they no cat instincts of self respect??? (I only do it when no one is watching…)
Little Mama and baby Spot
Baby Marble meets Becca
Baby Marble headed for the food bowl
Little Mama and two of her babies
September 9th 2012 6:56 am
[ View A Comments (8) ]
I know - that’s kind of a scary title! Not to worry, all kittens are accounted for, but the coyotes have moved into the area again. We’ve heard them yipping at night the past three nights or so. The first time was in the middle of the night, and the kittens had only just shown up on the porch, I think. The Mama could hardly get back to sleep for worrying about them. She was so grateful that at least she knew where we three were.
A pattern seems to have been established with the babies. They are gone during the day, the Mama’s not sure where – whether back at the barn across the road or simply hiding in the long grasses in the front “yard”. Being out in the country, there are plenty of areas not far from the house which are wild. The Papa mows paths through the brush and grasslands on the property, but doesn’t try to cut it all down. Day before yesterday, the Mama saw two of the kittens playing at tree climbing. She was amazed at how dexterous they were at only 7 weeks old! It made her feel better knowing that they have this defense perfected.
When the usual dinner time rolls around – somewhere around 6 or 7 PM, the adults, including Little Mama, start to show up, but no kittens. I should add at this point that the Mama is observing a drop off of attendance of the regulars. She’s not sure why, whether it’s because of the coyotes scaring them off or if it’s because of the new babies coming to the porch. She suspects it’s more the babies, because she remembers this happened when they first introduced Socks to the porch. The regulars disappeared for awhile, but eventually all came back, and it was as if Socks had always been there.
Once full dark has set in, the kittens come back. The Mama has been watching for them, and takes out another plate of food for them. One of the blacks and the baby Marble come running to eat with the Little Mama (who gets to enjoy a second dinner!), the others hang back and wait for the human Mama to leave. Once they’ve eaten, our Mama picks up all the food plates, including any dry kibble, so that no other creatures will come on the porch looking for it. The babies apparently retreat to the sheltered box under the tarp at one end of the porch, because in the morning, at the breakfast feed – there they are!
This morning the Mama got to stroke the two bold ones while they ate, but she left quickly so the others would come. The Little Mama doesn’t appear to mind this, and will purr and do the shaky tail thing, but still doesn’t accept petting herself. After they’ve eaten, they all disappear again.
September 12th 2012 5:52 pm
[ View A Comments (9) ]
Gumpy's passing feels like a signal somehow to accept what we know must be true - the kittens are gone. The Mama is very heartsick about it. They were here for breakfast on Monday morning, but after that, no sign. That means they've been gone for 5 feedings. That they might miss one or two feedings is understandable; they were still nursing, after all, so the food they got from us was extra. But not to show for this long - that can't be good. We just can't imagine how something could have taken out all of them at once; and then not to be able to find any evidence of it anywhere - the Mama went looking, though she was afraid to. But there is the Little Mama coming to dinner, and no kittens with her. So sorry to have to bring this news.
September 16th 2012 6:52 pm
[ View A Comments (3) ]
The Mama got a good look at the supposed new cat, and she was right, it's not one of the regular blacks, and it doesn't have a clipped ear, so it hasn't been spayed. She can't say whether it's male or not, though it seems bigger than most of the other ferals. She feels a certainty now that this is the explanation of what happened to the kittens.
She can't feel that any blame attaches to this feral black; it was doing what Nature has programmed it to do. He has been coming to dinner now the past couple of days. Life goes on for the rest of the colony; I guess he's part of it now.
September 20th 2012 6:03 am
[ View A Comments (13) ]
They’re really back – all 5 kittens!!! The Mama could hardly believe it! It happened like this…
Last night, around 12:30 AM, after the pawrents were in bed asleep, the Mama was awakened by something, she didn’t know what. She got out of bed and grabbed the flashlight to investigate. She saw me and Sleeper both on the window perch looking down at the porch. But the noise was coming from somewhere outside. When she shined the flashlight there was the Baby Marble hanging on to the outside window seal blinking back at her! You could have knocked her over with a single kitten paw!!!
She woke up the Papa and turned on the porch light; three babies and the Little Mama came running up clamoring for food! It was raining and the Little Mama looked soaked, though the babies didn’t. Real quick our Mama dished some wet food on a platter and took it out to them, and here came the other two kits from under the shelter. And, holy cats, were they all hungry!!!
Where have you kits BEEN???? It’s been a week and a half and the Mama was worried sick about you! (Personally, I wasn’t worried – hey, there’s plenty more cats out there on the porch – more than I think necessary, but they didn’t ask ME about it.)
Anyways, all the excitement got me worked up, so I went out in the cattery and caught a shrew! (What IS it with shrews? Are they short-sighted? Do they not run as fast as mice or is it that they foolishly stay to fight instead of skedaddling as would be prudent when faced with a creature that’s, like, a gazillion times bigger than you, and that has fangs as long as your legs?)
Finally things quieted down; Mama gave me treats and Papa took my shrew. :( The babies ate till they could hardly walk, and waddled off to the shelter. Fearless stopped running and Sleeper stopped grumping and the pawrents went back to bed. End of story.
Oh, except the little wannabe cats are STILL here this morning. :)
September 26th 2012 6:38 am
[ View A Comments (6) ]
Well, we had our question answered last night about whether the Mama was also hunting for the kittens during those times when she didn’t bring them by for dinner – holy CATS!!!
Here’s how it happened. The kittens didn’t show for a couple of days again, but they were all there this afternoon with the Little Mama. The pawrents had been gone to town the whole day, getting a new windshield for the Olds and running a gazillion errands, one of which was stopping by the farm supply and picking up KMR and kitten kibble [the Mama blushes and says: “They’re kittens – they need their vitamins!”] Our Mama bustled around and got up plates for everyfur, with KMR mixed with the wet food she set down for the babies, and kitten kibble beside that. She didn’t give US any of the special stuff… :(
We got our evening walks; Sleeper caught a shrew which I took away from her :); Fearless fought like a demon when it was time to take the Clavamox that they got for her a little while back when she starting getting sneezy and snotty again; [I told them she was a snotty little brat ALL the time, but no one listens to me]; the Papa built a fire in the woodstove; and then it was time to settle down for a quiet night…NOT!
Suddenly the pawrents notice a wave of feline attention, inside and out, focused to one side of the yard. Here comes Little Mama dragging a dead rabbit as big as she is!!! I am not exaggerating; the Mama and Papa were in awe as they watched this probably 8 lb petite cat lugging her prey back to wherever her den is. “It’s like a mama lion carrying an antelope on the Serengeti…” the Papa said in wonder.
We were all thinking we wouldn’t see the kits this morning after that feast. Actually, we were kinda envious because I think they were having a luau last night out there; I saw Socks following close behind Little Mama, and every other fur seemed to head off in that direction. But, nope – the little freeloaders were back for more kitten kibble and KMR this morning – hmmph!
Little Mama and the kittens with Socks
September 28th 2012 7:08 am
[ View A Comments (12) ]
Hard to believe we’ve made it to 2 – hehehe… That first year I seemed to be determined to get into every trouble I could think of while Sleeper was (mostly) being the good kitty. Well, now it’s Fearless’s turn to take the Mantle of Mischief from my shoulders in her bid to become “the kitten who never grew up”, and the Good Kitty? – she’s finally had enough of being good, and is alternately the Loveboat and Oscar the Grouch!!!
Are we having a party today? I dunno…We kinda partied yesterday since the Mama had finished her quarterly non-profit project and was taking a needed day off to rest.
She spent a lot of that time playing with us, doing little chores, and planting some tulips. But since it’s our birthday, she’s given me permission to tell a funny story on her. She came out to clean our cattery, which, thanks mostly to the feral Fearless, has more than one area which has become a “latrine”. The Mama at first used to put fresh soil down and try to plant grass plugs over it to try to encourage Fearless to USE THE DESIGNATED BOXES, but no-o-o-o-o…so she’s given in and now we have 2 boxes and one sort of elongated latrine against the fence that has to be filled with fresh litter. This seems to be working and there’s no smell which makes the Mama happy.
Anyways, she went about the cleaning and when it was time to leave the cattery, she picked up the bag of…well, you know – and the partial bag of fresh unused litter, and her slotted spoon, and the little stool she’s taken to carrying in to give her back a break while she’s cleaning, and she opened the cattery door…
Now, it’s true, we all have a tendency to make pests of ourselves about the “take me for a walk” routine, and we will crowd the door when she or the Papa are coming or going. But this time, the Mama just wasn’t paying close enough attention, and we ALL made a break for it!!!
In a situation like this, it’s kinda like triage – you go for the most desperate case first - which means Fearless. But the Mama was moving fast and not stopping to check detail. She saw an attractive, sleek, black panther running off to the left and went for her, and it was ME! Whoa – I guess I still have that sweet kittenish look about me even in my old age – MOL! Into the cattery I go. Then off to the right, there’s Fearless. Uncharacteristically being sedate and not totally freaking out at being out of the cattery without collar and leash or pawrents by her side. The Mama approached her slowly, calm-m-m-ly, and scooped her up – into the cattery with you!
Finally, Sleeper – the good kitty. Yeah, right. The Mama walks up to her expecting no trouble and Sleep, the devil (wish I’d thought of it), turns tail up and runs like the wind to the garden gate!!! The Mama had to thank her stars that this little “habit” of letting the Sleep run to the gate (which the Papa started), had paid off in this case. She was able to collect Sleeper without a problem then, though my sisfur was less than happy that she wasn’t going to get to have her garden walk after all!
It turned out OK, though. We still got to have our evening walks later, and we got lots of treats, and on top of our Fancy Feast - a dollop of the cheap, stinky wet food the pawrents feed the ferals, and that we’re always interested in – our equivalent of eating out at MacDonalds!
September 29th 2012 6:22 pm
[ View A Comments (4) ]
We had a pretty fine birthday, no party but it didn’t matter. There was plenty of quality time with the pawrents which was what we wanted most of all! Even Fearless was slightly less irritating than usual – MOL!
And many fine friends stopped by to wish us happy and left us prezzies as well. We thought we’d thank you all via this diary – for Sleeper, too. We made notes in no particular order – just as we saw them, so…
MILO and family left me a mousie and a party hat for the Sleep
Ollie, Boo, Maizie and family – party hats for both of us – woohoo! We’re party animals!
Tink and Snow – cheese for me and the milk to go with it for Sleeper. Fearless, get your mitts off that cheese! (She thinks just because she and Snow still have a thing going since their pirate voyage together, that she can get away with it – sheesh!)
Anna, Tony and family – chocolate cupcakes – yum!!!
Natasha, Luke, Tully and Sammy gave us pumpkins – cool!
Tigger Angel Baby gave the Sleep a heart – she sends you a kiss, Angel Tigger.
Midnight, Poppy and family sent us some shrimpies – I LOVE shrimp!
Blizzie and family, and the family of Bear, Onyx, Jasper and Severian all sent us acorns – we can have an acorn fight – sweet!
Zack and Zoey gave us each our own pumpkin, and Jezzie and Charlie gave me one, too, and acorns to the Sleep – I think we’ve got enough pumpkins now for pies AND Jack-o-lanterns!
But to be certain, there are more acorns for me from Monster and another pumpkin for the Sleep – hehehe…
And Grace gave me acorns, and Casey gave the Sleep a pumpkin! We are going to have some GREAT Jack-o-lanterns and some great acorn fights!
Keisha and family gave me a lovely red rosette (red’s definitely my color), and shrimp to Sleeper, plus we both got birthday cakes – they were tasty!
Finney, Lacey and Angel Alex gave me a ladybug to chase, and a pumpkin to the Sleep – did I mention those Jack-o-lanterns?
In case I didn’t, let me repeat that – we’re gonna have every kind of lantern: spooky, happy, sad, funny, mean, and sweet, because Tate gave us both pumpkins, too!
So did Tiger, Tiny and family, who wished us good shrew hunting – MOL!
Oh, and Tiger also sent a football for the Ferals – they are out batting it around right now…
And Frankie Adopted At Last sent them a pumpkin – I think I just saw Socks roll it down the sledding hill at Marble…way to go, Socks! :)
Beepers, that romantic, sent us both red roses – Sleeper, a class act like that Beepers deserves the girl in the classic black outfit, not stripes…
And to prove it Marmalade sent me a rose, too – sigh…that’s so sweet…
From Skylar, Mrs. Murphy and family and from Novi - our sweet first Valentine – Sleeper got party hats – yeehah! And I got cupcakes from both of them – yes, I’ll share. :)
And Morticia gave me a party hat, too – hurrah!
Toki, that handsome dude in the newsie cap, gave me a diamond – the darling! And Sleeper got a fancy cake – uh, Sleep, you may want to go light on that cake – you know you’re on a diet – hehehe…
The Ferals wanted to say thank you to Louis Armstrong and family for the lovely rainbow star, in case they never did.
Hope we haven’t left anyone out; thanks everyone!
October 15th 2012 12:18 pm
[ View A Comments (8) ]
So here we are at Autumn again – where did the time go? Sleeper and I turned 2 at the end of September – oh joy! Greater maturity, surely, the Mama cries! Hehehe…snicker, snork!!! Who am I to shatter such naïve faith?
Fearless is… well, Fearless. Though I must say she seems to have firmly established herself as a member of this family. I guess we will have to let her stay…
Today is overcast, cold and blowsy – we’re all of us sacked out in our various perches of choice. I recline upon the old glass-fronted bookcase – the highest perch available, naturally. Fearless sleeps in the catbed which has a permanent space on the Mama’s table. Sleeper is…where IS Sleeper? Oh, of course – she is in the paper-kindling box next to the Papa’s desk. Next to her is the woodstove, which today, as it is 46 degrees out and likely to be so for some time, is stuffed with the oak slabs purchased from a local fellow who in turn, buys it off the Amish lumber mills in the area.
Not all the trees have shed their leaves yet, so there is a fine canopy of color above and a matching carpet below in some areas out there. Though with the winds blowing the leaves through the air like colored snowflakes, it probably won’t be long till they’re bare.
And what about the snow? It’s October 15th, and no sign of it yet. The Mama says this is well, since she has more work to do on the outside feral shelters, insulating them for the winter.
Oh, and the kittens, all five of them, are doing fine.
Sort By Newest First
(What does RSS do?)