This is our outside feral cat, Katniss. Yes, she of the wooden palace… She is a solitary little soul and I often wonder if she is lonely or am I anthropomorphizing? At 7.30 am she is usually waiting for her breakfast and 6 pm for suppertime. Although she is one claw short of a paw, she has finally figured out that the new wooden house in our garden is for her to shelter in. Monsoon season is here and she has been inside the house, peeping out, looking for her human.
On a tangential note, our street has had a variety of feral cats; some fools have rescued them and others have disappeared. One particular black and white tom cat, named Adolpho in our street, was quite a character. He looked like he was wearing a scruffy leather jacket and smoking a tote. One of my neighbors noticed that there was a poster of him in the street. He was well known in every street and each had a different name for him – Bud, Tank etc. A text chain started and we all sadly found out that he had been killed on the road. RIP Bud, Tank or Adolpho.
Back to my black and white beauty, Katniss – a few weeks ago she was asking for food more often than usual. I accused her of being pregnant but she just stared at me with those round green eyes. Then Teddy and I figured out what she was doing. I had noticed a very small mother raccoon, slightly smaller than Katniss, who had swollen teats. Presumably her kits were nearby or under the deck. Katniss was leaving some of her meals for the raccoon and just sitting happily with her. Do cats make friends with other species; apparently so? It was so lovely to watch them.
We didn’t want to encourage the raccoon to join the family so we cut back on the food. Life went back to normal until Griff, our surviving feral tomcat, gray with pretty crossed eyes, started lurking around and made Katniss very skittish. I chased him but he was quite determined to get Katniss’s meals. To tempt her to another part of the garden I put out some human salmon – just a spoonful. Before Katniss could find it, the little raccoon sniffed out some delicious food from heaven. She was tucking in when Katniss appeared, outraged!! She went straight up to the raccoon and hissed in her face. The raccoon was cowering but she had never tasted anything quite so wonderful and she had to keep eating it. Then Katniss biffed her on the head with her paw but nothing worked. Laughingly, I went out to give Katniss a different plate but she was sulking by then because the delicious human salmon was in the raccoon’s tummy.
I haven’t seen the little raccoon for a while but she has probably moved on with her kits to a more prosperous garden, full of grubs and mice. Every so often I open the window with the net down so that she and Toffee, our old inside feral cat, can sniff each other. Toffee is also solitary and loves to watch Katniss from the top of her condominium.