Thursday, August 23, 2007

What To Do With Leftover Dog Food


It was great in the spring, when I would go out on the porch with a cup of coffee and my computer, accessing the wi-fi, reading the news, blogs, or just surfing the Internet. Then one day, my seat was usurped by little tom cat. It took awhile until I figured out his gender. He's quite small, somewhat scared of me, but he was scared shit-less of Doggie (may she rest in peace). As it turns out he's an Egyptian Mau a color they call mish-mish (apricot).

When we first moved into our apartment in January, cat perches were everywhere. That changed with Vagabondblogger Doggie's arrival. Several of the make-shift perches were removed. Still, a few remain.
In the winter / spring feral cats were everywhere in the yard - on the perches, on air conditioners, on the grill cover - literally

There are several other places for this tomcat to perch (other than on my chair.) He could sleep on the little tree platform, built by the previous apartment dwellers; or the perch on the fence (yes, that's a wire hanging down and I have no clue what that is for.)

After Doggie passed away, I decided to try and make a new friend. It hasn't been easy. He's feral - runs and hides when
anything threatening happens. He still hisses at me, even when I feed him. It's been a little over a month, and I can walk out on the porch without him raising his cackles, and jumping out of sight, like a freaked out tiger. Now, he sits and looks at me like, "you're invading my space." And quite a space that is. If a big, bad ass cat comes into the yard, he's on that shaded and roofed porch so fast you can't say WTF! He's afraid of the girls, even the one that bats at him without claws drawn! He's such a pussy it's embarrassing to even admit he lives here. Still, we have a neighborhood of visitors every-so-often, and I scat the big ones out of the yard. They're obviously getting food elsewhere.

So here's what's going on in Vagabondblogger's yard:


At first I thought kitty was just a small cat, like some of the ones we used to see in Abu Dhabi, but as time has gone on, I think not - not anymore. Not after meeting the parents. At least I
think these guys are the parents.

I think this is Big Momma. She showed up while we were grilling out sausages (they always draw a crowd). She spotted Doggie (may she rest in peace,) and then looked over at Baby Boy, and then she tried to stare me down (bitch)!

I'm thinkin' this is Daddy. He sleeps on the air conditioner, just outside the living room window. He also shows up when we're grilling out. And has been caught sleeping with Big Momma on the grill cover in cooler weather. He's as skittish as the little boy. He generally runs from everyone and everything, unless he's perched high atop a fence, looking down on
you. He and mama both look like Egyptian Maus from what I've been told.

Everything was fine and dandy, until this little miss showed up. Suddenly one day, she hops over the fence, prances onto the porch, and starts meowing. That could be due to the fact that Number One Son and Awesome Daughter were feeding little tom cat leftover bits of smoked salmon! Her neck had a large scratch going down the length of one side, and one of her legs was also scratched up a good bit. I must have "sucker" written on my forehead, or an invisible sign reading, "major pushover here". Needless to say, she's very sweet, but I am concerned about her safety. She's a mix - part Mau and part something else. She and the little tom cat play well together.

Then this one showed up. Her stomach was flopping on the floor and we realized she must've just had kittens - literally "just". I may have shooed her away previously thinking she was a fat well fed cat, saving what I had for the smaller guys.

She's aggressive and stingy with her food. She's here all times of the day, stashing huge amounts of food in her mouth and running off - we suspect, next door (I spied her hopping over our fence, running through the driveway and then hopping over the next villa's fence). I was told by the gardener, that an American woman who lived there before, fed all the cats, morning and evening. She moved, and a French family is living there now, but are not interested in the cats.

We're all wondering where the kitties are hidden. She has beautiful eyes. She's also looks like a Mau mix.

Little tom cat and missy both let her have her space for fear of a major clawing. We are waiting to see if this new mama brings the kittens over to eat. I would like to have the guys rescued while they're young enough to possibly get adopted.

Vagabondblogger has a puppy on order and we're desperately waiting for the bitch to go in heat - "watched pot never boils." It's another field Springer Spaniel, who will probably scare the crap out of these vagrants. The puppy won't be arriving in Cairo, until January, so these guys still have time to hang out.

If you're interested in more about Egyptian Maus (which you can adopt - they do overseas adoptions) - check out this link:
Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization (E.M.R.U.)

A petition against the poisoning and shooting of cats and dogs in Cairo.
"**UPDATE: Today May, 14, 2007. An american named Andrea had her dogs shot and killed on the street of Cairo early this morning. Others strays were also killed. We were told by the police not to call and complain and it will be their mission now to keep shooting the dogs!

I personally witnessed the shooting of about five dogs and a few cats, in public during broad daylight, just beyond my yard when living in Baku, Azerbaijan. I was told that they would shoot my dog, as well, if she were outside on a "Dog Call" day. Men in black leather jackets, riding in black Mercs would grab the dead animals by the tail and fling them onto a three sided flat bed truck. They had also been seen beating strays with baseball bats, in public, in front of well known western businesses, just as people were arriving to work.

Many Azeri neighbors in Baku had pets, but there were quite a few feral cats and dogs roaming the neighborhood, in addition to what we referred to as "wild dogs," roaming the hill behind our apartment. Still, I wonder what's more uncivilized - the strays roaming the streets, or the practice of publicly executing animals for all, even young children, to see? It is, unfortunately, a method used in many countries.

Some photos from a book, Cairo Cats, can be found here. I just ordered this book from Amazon.

Ancient Egyptian Cats

On the streets of Cairo, saving the gods' cats
The Egyptian Mau resembles a tabby but is distinguished by black spots on its body instead of stripes. It is believed to have descended from the African wildcat, a close relative of ancient Egyptian domesticated cats, and also bears a characteristic 'M' marking on the forehead, black ringed tails and legs and a black stripe down the back. Their large gooseberry-colored eyes have a perennially worried look. Intelligent and somewhat mischievous, they are also the fastest domestic cat, clocking 36 mph.

"They are extremely intelligent and they know what they want and are extremely affectionate toward the person they have a relationship with," explained Van Den Bossche.

Somewhat of a testimony to the Egyptian cats, here at Eye on Cairo blog (now defunct): 27 Days and a cat:
On one of his first days here, he figured out how to jump on top of the refrigerator and open cabinets from above. He approaches household objects with an engineer-like curiousity. Recently he's decided, for example, that it would be more interesting watching water go down the bathroom drain if he removed the metal cover. So every night he sticks his claws into the cover and slides it off the drain. When the shower starts up in the morning, he runs over to watch the water pool before it disappears.

BTW, No! Vagabondblogger is not turning in to a cat lover! No Fucking way. I just think it's nice to be kind to the animals. Besides, I hate to see all that leftover dog food go to waste.


  1. "BTW, No! Vagabondblogger is not turning in to a cat lover! No Fucking way. I just think it's nice to be kind to the animals. Besides, I hate to see all that leftover dog food go to waste."

    Mmm....the lady doth protest too much.

  2. Next time she is staring you out blink very slowly at her. Watch she may even blink back....That means we're friends.
    I have a a 10yr old siamese who one minute is a grumpy old lady and the next thinks she's a kitten.

  3. cairogal: yeah - actually, I think I might be slightly allergic. I might go into that later. Number One Son claims he definitely is - everyone in this family is a doctor!

    elle: The mish-mish tom cat has winked at me and binked at me and I've reciprocated, but he's still shy. He's very jealous too - more on that development later.

    Btw, the little missy cat would probably be a great pet - likes being petted - which drives the mish-mish totally crazy (I can see it in his eyes). He won't let me get near him - yet.

  4. Vagabondblogger: Dunno if it's an urban Athenian myth. But I was told that right before the Olympics the Athenian municipality cracked down big time on street dogs? thought you might know :\....

  5. zerocool: I think I read about that myself somewhere. I wouldn't doubt it. Dogs and cats are all over Athens and they eat at some of the best restaurants. We've even seen them on top of tables eating leftover pizza after the patrons have left.