Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cat House Update - Mean Mama's Family

If you've been keeping up with VB's feral cat visitors, then you remember "Mean Mama". She's been mentioned here, here, here, and here. She started coming around when we were just feeding The Golden Boy and his Girlfriend. Mean Mama lives in hiding, somewhere next door. She's an extreme feral, even to this day, after coming up on the porch for close to two years now. Not only does she not like VB, but she's antagonistic, or shall we say, asocial, with the other cats. She likes no one! Not even her own kids. And she teaches them to be just as anti-human. No matter how long they stay here, eat, sleep on the porch, they look at VB as if she were some sort of monster. VB's just a food source to them, and that's it. Though given the circumstances of living here in Cairo, with the rumors that go around about poisonings from the State Ministry and abuse from kids, it's not surprising.

Mean Mama is also intensely protective of her kittens. According to cat vs. cat: "Queens (mother cats) may show aggression toward people or other animals as they protect their nests."

"In free-roaming situations, there's a risk of infanticide by male cats."

Here she is just after giving birth to her first litter.

Here are the two kittens when last VB saw them in October / November 2007.

The "Little Boy" and his sister were both here when VB returned January 29th, 2008. That night sister jumped down from the grill, lapped up some water, left a bloody discharge, scampered off the porch, and has never been seen again. She was sickly from the beginning. Her mom shunned her when she cried, and tried to approach her. At the time she left, she probably would have been in season, but too weak to withstand the mating ritual. After observing a few of the larger males grabbing the females with their jaws on the nape of their necks, it's not difficult to visualize a broken neck in a fragile female kitten.

Here's Little Boy alone on the grill, after his sister disappeared. We had an extra lounge chair pad, which we put on the grill, as he and his sister were scratching the Weber plastic grill cover.

Little Boy found a friend, not too long after his sister disappeared. They slept and ran together. About a month later he too disappeared. Thus, leaving Little Boy with a lose of two close friends within a very short period.

Here he is last year, peaking out from the fence, watching the seasonal backyard mating ritual in action.

Early last summer, Mean Mama gave birth to another kitten. Little Boy played with him and he slept a lot with The Old Lady, a neutered female Mau from next door. We named him Eddie Munster. He was here in October when VB left, and nowhere to be seen when she returned in January.

The litter of four born later in the summer were feeding from VB's porch in the early fall. When VB left in late October, the kitten below was the one still being protected by Mean Mama. He was the runt. He hasn't been seen since.

Below - the litte Mau looking kitten is no longer around.

These two below are still around, hanging out, and sometimes sleeping together.

Photo below from October 2008.

More recent photo. She's very small, but Mean Mama and all of her kids seem to be on the small side. She has just given birth this past week, which makes Mean Mama a Mean Grandma. This one is in hiding behind our kitchen in a smaller separate fenced in area. Little Boy is very protective, and has already defended her against bigger males who have sniffed out her hiding area.

The male below is a bit friendlier, but not trusting at all. The index finger attempt has not worked with him so far, but at least he's no longer running in fear.

Here he takes naps on the platform over the yard, which looks out onto the street below. He can sit and watch the activity on the street, and in the yard, at the same time. He's safe, except from other cats, who might try to depose him. Not many are that interested.

Lately Little Boy (first born - 2007) has been exhibiting juvie behavior. VB's thinking about renaming him "Scarface." But, as she found out, from watching the porch, he's not always the instigator. Here he is with half his temple clawed off. His ear is hidden by the pipes (it's still there.) He won't let VB near him, but she read somewhere (the Internet) that catnip, when wet, was good for sores. Even though it wasn't wet, VB threw some down for him to roll around in, hoping it might help.

After several scrapes on his temple, he looked as if he was healing but came home with a scratch below his left eye (best seen when enlarged.) This appeared to be minor compared to his other wounds.

Then two weeks ago, VB found him in his little nest, surrounded by his younger brother and sister. He looked sad and bad. They looked concerned.

Upon closer examination, through the window (his little bro and sis are very skittish), he had another huge bulge. This time around his jaw area. He could barely eat. (That's a leaf on his head.) He came back later in the day, bulge not as swollen, and with a healthier appetite. Since then, he has incurred a serious leg injury, and has been staying put pretty much throughout the day, for days now. He was obviously in pain, and appears to be nursing himself back to health.

He's a sweetie, as you can see, but besides the seasonal fighting over bitches, he's got a lot more on his hands. That's doubly true if he thinks he can protect his siblings, or his territory, which is VB's yard. Territory does not seem to be the issue. From VB's observation, bullying around here is a problem among some of the male cats. VB has witnessed other cats (who visit, but do not sleep here) get up into his face, while he's eating, as if they're saying, "Get the fuck outta my way!" What's a Tom gonna do? He's not quite two yet, and seems to have a very hard life ahead of him. VB has gone out and chased the ill mannered visitors off with her cane (just banging it on the floor gets most of them moving). She wants no trouble. Now, if only she could hire a few bouncers.

His nemesis? Johnny Come Lately below. He was the main victim of Blue Eyed Sex Maniac's rage last year. He's got something nasty going on with eyes, and it looks worse day by day. More on him later.

Here's a couple of pics of Little Boy in his better days.

1 comment:

  1. Shame, the street cats do have a tough time. We seem to have got more in the past month in our car park. They all look so sad, but I haven't seen any injured luckily. About 18mths ago I did see one with what looked like a broken paw, I phoned Feline Friends and I think they come to pick him up as I haven't seen him since.