Monday, April 27, 2009

Cathouse Update - Non-related Cats

Lastly, but certainly not least, are all the cats that are "unrelated". They are the ones who show up only for food, or sex. They don't "hang out" here as much as some of the others. Most live within two blocks from our house, emanating in all directions.

(Below): A male with sad eyes. We've seen replicas of him here and there in the neighborhood. There's another one, very similar, who's tongue is always hanging out from his mouth.

(Below): White Cat In A Hat - he looks like he has a cap on his head. He's a variation of all the long haired, hairy white cats, like The Blue Eyed Sex Maniac.

(Below): Another gold and white male.

(Below): Black Cat has just started visiting recently. Not Mean Mama's son. This one has a white marking on his chest, and Mean Mama's was all black.

(Below): The Blue Eyed Sex Maniac, who is no longer around, but reproductions seem to be popping up everywhere! VB is sure you will see resemblances among several new cats, and a few VB hasn't even photographed yet. This dude got around!

From cat vs. cat
"A frightened cat's first choice will be to avoid potential conflict altogether and escape. If he can't escape, or feels backed into a corner, a cat may resort to aggression. First he will display a defensive body posture: an arched back with his hair standing on end at first and then a crouch with ears rotated back and flattened against the head. His pupils will be dilated and he will probably growl, hiss, and perhaps spit. He may even be caught in two positions at once. His upper body and front feet may face forward, ready to do battle if necessary, but his hindquarters may face sideways, ready to help him bolt at the first opportunity for escape. He will stay in the defensive posture until escape becomes possible or the opponent retreats."

(Below): A review of sorts. The Blue Eyed Sex Maniac going after Johnny Come Lately (the gray cat.)

(Below): Johnny Come Lately this year, before his full blown eye infection. We're beginning to think he's deaf and possibly going blind. Doggie has "bumped" into him several times, when he should have clearly seen her. VB has to tap him with the cane on his rear for him to realize she's been banging the damn thing on the floor, and he isn't responding (mostly when he's howling at another Tom). Not sure what's up with him, but it's not good.

(Below): Scaredy Cat. The two photos below this one are of his female posse. They are a colony. They rub against each other and eat together. VB has seen him scratched up, and he's an awfully scruffy, scared as shit looking fellow, but he apparently has his charms. As The Boss Man would say, "God bless him."

(Below): Son Of Scaredy Cat (up a tree no less.)

(Below): A very sweet gray and white female who feeds here daily.

(Below): The ear cut female we thought was neutered. W-R-O-N-G! She's had several litters, but never brings them around for us to see.

(Below): Bad Ass Cat's Bro. (We haven't seen Bad Ass Cat lately.)

(Below): A sweet kitty that showed up recently. She is pregnant, and appears to be approachable, although VB hasn't tried, yet. She was in tight with the black nosed female (now one month disappeared), who was tight with Big Love Momma. She's pretty much on her own these days. Here early in the morning, she hides on our back porch, and lets VB know she's hungry.

(Below): We've decided to call him Ramses. He showed up exactly a week before Number One Son's visit in March. VB spotted him on a walk about a week before that (This is how it always happens. VB goes for a walk. Stops. Takes a few photos of a cat or cats. Next thing you know, they're on the porch.) He rubs up against you, rubs all over you - your shoes, your pants, the screen door. He wants to be petted, all over - back, behind the ears, under his chin.... He loves small balls and we constantly have to go into the garden as he whacks them off the porch. VB has had to buy new ones for him too. He's a sort of nerdy. He will quietly walk up behind other cats, hoovering over them, breathing down their necks, while they eat or lounge, and just stare at them inquisitively. When they realize it, they jump out of their skin, but there's never any fighting. It's almost as if they think he's a freak. Sometimes this behavior borders on a form of intimidation. He's young, but tall. Oh, and Doggie climbs right into his face, and has almost sat on him, with no reaction on his part. That's another aspect that makes VB think he's a lost (or thrown away) pet. All he does is eat, sleep, play soccer, and preen himself. He rarely leaves the garden, but is so anal, he will hop over the fence, into the next yard, when nature calls. VB has gone around the hood with a photo, but no one seems to recognize him. This coming week he gets put into a crate, and taken to the vet, who most of the cat folks here use. Perhaps he might recognize him. If not, he will be neutered. BTW, two birds (or their remains) have been found in the yard since he arrived. He's apparently very good at stalking, too.

(Below): Newcomer, just recently. Another male.

From an article: Feline Social Behaviour
"Because cats are asocial, there is no hierarchy and fights are therefore common. The results of these conflicts are often not predictable. As a result, communication is important between cats to avoid interaction with each other, thereby reducing the number of fights.

The feline social system is actually quite flexible, ranging from solitary individuals to large colonies. At which end of the spectrum a cat will sit depends highly on the resources in the area, including food, shelter, and breeding females available. Cats that hunt for their food often live alone because of the small portions of their prey (for example, mice). However, those that have a constant source of food, such as those that are fed by humans, often live in groups.

In general, a solitary cat has a home range consisting of favorite spots and regularly traveled paths. Home ranges may overlap between neighbouring cats. On the other hand, an individual’s territory is usually smaller than the home range (or often the same size in the case of house cats), and this is an area that is actively defended."

An interesting insight into ferals and the question, "What the hell do these cats do all day?"
The Day in a Feral Cat's Life

Last, but certainly not least - Who's Your Daddy (below). Here he sits next to the food station at a neighbor's house, two blocks over. He still stops by now and then, giving all the other cats the shivers. He came by with a limp last fall, and is back to his old self now.

As VB was finishing this, after one fight in the morning, and just after walking Doggie, we heard caterwauling from the front porch. We were just out in the front yard, and me thinks, "WTF! There weren't any cats out there!" As you can see, it's Little Boy with the gold and white cat pictured earlier. This is not good. If you blow up the photo, you can see loose white hair on the gold and white's coat. The fur went flying before VB could even get her camera lid off. They both practically knocked each other off the porch, hanging off the rails, and then started over again.

This was the second fight between Little Boy and this specific cat this day, and as the one went over the fence, Little Boy followed. You could hear the screeching and yowling as the fight continued up the street. Later we heard more shrieking. Little Boy had cornered another cat who is literally clawing the wrought iron rails at the topmost section near the ceiling. Little Boy is aggravated, and VB has seen this before. He will often sit at the screen door, and sniff at Doggie on the other side. On this day, he jumped up and attacked the screen door, hissing. Doggie just took a couple of steps back, stared, and looked up at VB as if asking, "What the fuck crawled up his ass and died?!" The same exact thought going through VB's mind.

And, who sits below and watches it all? Ramses. Looks like it's a hair raising experience for him too.

After all three fights, (and who knows how many after later in the day) Little Boy showed up this morning looking unscathed. Still in a pissy mood, he proceeded to get cocky with another cat he chased out of the yard. Ramses was on the porch watching; Son Of Scaredy Cat was on the big padded pot in the yard; the little female kitten (pregnant) poked her head out of the back porch nervously; and Johnny Come Lately was laying on an air conditioner oblivious to it all. Subject of this hissy fit must have run off before VB could spot him.

VB would love to put a small camera on Little Boy's head to see where he goes, who he sees, and how bad he acts when he's not in the yard.

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