Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Cats . . .

(Click on photos to enlarge)
My daughter, the cat magnet (and on her head she has a pillow!!!)

We have more than our fair share here, as they seem to regularly turn up on the doorstep. We don't go looking, honest. We have, erm, eight at the last count. The matriach of them all (and mum to two) is little black Lucky. She used to be a feral cat - we would see her in the woods and she once brought us a kitten to look after, but it escaped and disappeared. She finally came to us for food when she was absolutely starving. I managed to stroke her when she was eating, and though she spat and told me off, she didn't run away and after a week or so she suddenly pushed her little head up into my hands in delight. She was soon a house cat, and also fairly soon presented us with 3 black kittens. She is very much MY cat, and quite a bossy boots. If you haven't fed her quick enough she will dab you with her paw - claws OUT, little wretch. She has half a tail and her long black coat is now brown over two-thirds of her body, where she doesn't moult it out.

Her daughters are Lucy and Fluff (the 3rd kitten, Polly, was found a home nearby). Fluff is very like mum, but with all her tail, and taller. She is not my favourite cat, as she can be a bit handy with her claws if she's cross, and has been for D's face when he was younger. My two girls are very fond of her - hmmmm, they can keep her!

Her sister Lucy is black and short haired, and very lean. We call her the Racing Snake! She is a superb hunter and always bringing back mice and voles and occasionally baby rabbits. She was mum's cat, but has adapted to living up here with us now. She is very affectionate and loves to be on people's laps. I had to take this photo yesterday as I can't find which folder I have her photos in.

Then there is Gypsy, who turned up on our doorstep early in December a couple of years back. She is a calico-cat - mostly white, with tortoiseshell blobs. She is a poppet, not the brightest cat I've ever met, and very food-orientated. She does a lot of sleeping.

Then there is the latest recruit, Snowy II, aka White Cat, son of White Cat. We fed his father (a semi-feral) for years. After his dad was put to sleep, a few months later Snowy II suddenly turned up, completely wild and feral. One sight of a person and he was jet propelled in the opposite direction. We managed to borrow a live-catch cat trap and took him to be neutered. He still came to be fed and gradually I tamed him. Just before Christmas last year he came into the house to be fed and has scarcely left since! A friend summed it up by saying that she had taken in feral toms over the years, had them neutered, and they seemed incredibly grateful for being taken in and not having to fight for their territory any more. He is certainly one very relaxed cat, and has discovered his playful side!

Here is Snowy in the garden, inspecting the stones from the old wall beneath my flower border which I excavated recently.

Here he is, snuggled into a cosy box - sleeping is his favourite occupation, 2nd only to eating! It's hard to believe he was so completely feral this time last year.

Here is Honey, aka the Honey Monster. She is a Maine Coone. We were given her after her owner had to get rid of her two cats. She had been brought to breed from but wasn't interested in the boys. I found that hard to believe after she came into roaring season the moment we got her and believe me, she would have fancied anything with a fur coat and a miaow! Anyway, she is now spayed and she is also now allowed out of the house. When we got her she had NEVER been allowed out, and not even been allowed to socialise with the other cat, which I thought was incredibly insensitive. In fact, knowing what a demon hunter she is now - she spends all her waking hours outside looking for something slower than her to catch - she must have been incredibly unhappy to be inside all the time. She is, I have to admit, most people's favourite cat. I would like more Maine Coones, as they have such character.

Here is little Banshee, who is about 4 now. I met her when I was driving up our valley for a newspaper one day. Something stripey streaked in front of the van, and I thought, gosh, that's a young polecat. I stopped the van, and the "young polecat" came running over, and I could see it was a kitten, about 6 or 7 weeks old, completely fearless. I did "try" to give her to my friend at the PO, as we already had half a dozen cats at the time, but she was destined to be with us, as my friend was out! She has never grown beyond the size of a 6mth old cat, but is quite a character, and likes high places. She has a favourite sleeping place for a couple of weeks and then changes to a new one, in case pussy-cat enemies find her. She isn't often a lap cat, but very much her own person. We all love her dearly. Her name, by the way, came because she has a very loud imperious voice, and her demands for "Ham!" can be heard on the next floor!

This is our one outside cat, also a stray. This is Amber, who is SO pretty, but even after coming here to be fed for about 6 years now, still doesn't like to be picked up - she just tolerates stroking - and although she comes into the house, she won't stop.


Arlene Grimm said...

What a cute group of Kitties...Lucky is so pretty. I grew up on a farm so we had quite a few barn cats and yard cats. The Barn Cats were an independent group.

Kelli said...

Your kitties are so pretty, Jennie! I love the picture of your daughter on the bed. LOL

LBP said...

What sweet little kitties! Our kitty just showed up one cold night and I felt bad for it and fed it and gave it some towels to sleep in. That was 10 years ago! She is still with us!

Patty said...

I love the cats!
thanks for stopping by my blog, I wanted to let you know your welcome to take the old indian saying about the wolf..I copied it from somewhere else on the web

silversewer said...

You are obviously a kindred spirit with my friend in France. At the last count there were 13 cats, all of whom, just arrived!!!!

When we stayed, one curled itself around OH's feet and slept there on the bed all night. When we got up in the morning 12 of them were sat on the stairs, one on each step, waiting for their breakfast.

Mam said...

I loved seeing your cats of whom I've heard so much. Banshee is incredble, with the ring tail and all. I wish I could keep cats!

Bovey Belle said...

Ban KNOWS she's incredible Nancy - she is one VERY bossy little cat! Very much superior to the humans in the house : )

GeraniumCat said...

I've been working backwards reading your blog, and enjoying the photos. The cats are all lovely - like your Maine Coon, we were once given a lilac Burmese who had never been outside (apart from an outdoor run) in his life. He spent 3 days under the sofa when he arrived and after that he was in his element, and an absolute fiend. He was killed by a car a couple of years later but in the meantime he'd eaten the hamster, discovered snow, slept in the ash on the hearth (exactly the same colour as he was) and had an altogether blissful time.