Rainy Day Kitties

A new kitty showed up in our back yard a couple weeks ago. She’s small, totally black with yellow eyes, and just as wild as she can be. I’ve been calling her ‘Tarbaby’, but Lee’s holding out for the more politically correct ‘Midnight’.

I’m assuming she’s a she. I certainly can’t get close enough to find out. My regular ferals don’t object to sharing their food with her, so she must be a member of their extended family.

As for the others: BB of course is still here. She and Nose are usually at the back door in the morning when I go out to feed them. Patches shows up next, then Squirt and Bad Ass. Sundance still occasionally comes for lunch. She’s living across the street somewhere.

Squirt has stopped talking to me. I guess that means he’s all grown up.

Nose is the talker now. He starts the minute I appear in the doorway. And he’s decided it’s ok to let me pet him.

Every generation of kittens seems curious about this petting business. They watch me stroke BB, and hear her purr, and generally get close enough for me to touch them once or twice before they decided they’re not interested.

Nose, however, is more curious — and more affectionate — than most. Even before he’d let me touch him, he’d rub up against BB while I petted her. Then he let me stroke his back a couple times. He didn’t know quite what to make of this stroking stuff at first, but it wasn’t long before he gave me a purr.

However, BB’s presence was required. For quite a while, Nose wouldn’t let me pet him if BB wasn’t there. We progressed beyond that about a week ago. Now I can pet Nose whether BB is present or not, but only in the carport where I feed him, and only in the morning when food is involved. He’s an active participant in the process, butting his head against my hand, purring, nibbling my fingers, licking my skin.

It’s been raining here. Lee (he who claims not to be a cat lover) was concerned about the ferals getting wet. We dragged a dog house (bought some time ago for the cats who of course refused to have anything to do with it) from the backyard into the carport, where I set it up on a a Styrofoam form taken from a packing crate. Already in the carport was a battered cardboard box that Bad Ass had staked out as his own. We also added an old carpet-covered cat tree.

I didn’t hold out much hope that the cats would actually take shelter in the carport. All evening, Lee and I kept going to the kitchen window to look out and see if any of them were there. Finally, BB discovered the dog house. Next morning when I went out Squirt was curled up on top of the cat tree, and BB was still in the dog house.

We’d thought they might share the dog house. BB wasn’t having any of that. She spent most of the day curled up in it, snoozing. The matriarch.

At one point when I looked out, BB was in her dog house and Bad Ass was snoozing on his box. Domesticity, feral kitty style.

Nose didn’t show up til midday, with a very wet bedraggled tail. The poor baby had a great deal to say.

Published in: on December 17, 2008 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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