As many of you know, we have eight cats at Our Little Acre. Two of them are full-time indoor residents and the others live outside, with inside privileges. Well, three of them (Jack, Sunny, and Boo) have had those privileges suspended because they seem to think they own the place and have been known to mark their territory on occasion. I keep telling them that they can come in again if they'll stop doing that, but cats will be cats and they remain outside at all times because of it. If someone tells you that altered cats won't spray, don't believe them.
Last week, Baby decided to run away from home. She is one of the two inside kitties and one of the litter that we rescued in 2004 from a field down the road from our house. She was the itty bitty out of that litter and was generally ignored by her siblings. She also was the most skittish and would hiss at us and hide when we would try to get near her, but she came around and now she's a little sweetheart. Still ornery, but sweet, all the same.
So anyway, running away from home for Baby means she escaped into the open - into the big wide world outside the windows. A place where birds fly and other kitties play. The call of the wild was just too much and she wanted to experience it.
She does this from time to time, when she outsmarts her distracted owners, and trying to catch her to bring her back inside is an exercise in futility. She will come back in when she's darn good and ready. That usually means when she gets cold, hungry, or has been bullied by one of the other kitties. Attention from Simba our dog usually will send her running to the back door, too.
Her foray into the night last week didn't last long as these things usually go. It was after dark, so I turned the outside lights on and kept an eye on her. She sniffed here and there, dashed off to investigate a falling leaf, and looked back at the house every now and then just to make sure the security of home was still there. About half an hour of this and she was begging to be let in. I imagine it was the cold that she'd had enough of.
I have mentioned that occasionally a cat will show up here that we've not seen before. At the moment, there are two that have taken to canoodling with our outside bunch. I don't blame them, since our gang is pretty cool to hang with and the food is always available. We've seen them sleeping in the cat beds that are in the garage and the pool house, and they have found the favorite resting spots of our own kitties, who have seemingly accepted them as friends.
First to appear, early last summer, was Whitey. That's what Romie calls him. He is well-fed, so we think he must have another home nearby. Either that, or he's made a career of begging off others in the neighborhood as well as us. A couple of weeks ago, he wasn't feeling well and he spent two days in a basket in the garage. During that time, we were able to pet him, but since he's all better - no way.
In the past few weeks, a really pretty tiger cat that Romie has named Stripey has come around for food and shelter as well. The first time we saw him he had a flea collar on, but since that time, the collar has disappeared. This means he definitely belongs to someone in the area and I suspect it's the neighbors across the road - the ones with the peacocks, turkeys, donkeys and other things.
It seems that each year brings around another cat or two and we never know if they'll become a part of the family here or not. We don't want any more cats, but we also won't allow any to go hungry or without love if they need it. Don't let that get around though, okay?