Monday, January 21, 2008

Time For a Kitty Fix

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?


Jessica said...

yay!! I love this post....your feline friends are too cute (and Stripey is such a great name!)

I too am a bleeding heart for tiniest, Catalina, was abused when I found her...three weeks old with her whiskers cut off :( I have since rescued many other cats, but given most to friends...muahahhaaa :P Now it's just Catalina and her new brother Ricardo!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Kylee, you ole softie. You sound like my dear neighbor that takes care of all the stray cats in our neighborhood. She captures them and takes them to the vet to get shots and neutering as needed. Then just feeds them until they disappear. We are always watching the cat population swell and decline. I love cats. I just wish they wouldn't eat the birds. Or rather I wish we could train them to only eat house sparrows and starlings.

We have another friend that recently married a man that had a cat which he had for quite a few years before their marriage. This cat did NOT like the marriage and house change and blamed our friend for it all. One day the cat got out and was gone for a week. When it arrived back home our friend was the one that let her in and she decided our friend was a savior. She is now very friendly with our friend. We guess that she found out it wasn't so good on the outside as she hasn't tried to get out again. Ha..

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

Hee hee... your Baby sounds like our little Thomasina--except your sweet one sounds much calmer and level-headed when she gets out.

Isn't it weird how cats just show up? I think there's a sign on your house and mine that's invisible to humans saying, "Kitties welcome here" written in kittinese.

We've had a little "friend" on the front porch with Oreo the past month, Mooch. We know who his owners are so that's how we know his name. But he's decided he doesn't like their place and wants to sleep over here. Oh well!

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Kerri said...

The kitties keep us well entertained with their antics, don't they? We've adopted several into the barn family over the years. People tend to drop off their unwanted cats at our farm, and like you, we won't let them go hungry or unloved.
Keep up the kitty pictures...I love them! :) That one of Baby lolling on her back is especially adorable.

Unknown said...

Uh huh....we understand perfectly. Ours are all indoor catchildren, three of whom are allowed outdoors. They all stayed indoors yesterday except for very quick forays outdoors for Thistle and Rowdy. Mungus escaped, and was all set to run gleefully around the house when it dawned on him that it was way too cold for all his toeses..and he went and sat on the front step and wouldn't budge, waiting for me to come rescue him. So I did, of course.
Weather like this makes me really worry for other animals that don't have indoors to go to. Our barn is warm and our horse and donkey are well bedded, but there are a lot of animals outside tonight.

kate said...

I couldn't believe it when I came to double-check your blog address for a meme and discovered that you had posted about your cats. Lytton, my dog, tagged them for a meme that the Bliss team had tagged him for. He tagged mostly dogs, but then figured he'd like to know more about your cats and Simba.

I didn't realise that you had eight cats in total before tonight.

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