Aethon is an odd little cat. I’ve not figured this one out yet, and that includes gender or the feline’s various idiosyncrasies.
I can always rely on Aethon to be waiting outside each morning until I get up and go out to provide food (that is assuming I’ve not already done so).
After eating, though, this cat doesn’t always leave. And if he/she does leave, I can rest assured I’ll see it outside later sleeping the day away next to the tree. Most of the day.
This happens nearly every day. The exception is when it’s raining, but otherwise I can expect to see Aethon loitering about. It’s not as though he/she is waiting for a meal since I keep food down throughout the day.
I suspect it’s one of two things (although it could be something else entirely, but these are my guesses). One: This is the first reliable source of food the cat has found and it wants to stay close to it, and this also lends itself to recognizing me as a non-threatening human who intends no harm. Two: This is a reliable source of food the cat is trying to protect from others (e.g., protecting “a kill”). I also considered the possibility that Aethon is sick and too weak to wander about all day, but the more I’ve watched the cat, the less likely I’ve considered that option.
In the photo above, it was a cold and cloudy day, windy and somewhat bitingly cool. Nevertheless, Aethon stayed there most of the day and wandered off for an hour or two here and there. Mostly, however, it huddled and lied curled up at the base of the tree.
I’m keeping an eye on this one as I don’t want competition over the food to dissuade any of my regular visitors from their normal trips through these parts. I’m also watching closely as I attempt to figure out the disposition of this cat.