Category Archives: Neighborhood Cat Photos

Larenti’s double

Almost a month ago to the day, I mentioned another of the neighborhood cats who at first seemed to be Larenti, yet on that occasion I realized as I watched that what I was seeing was her virtual double.  The stranger looked a lot like her but was different in several ways: smaller, darker and more brown as opposed to her light grey, tabby stripes slightly more pronounced, and no tipped ear.  Since then, I’ve been watching carefully and have seen more and more of this feline.  It’s more skittish than she is (in fact, she’s gone the opposite direction now and is quite comfortable with me) yet not so skittish as to run away when I go outside—although it does step away from the food long enough to be certain I’m not going to attack, and it watches me carefully if I move or make noise.

I was finally able in the last few days to get some photos of this new kitty.  First, let’s do a bit of comparison.  Here’s a previously shared photo of Larenti:

Larenti sitting just outside my patio fence (155_5590)

And here’s a photo of the new kitty:

Aethon sitting just outside my patio fence (155_5503)

Now you can see why I was originally confused by this one.

I’ve increasingly seen this cat over the last few weeks and have even learned it’s willing to wait for me to come out and feed it when there’s no food available.  While it won’t sit at the fence and rub against my hand like Larenti while I fill the dinner plate, it will sit a short distance away.  Sudden movements or unexpected noises frighten it, but it’s not so scared that it won’t eat with me standing right there.  I just have to be careful not to interrupt too much.  If I do, the first thing I get is this:

Aethon trying to eat but watching me carefully (154_5493)

Because it doesn’t have a tipped ear, I can’t be certain it’s fixed.  If it has already had its privates taken away, it’s like Vazra in that it is or was someone’s pet and has since been abandoned or ejected.  Strays will always have a tipped ear if they’ve been spayed/neutered; fixed cats without a tipped ear absolutely came from a home where they were once a pet (tipping the ear is only done on strays to assist with easy identification of those who need the surgery and have yet to be treated/checked by a veterinarian).  If you look at Clance, Kako’s dopplegänger, you’ll see it has a tipped ear.  You can see from the first photo that Larenti has a tipped ear.  One of the other cats I have a photo of (and am trying to get better photos of) has a tipped ear; it’s also a Larenti look-alike except is less pronounced with its tabby stripes and is a much lighter shade of grey (like smoke).  Needless to say, this cat is one of two things: not fixed or a former pet who’s been kicked to the curb to fend for itself.  Chira’s photos show he doesn’t have a tipped ear and is either another rejected pet or a complete stray who hasn’t been caught and fixed yet.

One thing I’ve noticed about this cat is that it’s been extremely hungry.  It’s been a mere two weeks since it’s discovered I’m willing to feed it and try to keep food available at all times, and since then, it’s consumed mass quantities each time it shows up.  I can’t be certain and am totally making an assumption, but that at least suggests it’s been abandoned and has only just found a source of nutrition.  I hope I’m wrong; I hope I’m just the most convenient and consistent source.  I doubt it.

Aethon watching me as I take photos (155_5508)

If you look closely at the hi-res version of that photo, you can see its left eye has a minor wound beneath it.  After looking closely at all the photos I have, it appears to be minor and healing.

This feline comes around throughout the day and night.  It showed up at almost 11 P.M. last night for a very late dinner yet was here around 5:30 A.M. this morning to grab some breakfast right after Larenti had hers.  At least it’s learning to trust me and to remember there’s food to be had if it comes and visits.

[Update] Subsequently named Aethon.

Kako’s double

Kako has a dopplegänger.  But it’s no mere double.  This cat is much larger than she is.  Although I’ve only had a few personal encounters with the feline, it seems to be relatively friendly and not so feral that it runs if I’m outside while it’s around.  That said, it’s also not completely comfortable with me and does keep a watchful eye on my activities.

I already showed one picture of the little beast as it grabbed a bit to eat while Larenti watched.  In fact, I noticed Larenti is now following this cat much like she did with Vazra before I rescued him.  She’s a lonely sort that way.

This new visitor to jason’s world of wildlife mayhem is cross-eyed.  I’ve noticed this trait as I’ve gotten clearer views.  Nonetheless, it’s a spunky cat with a laid-back personality.

And let me apologize ahead of time for the quality of some of these photos.  This cat isn’t interested in my direction even when I beg for it to stand still long enough for a portrait.  Oh, and I had the camera on the wrong setting and didn’t realize it, so the shutter speed was too slow for moving objects and moving hands.  Can I still blame it on the cat?

Clance watching me (154_5401)

One, take note of the stripes across the chest.  It’s a black tabby like Kako, and just like Kako, it has ferret-like fur that is black on the outside tip but is mostly white.  This could be her larger cousin.

Another thing that’s obvious is a problem with the poor cat’s right eye.  You can get a closer look (albeit sans focus) here.  It’s either a broken blood vessel around the pupil or is damage to the pupil itself.

Clance looking up at me (153_5364)

That’s another view of the eye in question.  You can make out through the blur how the damage is part of the pupil and extends to the bottom of the eye itself.  I’m not certain if that’s a genetic trait, if it’s related to being cross-eyed, or if it’s from an attack.

After a meal, where do you go?  Elsewhere is the answer in this case.  Again, pardon the focus error.

Clance walking away but looking back at me (153_5366)

You can see some of the stripes on its body and its tail in that photo.  While Kako is petite, a trait that makes it hard to clearly identify her tabby traits, this cat is much larger.  That makes it a bit easier to see the stripes.

Here’s a much better overhead shot while the kitty was eating.

Overhead shot of Clance while it eats (154_5421)

And a side view.

Side sot of Clance eating (154_5407)

I’ll continue trying to get better photos of the rascal.  I also intend to befriend it as much as possible.  I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, this seems to be the cat that makes such a mess of the neat pile of food I put outside the fence.  It’s eating habits are… well… let me just say it wouldn’t be invited to any fancy dinner parties if that’s how it was going to dine.

[Update] Subsequently named Clance.

Some munchies and some discoveries

I was able to get some new photos of Larenti yesterday as she grabbed a bite to eat.  In the process, I also discovered she’s found a new feline friend.  On top of that, you’ll see in the photos that she’s having some health problems.

Close-up of Larenti's face showing eye and ear wounds (face)

If you look at the hi-res version of that photograph, you’ll see two things that caught my attention: her left eye and left ear are both wounded.  You can see in her left eye the spot next to her pupil where a blood vessel has burst.  Although I wasn’t able to catch a direct picture of the damage, you can see the base of her left ear is red and inflamed.  On the back side of it is a significant wound that is still raw and a bit open, although it’s not bleeding, and it extends from the base of the ear down onto her head.  Neither of these is major, although they do indicate she’s probably been in a fight with something that was able to get in several good licks on her.

Here’s the original photo from which I extracted that shot.

Larenti looking at me as she tries to grab a bite to eat (153_5375)

Another concern you might notice from that perspective is the lump on her back.  It’s a knot in her fur that’s been there for a few weeks and is slowly moving toward the base of her tail.  It is by far not as severe as were Vazra‘s knots when I took these photos.  This one knot has not stripped all the fur from her back like his did all over his body, but that doesn’t negate the pain it’s undoubtedly causing.  I wish there was a way I could remove it.

The best shot I have of the wound behind her ear is this one.

Close-up of Larenti's head showing some of the wound behind her ear (153_5374)

It is a major wound although perhaps not as significant as it might at first appear.  It’s large, I agree, and it looks pretty bad, but thus far it seems more superficial despite its ominous size.  I’ll continue to watch her and make sure it doesn’t turn into something ugly.  While I’ve never been able to get her comfortable enough with me to let me touch her at will (although she does let me touch her in limited ways), I’ll do what I can if it appears to get worse or seems to need medical attention.

Here’s a casual shot of her enjoying some food.  She’s grown accustomed to me and generally doesn’t worry about how close I am or what I’m doing, so it’s getting easier to approach her and get better photos.  I just wish this was one of them!

Larenti eating (153_5384)

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, Larenti has taken to following the new cat I’ve seen around here recently (Clance).  Just as she did with Vazra in the last month before I rescued him, she’s now following this new cat and trying to hang out with it (I’m unsure of its gender).  In that regard, I’ve said before how lonely I think she is given how she talks and how she attaches herself to other cats.  She did that with Vazra.  Now she’s doing it with this new cat.

When I stepped outside yesterday and saw Kako‘s dopplegänger grabbing a bit to eat, it was alone for the first minute or two, but suddenly and out of nowhere Larenti came rushing over.  The black cat didn’t react harshly to her and she didn’t react harshly to it, but she did follow it when it had its fill of food and left for grander adventures.  Before they departed, I caught this photo of her watching her new buddy eat.

Larenti watching the new neighborhood cat eating (154_5417)

Meet the kitty

There are a great many stray and feral cats where I live.  I see a lot of them at least once per day, others several times per week, and some only on very rare occasions.

There is the black Persian who, despite matted and dirty fir and the missing top canine tooth, is a very friendly feline often jumping my patio fence to rub against my legs, rolling over and offering some belly for rubbing, and talking to me incessantly when possible, purring the whole time.

There is the medium-haired calico who demonstrates continued curiosity about me, remains aloof yet talks to me when possible, has allowed me to brush against a bit of fur every now and then, and continually fights hesitation about entirely giving in to the wish to be petted and loved in response to my constant cooing and talking.

There is the black-and-white who loves to sleep on top of cars, often can be seen flying through the neighborhood like a wild beast, and loves to play, literally chasing anything that moves.

There are others, of course, but that short list brings me to my point: my new buddy.

Close-up of cat's face (143_4316)

I first saw this fella a few weeks ago.  I stepped outside onto the patio and was startled by the abrupt and lightning-fast movement of something leaping onto the fence and then to the other side.  I’m accustomed to wildlife in this area and have been greeted by raccoons, opossums, snakes, squirrels, birds, and other creatures, but they’ve always been on the outside of the fence.  This time the interloper was on the inside and trying desperately to get away from me.  I think we were both equally frightened.

Once outside the patio fence, the cat stopped and turned, then meowed inquisitively and walked casually back toward me until within just a few feet.  There the feline sat, occasionally speaking, but mostly just listening to me talk.

Cat lying beside the column (142_4255)

It was cool enough at that time for me to have the windows open, so it was with some amusement that after going to bed later we were all brought to attention by the visitor coming back onto the patio, finding the bedroom window, and sitting just outside speaking constantly and looking for attention.  This didn’t go over well with The Kids, of course, and I soothed their irritated hackles by remaining inside and giving them plenty of love.  That didn’t negate my concern for the visitor.

Several days passed without seeing the cat again, then one day — during the day — I was once again visited.  This time I was able to see the poor thing was thin.  No, I’m not talking horribly thin with ribs showing, but I am talking thinner than body size warranted.  After exchanging greetings with the fur person, I went inside, grabbed a handful of cat food, and went back outside to see if it would be acceptable.  It was.  It also marked the beginning of a now blossoming relationship.

Cat looking to the side (143_4319)

Although still leery of me to a certain degree, the cat more and more visits and talks and demonstrates increasing trust.  Mind you, I continue to provide food when appropriate, and I’m quite sure that doesn’t hurt one bit.  Just today we enjoyed three meals together, although it was more me watching the cat food disappear and not so much eating anything.  This has gone on for the last week or so and I believe I see an improvement in the weight and overall demeanor of my new buddy.

From time to time I’ve noticed sores on the cat, but nothing that seemed terribly brutal and all that appeared to be from fighting.  He also has some spots on his nose that I’ve not been able to identify (perhaps moles, sores, freckles or scars).  Because of this, I always make sure I wash my hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap and very hot water after I touch him — something that is still rare and consists mainly of me being sniffed and rubbed against.  Technically, the cat’s doing the rubbing and I’m just providing a welcoming surface upon which to do it.

Cat resting under the bushes (143_4323)

I intend to keep feeding my visitor in the hopes of nurturing it a bit.  In the meantime, I suppose I should come up with a name.  Continuing to call it “kitty” just seems lazy.  I’d welcome any suggestions for names if you have any.  I do already have a few ideas, of course, but they’re quick picks that didn’t get much thought.

And yes, I’d love to adopt the little beauty.  If I didn’t already have four of them running my life for me, I’d consider an attempt.  I’m smart enough never to introduce an adult cat into an existing population.  Other than that, making sure the cat is healthy would be simple enough to do, and any communicable diseases (e.g., FIV or FeLV) would immediately preclude it from being around The Kids.  All of that means it will probably remain a stray.  That doesn’t mean I can’t continue to feed it and try to make sure it gets some love and attention.

Oh, and while I suspect it’s a male, I can’t be certain of that and don’t have an easy way to figure it out unless he/she cooperates fully (including lifting its skirt momentarily and showing me what it’s hiding under there).  For that reason, pardon me if I mix and match my pronouns, or use genderless terms for this little critter.