Category Archives: Vazra

Are you back again?

The sun remained below the horizon and only a sprinkle of light fell on the land.  All of the windows were open so that I might enjoy the sleep induced by cool dry temperatures.  With but a sheet wrapped about me, and of course all of my spoiled brats haphazardly sprinkled over the bed and me, I was snuggled in a position of contentment.  My mind was barely aware of the world with eyes open in tiny slits of fogged vision.

Complete wakefulness struck me with great clarity and awareness, not to mention a bit of fear.  I was being watched.  Something was sitting right outside the bedroom’s patio doors.  I even heard its cry.  I sat upright in bed as though someone pinched me, and this had the unfortunate effect of causing all of the fur people to jolt out bed, and that caused my peeping Tom to leap up in shock before falling back to his watchful position as though nothing had happened.  At least I knew we were all awake at that point.

Clear vision came quickly and I focused on the watcher.  It was the black Persian cat I’d been paying attention to as well as feeding.  He meowed again.  I laughed.  Well, he scared the hell out of me.  With the windows open and my own brain trying to wrest itself from sleep’s embrace, all I knew was that I was being watched, I could see a dark shape hovering at the door peering in at me, and it was making noises I couldn’t as yet identify.  Oh well.

With sleep now a memory, I rose, grabbed some food and water, and went out to the patio (after putting on some shorts, mind you).  My little friend was quite lovable as always, and he was equally thrilled for the meal.  I gave him plenty of affection while he ate, visited with the inside fur people, and peppered me with demands for more attention.

After several minutes of these activities, he leaped upon the fence and demanded more attention.  I spent time giving it to him.  Eventually, with belly full and appetite for notice momentarily satiated, he jumped down from the fence and wandered off.

Later in the afternoon, I walked into the bathroom to feed and water The Kids.  I noticed as I entered that he was back.  I leaned back out of the bathroom and looked through the bedroom to the patio where he sat watching me, and he immediately meowed when he saw me looking at him.  I laughed.

I completed the task at hand before going outside to visit with him again.  I provided fresh water while he ate.  I could almost hear the gratitude in his voice when next he spoke.  Once again, I spent several minutes deluging him with affection.  He seemed disinterested in leaving; nevertheless, my list of things to do was not getting shorter while I stood outside petting a stray cat.  It was immediately following my decision to go back inside when the first bird attacked.

Amusing fails to describe what happened.  I was standing near the fence petting the cat when I became peripherally aware of an inbound object.  It was moving too quickly to see clearly before it arrived, yet I still turned my head in its direction.  The feather fighter, I quickly discovered, was coming right at the cat.  It struck him, flitted uncontrollably into the air, struck me in the head before recovering, and then exercised wisdom via a hasty retreat.  Given the up-close and personal view I was provided during this assault, I recognized it as a mockingbird.  That perfectly explained the attack.  Like blue jays, they gang up on enemies and will attack anything seen as a threat.

I could hear more mockingbirds chirping angrily over my shoulder and glanced toward them.  As they are apt to do, they were quite angry, expressing it loudly, and three of them were already joining forces.  At the moment I took in full sight of them in their frenzy, one of them launched itself at us.  Wings moved forcefully to provide the best strike.  I turned in time to see it bounce off the cat who, I should add, was talking back to them but otherwise not taking action.

This occurred two more times, one of which again resulted in avian kamikaze into my head.  I was amazed by how close they were coming to me just to get to the cat.  He took the licks with aplomb.  His confidence intact while his feline nature demanded action, he finally leaped from the fence and trotted around the corner where the birds were meeting to coordinate their offensive.

I went back inside.  Rest assured spending time with my own children was high on the list to avoid any jealousy issues.

Oops, too late.  Besides, they can be jealous of each other when the mood strikes, so little could avoid a bit of suspicion and anger each time they saw me outside with The Mouthy One.  It’s even funnier to see them congregate at the window if it is open and he arrives.

Just an hour ago, I was cleaning the cat boxes and again saw him eating on the patio.  I finished my chore before fetching him fresh water.  He lapped at it eagerly, and then he returned to the food for his second course.  I gave him plenty of attention as you can guess.  A bit more food, a lot more love, and off he went to enjoy the rest of his evening.

Tomorrow I will make an effort to capture some photos of him.  Certainly, his present condition will be immediately and painfully obvious: the horrendous knots in his fur that have literally rolled the hair off his body.  Ouch.  If he continues this great progress in accepting me, I hope to get him to the vet much sooner than I originally estimated.

A re-prioritization

You know I’ve been spending time befriending Chira, a stray cat who lives here by the lake.  He’s very sweet and generally in good health from cursory exams by a non-professional (moi).  Given more time, I believe I can capture him so that he can be taken to the vet for treatment (shots, general exam, testing for significant illnesses [FIV, FeLV, FIP, etc.], appropriate treatment, and so on).  Depending on those results and his disposition, I am willing to adopt him and bring him into my home to join the rest of my spoiled fur people with official membership in The Kids club (right now, he’s an unofficial member).  As of this morning, I have dramatically changed my plans.

I mentioned a black Persian feline I’ve also been in contact with here in the local area.  He’s terribly sweet: if I’m on the patio while he’s around, he’ll jump the fence and proceed to engage me in all manner of lovin’.  He rubs against my legs, rolls over and exposes his belly to me while inviting me to pet him, incessantly talks to me, trusts me to touch his food while he eats, and shows no great fear of The Kids by way of sitting just outside the open windows and meowing to them as they stare at him from the other side of the screen.

I can’t proclaim he’d be a perfect addition to the family or that such an attempt would be without risks.  Likewise, I can’t imagine the costs associated with trying to adopt my Persian friend.  His fur is matted and knotted to a degree that defies imagination; he has knots that have grown so tight that they now pull the hair from his skin, thereby leaving him with massive bald spots reminiscent of mange; there are knots so tight under his front legs that attempts to wash his face with front paws result in tripping and falling, a direct result of involuntary action associated with lifting his leg to his face which painfully pulls across the chest and abdomen.  As you can see, he’s in pretty bad shape in that regard, but he seems otherwise healthy.

Given his condition, I intend to focus on capturing him first while continuing my efforts with Chira.  The Persian needs care and grooming.  He’s also such a friendly cat that I am inclined to believe he’ll have less of a problem with my attempts to get him to the vet.  Since I don’t see him as often as I do Chira, this will undoubtedly be more difficult than I’m assuming.  I’ll keep you posted on that.

In the meantime, I should come up with a name for him.  Snaggletooth is out of the question even if he is missing one of his top canines.

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.