Jake is the oldest of the outdoor cats. He’s also the one who has been around the longest. As a pure Manx, he’s tailless and only a hump exists were there would be a tail. He must have been a run-away or an abandoned cat. His solidly white coat is extremely rare, not to mention he’s a Manx, which are popular. The first time I got a glimpse of him was sometime during the first winter we were in this house. He was strolling towards the woods beyond our backyard with another Manx that was smaller but still the white fur. Neither husband or I tried to catch the two, figuring they belonged to someone around here.
It wasn’t until the spring of the following year that he made his appearance on our back deck. He gobbled down the food we put out for him and left for parts unknown. He showed up the next day about the same time, peering in from outside the sliding door. This time he stayed on the deck for a while before scurrying into the brush and trees. Soon he was at the door every day when I’d walk into the kitchen to start the first pot of coffee for the day.
He’s made himself right at home during these past six years. Until we got him fixed, a dark gray cat that we named Mama after she had her first litter (that we knew of) was his “mate”. They had two litters together, with both having two tailless or stump-tailed kittens and one kitten with a full tail.
During the warmer months, I try to get outside every day, if only for a short while. I have a lawn chair set on the car port cement slab so I can look at what’s going on up and down the street. It’s a great way to unwind. For the past three years, Jake has waddled his way around the house and will spend those moments with me, insisting I pet him. When I decide it’s time to go back inside and I stand up to head for the door that is at the back of the car port, he totters back around and meets me at the sliding door.
Including Jake, we have five outdoor cats. The other four are all related to our oldest stubby-tailed feline. He really does act like he’s the head of the family out there. If one gets too rough while playing with another one, Jake will slap him or her with his paw. If a stray cat from somewhere else in the neighborhood comes onto the deck, he’s willing to fight the cat to persuade it leave. He looks like he’s all flab and laziness, but when he goes after one of those cats, he’s as agile as his son, Charley.
If we didn’t already have three cats inside, Jake would be the one I’d want to bring in. This guy did not deserve to be abandoned or lost. Still, he’s a strong-willed cat, which is to his benefit. He’s stayed through snow storms and ice storms. He’s been trapped under the house by cable and utility workers. Yet he survives.
Are there any questions?
“Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.” ― Robertson Davies