Many Felines / #4

[Many Felines / #1] [Many Felines / #2] [Many Felines / #3]

Grandpa Jake
Grandpa Jake

Grandpa Jake

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

 

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12 thoughts on “Many Felines / #4

  1. What do the outdoor cats do during really cold weather? Do you let them in the garage or do they simply know how to care for themselves?

    These are great stories, Glynis. I love reading about your family.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First, thank you for the compliment. 🙂

      No, we can’t have them inside, not with the three indoor kitties. They wouldn’t tolerate it. We had two of the outside felines fixed (Jake and Mama). In order to do that, cages were used to capture them to be taken to the vet. We also have two cat carrying cases. One of the cases is in the house in case we need it for one of the three inside. The other one plus the two cages are outside, case on the deck, both cages on the covered car port. All three have old blankets in them, and during the colder months, the cages have blankets over the top too. On those very cold nights all will somehow fit themselves into one cage and snuggle. I thought for sure we’d lose one or more during the ice storm we had last year, but all of them made it through.

      Also, during the colder months, we put warm water out twice a day so they can get their insides warm.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love these stories about all your cats. I second the question Jacqui asked about where they hibernate through winter snow and weather. What about food?
    When I was a kid, our house didn’t have a foundation nor a basement. We heard cat beneath the kitchen floor in winter. I wonder if they survived on the mice from the huge field around our house–we had lots of those come fall weather.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glynis, I so enjoy your cat tales. Years ago we noticed a stray cat around our house, rare because of the number of coyotes in the neighborhood. Outdoor animals meant to be domesticated don’t do well around here. Pretty cat was obviously too polite to be feral but too shy to be captured, but we can’t have house cats anyway – most of our family have cat allergies. Anyway, we fed her every day, kept water on our back deck, and tried to look out for her. We caught her three kittens when they were just old enough to be separated from her, gave them to a friend who was eager for kitten pets. One day I looked out to see not our stray cat eating but a family of raccoons. They stayed for years, bringing new babies every year to play on our deck and eat the food we put out. One raccoon liked me so much that she would sit by our screen door while I read just on the other side. She’d put her paw up on the screen and wait while I put up my hand. Meanwhile her five kittens were wreaking havoc in the large water bowl. I think Mama Rac was letting me know how tough it was to have so many raucous babies at once. I commiserated. Mama cat disappeared along the way and we finally realized we weren’t doing anyone, including the raccoons, any favors so we took a very cold and rainy winter as opportunity to let the raccoons be less pet-like and more wild. We still see raccoons around here but they have no vestigial memory of once having human friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can I assume you in the west somewhere? I keep on thinking of you living in Arizona or California for some odd reason. I’m referring to the coyotes of course. I know that in Colorado stray cats are a rarity partly because of the coyotes. We’ve had a raccoon visit the deck at night to have a meal with the cats occasionally during the warmer months. It doesn’t stay around long though. We’ve had possums too, which we scare away as soon as we see them. They’re gluttons. Besides, I think they are the ugliest creatures I’ve ever seen.

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      1. Not odd at all, California in fact. I agree with you about the opossums which also creep around our back deck late at night. Those long pointed toothy snouts and skinny hairless tails – giant YUCK! They aren’t even cute when they’re babies.

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  4. I like watching the pecking order of cats. When we lost our old man, the whole dynamics of our cat world changed. Then my son moved out taking his bully cat and the rest of the cats are living in relative peace–until the grand puppy is around.

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    1. I find it peculiar how some cats can get along fine with dogs and others can’t. There’s a fox terrier in the neighborhood that gets out of it’s fence yard occasionally. Jake and the grandson get along fine with him, yet Jake’s daughter and son don’t like him. (In case you’re wondering, I’ll be writing about their next generations soon.)

      Liked by 1 person

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