Charley the Protector and Miss Piggy Clarisse
Jake’s and Mama’s second litter included three babies. However, the only one looking like Mama wandered too far and was ultimately ran over less than two blocks away from home. The two white kittens flourished with the help of their older brothers Stubs and Henry, the babysitters.
Charley takes more after Jake with his sleek white coat, sturdy build, and the stubbed tail. Because of Mama’s genes, his tail really exists, just shorter.
Charley is standoffish; chances are he’s more feral like Mama. He will tolerate being petted, but only by those he trusts, and more often than not, when he’s eating. Maybe he feels he has to pay for his meals. Once in a while, I’ll notice that he’s brought a dead mouse to the sliding glass door. I assume that those are the times when he thoroughly enjoyed his last meal on the deck. I let it be for a couple of days before swiping it off into the small rose garden just below the deck on the other side. I don’t want him thinking I hate his gifts after all.
He doesn’t hang around on the deck often. He seems to prefer the woods beyond our backyard. During the height of the summer though, he’ll come out of hiding to lay in the shaded grass close to the shed. Somehow he keeps a watchful eye on the deck, whether he’s out in the yard or burrowed someplace amongst the trees. When an uninvited animal, including other cats come visiting, he’s more than willing to help Jake drive them away.
Usually when the deck has an intruder, Jake takes the first stand, forcing the animal out into the yard. He’ll bully the animal (usually a cat looking for Clarisse) close to the property line. That’s where Charley takes over luring the male into the woodland and, then, scrapping it out with the cat. So far he’s only had a scratch on him twice during the four years of his life thus far.
Despite his shyness, he cares about the other in the “pride” and will do battle to protect them.
Clarisse is a spoiled brat. She knows she’s beautiful and thinks all of the other cats, including her offspring, should treat her as if she’s the queen. I haven’t figured out how she got the fluffy fur. Mama’s coat was medium-length. Jake’s covering is two layers of short fur. Still, there she is in all her glory, and with a long luscious tail.
Her older half-sister is Nutty. Sometime in the middle of the morning and/or the middle of the afternoon, I’ll see Clarisse sitting on the bricks next to the sliding door and Nutty doing the same on the tile inside. I imagine that they’re having a gossip session like most sisters do.
The nickname, Miss Piggy, first belonged to Clarisse’s mother. Mama would shoo all the other cats away when she wanted to eat. Yes, her daughter does the same thing, or tries to at least. She will even head-butt in attempts to have all the food even though she’ll eat only a small portion and leave to go to the other side of the deck to clean. She’s this way with her son and daughter, Wilber and Wilma. Jake has gotten so he just head-butts back. Is he trying to teach his daughter manners? If so, I think he might be too late.
This little girl isn’t shy. The squeaking of the door sliding open makes her jump back, but once it is open she’s bouncing in a few steps to say hello to everyone. She scurries back out, of course, because she prefers the freedom out there.
Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.” – Sir Walter Scott