19 June 2009

Life Since 2008, Part II, Gatos

Our three feral cats, Sophie, Juan and Nambe, have survived another winter. They have been sticking close by since we have made sure to make our front yard and garage hospitable for them. We wanted to ensure that they would have a safe place, and we make sure to provide them with plenty to eat. Often, they will sleep on our front porch in a chair my husband sits when he is outside. They are there in the morning when I leave for work, and they come out to see me when I come home for work. When we open the door, they love to visit with Pojaoque (a.k.a. Pokie), Laguna (a.k.a. Goony) and Cassie (a.k.a. Casita). They even will come to my door to look inside if they hear my voice. Despite their closeness with Jim, our cats and myself, they still are feral cats.

Feral cats, Nambe & Sophie looking in at Pojaoque & Laguna

Jim and I both would love to hold or get close enough to pet our feral cats. Juan is the shiest, and he always maintains his distance. Sophie and Nambe are the least shy. Nambe especially will let me get very close, as long as I don't get closer than about two feet or dare to reach out to him. I've been madly in love with this cat since I first set eyes on him. I worry about all our feral cats, and loving them can be very painful. Juan's fraternal sisters disappeared sometime last autumn, which was was miserable for us.

Recently this spring, Nambe disappeared for a while, but finally came out to eat, all the while with one of his eyes closed. I knew he had a corneal abrasion. I had one once that I suffered from and Tesuque, one of my earlier cats had one too. There is nothing to do but let time heal. Trying to capture Nambe and dragging him off to a vet, if we could find one who would deal with feral cats, was probably going to be more traumatic than letting time heal his eye. It didn't mean that I didn't suffer along with him. A few weeks later, Juan disappeared, later to show up with a chunk of hair off his backside where he was bitten. The wound was healing and looked good, but again, it is miserable that we can't get close enough to pet them an do something to help make them feel better.

Laguna climbing up the screen in the backyard

Our house cats own the backyard. We put a high fence in our backyard to keep our cats in when Jim and I brought our two household of cats together. We wanted to give the five "his and my" cats more space. Of those five, Cassie is the last surviving cat. At fourteen years of age, she is still very healthy and has adapted to the new comers, despite the fact that they are annoyingly young. Pojaoque is about two years and Laguna is about one year old. We love them all so much, and even though they never can replace the ones we loved and lost, they have become the sun and moon for us both.

Cassie trying to reclaim her spot on the futon

1 comment:

Debra Taylor said...

It's great to see your feral cats thriving!
Check out my blog about a colony of abandoned/feral cats near my home. There will be stories there as time goes on that could inspire and inform anyone you know who wants to help homeless cats.