Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Socializing Kitty

I have a couple of porch kitties that I feed.  They had people at one point in time, but for one reason or another the people didn't take Kitty with them when they moved out. 

Our latest I named Fluffy.  He was fluffy but over the winter his beautiful coat got matted and clumped.  Eventually the mat's gave way and left him basically a short hair cat.  I should have changed his name to Scruffy, but I didn't.  He did, however, come to be known as Fluffy Bastard 'cause he's just so damn mean.  He's been part of our lives for quite a while now and he just could not find it in his heart to join the herd.  He'd rather be a sulky little bastard making every one's life miserable.  "I'm sorry your people dumped you. I'm sorry you went from being an obvious inside cat to an outdoor cat.  Dude, if you were friendly I'd find a home for you. But you are a mean, sulky bastard."

I would feed Nadja and Tiger and wait until they were through so Fluffy wouldn't chase them off and eat it all himself. One morning while Nadja was eating, Fluffy and I had a heart to heart about mean kitties and how they don't get wet food.  He looked at me, sat down, wrapped his tail around his paws and waited. No aggressive action from him at all.  He waited patiently.  Fluffy got wet food.

Since then I've been able to feed them at the same time. While Fluffy looks longingly at Nadja who is still eating, he doesn't chase her off.  Last week we started trying to pet Fluffy.  Just a little scratch on the ears as he's bolting his food.  Just enough to let him get used to human touch. Seems wet food will get this cat to do about anything.  Bet he used to eat Fancy Feast from a cut-glass cat bowl.

Yesterday was the true test.  Tiger was at the door for breakfast, during the summer he spends a lot of time in the fields but occasionally shows up for something if the hunting was bad.  When I opened the door with his little bowl of food in hand, there was Fluffy too.  Both on my little porch and both arched, but neither one willing to start the fight. They both know what fighting means.
It was the funniest sight.  Fluffy apparently still has long hair down his spine because it was standing on end. I had a Mohawk kitty.

I hurried back for a second bowl and when I open the door and Fluffy has conceded the porch to Tiger and was waiting patiently on the grass. Both kitties got their food.  I scratched Tiger's ears. He  loves to be petted.  Fluffy just watched. I swear that you can hear that cat think.  When I left for work Fluffy was under the picnic table and so I sat down and put my hand out.  Fluffy got his ears scratched and then his shoulders and he really seemed to enjoy it.

That evening when I came home from work Nadja greeted me.  She and I always have a conversation about her day. She's a talker kitty, and will tell you all about it.  Fluffy was waiting in the flower bed and so I bent down and scratched his ears and asked him about his day.  He gave a plaintive meow.  It seems he's still a bit sulky, but at least he's not being mean.

                                Tiger                                                                     Nadja


  1. Cats are amazing creatures. I had a feral cat hanging around some time ago. Lucy was still alive and 14 years old and Bernie was two years old.
    I tried to make a home here for the feral cat, too but I didn't have your mad, cat-taming skillz. I eventually had to get a live trap & move him off cause he wouldn't coexist with my two originals.
    Now I just have Bernie. I love Bernie but he'll probably kill me one day because he's one of those cats who likes to walk in front of you.

  2. The cats that come to me are homeless, not feral and I think that makes all the difference. At one point in their lives they liked to have their ears scratched and a regular meal. - Though their pride would never admit that.

    Silly Bernie, someday we'll figure out what that behavior is about. Bob, my indoor kitty does that too. Crazy cats.

  3. Ohhhh they're all lovely! Yes I can see Fluffy THINKING. I luffs him already. Since owning Haley, I know what it's like to have a mean cat. Or rather, I've seen how abandonment can turn a cat mean. But every year she softened, softened, softened...

    Now when people come over they say "Which is the mean cat?" as they're petting her and she's purring and rubbing up against them. "Her, the one making love to you." And they give me a dubious look. It took years of love to bring the marshmallow back out of her. But it was there all along.

    It's so kind what you're doing. :-)