I’ve been recounting stories of Buddy, a ginger cat who loves my lap and Spook, another ginger cat, who drops by whenever he gets hungry. We now have a third cat who’s shown up. Do they have a network or something? Do they know who will feed them and tolerate their presence in the area?
Regardless, he is not a nice cat.
This one is a small black cat with white stripes, and also has dark colored eyes. He has a piercing gaze that reminds me of how monkeys look when they’re trying to figure things out. That’s why I’ve taken to calling him “Monkey.”
He first started slipping into the house when Buddy was off sunning himself (which Buddy hasn’t been able to do much with all the rain we’ve been getting). That’s ironic as Buddy used to do that when we had Annie. Because we knew nothing of this latest little beast to show up, we decided discretion being the better part and all that we’d put a bowl of food out for him so that he wouldn’t eat Buddy and Spook’s food: if he has a contagious disease, we don’t want him to spread it to the others.
As anyone who’s ever had anything to do with cats knows, once you start feeding a cat it basically becomes yours. So he’s stuck around which does not please me. Because, again, he’s not a nice cat. Whenever he finishes eating – and he eats everything in the bowl whenever he comes by – he wanders off, spraying and marking the backyard.
The yard hasn’t had a dominant, male cat spray in it for years. Buddy doesn’t spray, nor does Spook. I have to go back literally 15 years or longer with Cecil before I can say a cat’s sprayed in the yard.
That. Stuff. Reeks.
Back to the not nice evidence: he chased Spook up a neighbor’s tree and was about to take off after him up that same tree before I clapped my hands and chased Monkey off. Spook ran in the opposite direction, not to be seen till the next day.
Monkey scares Buddy to such an extent that Buddy will literally not leave the house whenever Monkey’s nearby – and, because the little brat sprays whenever he’s nearby, we all know he’s around. So Buddy is getting cranky because he can’t have his outdoor time. Whenever Buddy sees Monkey, he’ll assume a watchful position, angled so that the little one won’t see him, until Monkey departs.
Spook, for his part, hides under chairs, behind the couch, or in the garage. Spook won’t leave through the backdoor if he knows Monkey is there (wise given the tree incident): we have to open the front door. And Spook RUNS out the door, presumably to keep from being attacked by Monkey.
For his part, Monkey is really leery of us humans. He backs away from the bowl when we go to put food in it. He watches our every move, making and keeping eye contact. He’s really wary, trying to figure out whether we’re going to be kind or mean to him. Since I’ve chased him off a couple times – the Spook/Tree incident and another time when he accosted Buddy who was minding his own business and sunning himself before Monkey came by – I’m questionable.
I must say I feel sorry for him. I don’t know if he’s an abandoned pet as Buddy clearly was. What I do know is that he’s been in some wars. One side of his face is missing tufts of fur, which adds to his scary mien. I don’t know if that’s due to fighting, though given his propensity to go after Buddy and Spook, I’d think that a fair guess; it could be disease, though. I really don’t have any way to find out. He’s skittish, leery, and wary.
This has me somewhat disconcerted. Buddy and Spook have, to a degree, reached an uneasy peace. They tolerate each other, though Buddy’s stalking Spook more (he’s chased Spook under a chair a couple times himself). But there was more or less detente. Monkey has thrown a, erm, wrench into things and upset the balance. He may be sick and contagious. He’s pretty nasty to the two cats who have taken over my home and life. He sprays. Last night, he slept on an old chair we have on the patio; there’s a towel on the chair which probably kept him warm and dry, and the chair is under a roof, keeping the elements off. We’ll see if he continues to sleep there, though he pretty much stuck around all day today.
I just don’t know what to do.
So that’s where things stand in my cat life today.