Feral Cat Fridays: Tux and the Birds and the Bees
Meet Tux, one of the Davidson clan. He was born after Softail, in Harley’s second and final litter. We managed to trap and spay Harley after Tux and his littermates were weaned.
A short haired tuxedo cat, he would allow us to come close when it was time for dinner. He kept his distance and stayed near the rest of his family at other times.
Tux is getting a drink from the birdbath in the photo above, and you can see bees sharing the water with him and buzzing around his head. When the cats started using the birdbath for a watering hole we hung other bath spots from wires and branches so birds could bathe in peace.
The bees never seemed to bother the cats but they made it hard for us to serve canned food when we wanted to supplement their dry food. The bees were particularly attracted to the bird baths and canned food during dry spells and seemed to learn our cat feeding schedule. At times there were so many bees buzzing the area that we had to put little dabs of food on rocks to feed the bees. Then we could get food to the cats.
Bees would collect as much canned cat food as possible and fly away into the woods, I presume to wherever their hive was. I have no idea if someone was collecting their honey or if the honey stayed with the bees, but I often wondered—was there someone out there puzzled by why their honey had undertones of liver and chicken dinner? And did it help inoculate them for cat dander allergies like local honey is reputed to do for pollen allergies?
- Another good use for a banana
- Meta, Ironic, or Just Plain Funny?
That’s one handsome cat. I had no idea bees would go for cat food, but I spent most of my life not knowing that butterflies gathered at mud puddles for the nutrients there.
The bees’ interest in cat food surprised us, too. We also noticed that, perhaps like butterflies, the bees seem attracted to the algae that collects in the crevices of birdbaths. I presume there are nutrients there that they crave.