Feral Cat Fridays: The White Shadow

Shadow arrived with no littermates and no mother when she was brought to Dry Creek Hill by Ernie, the alpha male of the territory. She got her name for how closely she stuck to Ernie after first arriving. Here you see Ernie and Shadow enjoying an afternoon on the deck.

Eventually Shadow became more social and tried to fit in with the other younger cats.

Here she is sharing the water tub with Camo, a member of a litter born to Mama before we got control of things through trap, neuter, and release (TNR for short). The other young cats allowed Shadow to stay, but when you watched their interactions it always looked like Shadow was an outsider with permission to hang around rather than an equal member of the club.

Shadow was truly feral and it was hard for us to get close to her. In fact, it wasn’t until she appeared one day with a kitten of her own in tow that we learned Shadow was female. It was soon after Shadow’s kitten was born that we began TNR in earnest and got a handle on colony growth.

After being spayed Shadow became more comfortable around us. You can tell the photo below was taken after her spaying by the flat top of her left ear. All spayed or neutered cats had their ears tipped by the vet so their reproductive status (or lack thereof) was obvious.

We had a higher proportion of blue-eyed white cats in our area than I would have expected. I’ve already mentioned Ernie and Turk, and there are more to come in the Feral Cat Fridays posts. Ernie was the first feral we saw when we moved to Dry Creek Hill. I’m willing to bet that his genetic material was spread liberally through the woods surrounding our little clearing. Our TNR program changed Ernie’s world quite a lot.

2 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: The White Shadow

  1. shoreacres

    I noticed those blue eyes. They’re certainly beautiful. There’s a local yacht club that finally got control of its feral cats with a systematic TNR program. I still see an occasional cat with the tipped ear.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      When we moved here the previous owner warned us that “you’ll have some cats up there.” He was right, but eventually we got things controlled with TNR. We cared for the cats through their life cycles and can’t deny that we became fond of many of them despite the fact that they were uninvited. But we are very happy that our feral population is now down to our 2 old-timers and no new cats are showing up. The 78 (I think that’s the accurate count) cats that we’ve neutered, cared for and named over the last 17 years were a lot more more than we expected from “some cats up there.”

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