Feral Cat Fridays: Goin’ Back To Jackson
Jackson was an early member of our feral cat colony. He was Mama’s son, born before we got our trap, neuter, release (TNR) program up to speed. As you can see, he was mostly gray with a mottled pattern. His coat’s resemblance to a stone wall was the inspiration for his name.
He’s most likely studying birds or squirrels in the photo above. We hang our feeders on a high wire well out of reach of the cats and the squirrels are much quicker than Jackson ever was, but that never stopped him from dreaming.
Jackson was one of the first two cats we trapped for neutering. We owned 2 traps, so we trapped and neutered in pairs as often as possible to cut down on trips to the clinic. He was the first cat we released into the yard after recovery from surgery, and his apparent lack of distress throughout the ordeal encouraged us to stick with the process until we finally controlled the colony population.
Jackson stayed with the colony after his neutering and eventually stepped in to be one of the colony leaders. He was a benign dictator and could often be seen patrolling the edges of our clearing. Solicitous of the younger cats, he took over training duties when Ernie was no longer around.
You can tell that these photos of colony members enjoying a day on our deck were taken after the TNR program was well underway. In the upper photo you see Jackson grooming Stoney. In the lower photo you can more clearly see Jackson’s tipped ear, indicating he has been neutered. The other cats (clockwise from Jackson) are Stoney, Chi-Chi, and General Toes (it’s a long story, and it does involve Chinese food and his white toes). Stoney and Toes are also sporting tipped ears, but clever Chi-Chi has avoided the trap.
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It took me all day to ‘get it’ — the stone wall underlying Jackson. That really stopped me this morning! What a great name.
Jackson is one of a group of cats born around the same time named after Civil War figures, some Union and some Confederate. As you might guess, the Confederate names typically belong to gray cats. General Toes, in the group on the deck with Jackson, was born around that same time and got his name when we were punch drunk after naming so many new kittens.