Feral Cat Fridays: A Snowball In Texas
Many of the cats that found their way to our property were quickly integrated into the main colony, but a few always kept to the fringes. Snowball came from the same stable in back of our property as did Duff, but while Duff quickly moved in Snowball stayed at a distance. She relied on us for food, was not remarkably skittish, and was easy to trap for spaying but she was always a daily visitor, never a resident. Here you see her staring at the photographer as she hangs out at the food bowl in the back yard with Sherwood, her mother. You can see that Snowball had been trapped and spayed by her flat-tipped left ear.
Snowball was another of the many blue-eyed, white cats that populated the area. She was quite attractive, as you can see from the photos, and was happy to hang out in the trees just uphill of our backyard feeders. In the photo below you see her resting under the tree with Stranger, Duff’s mother, and one of the countless whitetail deer that wander through. This particular doe had taken lessons from Snowball and Stranger. She was waiting for a chance at a cat food snack.
You can see the roof-line of the stable where Snowball and Stranger lived in the background of the above photo. When Snowball was not waiting near the feeders we commonly saw her resting on the roof of the stable or hanging out in the waste lumber nearby, as in the photo below.
There were a few occasions when Snowball came close to the house, leading us to think she might be considering leaving the mini-colony in the stable and becoming a full member of the large colony. If she was debating the question she never took the final step out of the back yard and onto the deck.
We got to know Snowball surprisingly well for a cat that always kept her distance. There was more than a year that we thought she had disappeared but one day we were glad to see her back on the stable roof. We have no idea where she went for that year, but she must have found a comfortable spot to take an extended vacation.
And for all those who wonder about another kind of snowball in Texas, here you go. It’s rare, but it can happen.
- Feral Cat Fridays: Sherman Marches In
- Feral Cat Fridays: Cats On A Hot Dry Hill
Is that the famous “Christmas Miracle” snow of some years ago, or another one? It’s a beautiful photo. Snowball’s quite a pretty one, too. It’s always interesting to watch the shy — or independent — ones watch us. I like the first photo as much for the tree as for Snowball. She looks good against that bit of Texas, too.
The snow in the photo was in 2017 (December 17, according to the photo’s data), some years after the Christmas Miracle. It was a lighter, more localized snow but hit us pretty hard. It came down in the early evening and was gone by morning. The tree (mountain cedar, Ashe Juniper) is one of many on our few acres. They are interesting sculptures as they grow and the bark slowly peels. I put them in the same category as the whitetail deer around here – pretty to look at but a problem when they multiply too rapidly. I leave the mature cedars and fight a constant battle against the seedlings in areas where I don’t want cedar. They make a great privacy screen and provide cover and food for birds, though. I understand the cedar is a necessity for golden-cheeked warblers.