Dry Creek Hill

Feral Cat Fridays: A Hiss From Alger

What do you do when a strange cat greets you with a “Hisssssss?” You back away and name him Alger.

Alger appeared in our yard one day looking lonely and a bit bedraggled. He stayed on the periphery of the colony and ate by himself under the lean-to attached to the shed. If we came too close he was quick to hiss at us, so we gave him his space.

The other cats tolerated Alger as he gradually integrated himself into the crowd but they kept a close eye on him. Fluff coveted Alger’s food when he joined the dinner party and Fuzzy Tux stared him down when he approached the water tub.

Despite Alger’s piercing stare from his golden eyes, we continued to work on getting close. Soon Alger was insisting that, just like his namesake had claimed, he was innocent of all charges. A little canned cat food did wonders for eliminating Alger’s hiss. In fact, wet food worked so well that Alger became a tripping hazard. When we went out the front door he was winding himself around our ankles and feet, purring and looking for more of that wonderful food.

Alger was an on and off colony member for a few weeks. We were preparing to trap him for neutering when a neighbor who also cares for the ferals and strays in our area told us she was trying to befriend an orange cat she’d seen on her property. After a little discussion we were sure she was asking about Alger. We told her to let him see a can of cat food and she’d have a friend for life. He’d be a friend that would keep her agile, too, and that’s a valuable friend to have out here in the rocky hills.

2 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: A Hiss From Alger

  1. shoreacres

    What a handsome boy! I’m glad he found a home. Have you read Loren Eiseley’s tale of the talking cat who arrived at Christmas? It’s in his book All the Strange Hours. There used to be an online text. I’ll see if I can surface it. For some reason, Alger Hiss reminded me of it.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      The neighbors that took Alger in have been caring for feral and stray dogs and cats for years. They’re great people and have helped us out on several occasions when we needed information or a way to find a home for an animal. It takes their efforts and ours to get some control over the feral/stray population in our area and it’s great to have people who love animals and are totally committed to humane, caring methods as allies.

      I haven’t seen the Eiseley story but I’ll poke around for it. Alger’s hissing certainly was his way of talking to us at first. Thanks for the suggestion.

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