Feral Cat Fridays: … This is my brother Darryl …
Continuing from last Friday’s post (Hi, I’m Larry …), meet Larry’s brother, Darryl. Larry and Darryl were both from the litter Harley brought out of the woods into our clearing. They stuck close together even as adults, as this photo of family dinner shows.
Darryl was a gray tabby with his mother Harley’s long hair. Like brother Larry, his social life revolved around immediate family much more than the colony as a whole. He was a shy, nondominant cat, but something tells me a creative cat soul lived underneath all that fur.
Here you see him daydreaming of fame and fortune, waiting for the show to begin when Larry introduces his other brother.
- Feral Cat Fridays: Hi, I’m Larry …
- Feral Cat Fridays (2): … And this is my other brother Darryl.
I’ve always known that individual animals have distinguishing personality traits, but it must be fun to watch the ways in which their personalities influence their behavior in a colony. I suspect that, just as with people, the presence or absence of others probably influences the way they exhibit personality traits, too.
We were surprised at the variety of personalities we saw in the colony. We’d seen differences in the dogs and cats we’d had as pets, of course, but it still surprised us when we were able to get to know each cat by their personal quirks and habits, even when we were keeping track of over 40 of them at one time. And behavior patterns did change depending on who else was there. When a new cat arrived or a long-time member disappeared we’d see changes in the other cats as they adjusted to the new social order. They mourned, seemed more relaxed if a troublesome member was gone, became more or less dominant, etc.