Dry Creek Hill

Feral Cat Fridays: Lanny Delivers A Surprise

Feral cats are often named from a distance and kittens can be hard to distinguish from one another. It’s not unusual to discover that an error has been made. I’ve already mentioned Starsky and Hutch, named because we couldn’t reliably tell the difference in the two until they matured. We had no idea whether they were male or female, but figured those names would work either way.

Lanny, a member of the litter we named after pro golfers, was a similar case. There are two pro golfing brothers named Lanny and Bobby Wadkins and we couldn’t tell the difference in two of the kittens in the litter. Those 2 became Lanny and Bobby. We assumed we would be able to tell the difference in the Wadkins as they matured.

Three golfers and their mother. That’s Mama with her back to the camera. Bobby, Fuzzy, and Lanny from left to right in the flower bed.

They became identifiable fairly early, as Bobby was a little bigger and developed into a brownish gray tabby as opposed to Lanny’s more soft gray color and slimmer build. But Lanny gave us another surprise when we learned for certain that she was a she.

We had our suspicions on gender as Lanny was more petite than Bobby, but she cemented the deal the day she rounded the corner of the house with a kitten in her mouth. We had no idea Lanny had been pregnant, but she presented us with 2 healthy kittens, Stoney and Wally.

Stoney and Wally tussle in the soaker hose.

Those kittens were part of what we came to think of as “The Summer of Kittens.” After that summer we began our trap, neuter, and release program in earnest and stopped the internal expansion of the colony. Any population growth after that came from the outside and we quickly spayed or neutered new citizens.

Lanny after her spaying. Note the flat-tipped left ear.

3 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: Lanny Delivers A Surprise

  1. shoreacres

    The first thing I learned here is that I’ve misunderstood the golfers’ names for years. I assumed it was ‘Watkins,’ not ‘Wadkins.’ Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever read their names in print, so that explains that.

    Is there a particular stone wall that gave rise to the pair’s names? Or did they just have a tendency to stonewall you when you tried to encourage behavior they weren’t interested in?

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      Even though I know the name is “Wadkins” I’m still neurotically compelled to check before I put it in writing. They’re the only folks I’ve ever heard of with that name.

      Stoney and Wally were named in a circuitous fashion, and you’re correct that a stonewall was involved. In fact, a capital “S” Stonewall. Stoney’s coat looked a lot like the mottled gray fur pattern that gave Jackson his name, so it was a quick word association ladder to naming him Stoney and the other kitten Wally.

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