Dry Creek Hill

Feral Cat Fridays: Meet Master Bobby

The Masters tournament is being played as I write this, so it’s a good time to cover the last member of the golfer litter. You’ve already met Fuzzy, Chi-Chi, and Lanny. Here’s Bobby, the second Wadkins brother. (We’ll conveniently ignore the fact that Lanny turned out to be a Wadkins sister.)

Bobby (on the right) and Fuzzy nap together on the deck.

As most kittens do, Bobby hung out with his family early in life. In his middle years he became a man-about-town and developed a wider circle of friends. He was unusual in one important respect: despite significant time and effort on our part, we were never able to trap and neuter Bobby. In that sense he was a trap, neuter, release (TNR) failure, but in reality he was a TNR success. He may not have been neutered but every female in his orbit was spayed. He sometimes may have been a frustrated guy, but he nevertheless enjoyed his wide circle of friends.

Bobby enjoys the day with Rue as Stoney and Duff monitor the yard.

As Bobby grew old he became great friends with Foreman. They were the two senior males of the colony and were no longer concerned about maintaining an alpha cat role. They spent their days wandering the property and napping, usually as a pair but occasionally in the company of Dark Darryl.

Bobby in his “trap me if you can” prime.

Bobby lived to a ripe old age, as did Foreman and Dark Darryl. One day we realized we hadn’t seen Foreman or Bobby for a while. Not long after that I came upon their bodies in the woods, not far from the edge of our clearing. They were lying together with no visible signs of struggle or trauma. What caused their deaths remains a mystery, but they went peacefully among friends, whatever the cause.

Bobby in his senior years.

4 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: Meet Master Bobby

  1. shoreacres

    That photo of Bobby in his “trap me if you can” photo really shows off the contrast between his body coloration and that of his tail. He was an exceptionally handsome cat — and clearly a master at avoiding efforts to diminish his ability to increase the colony’s numbers.

    I laughed at myself this week when I found myself actually listening to some conversation about the Masters, including an analysis of Jordan Spieth’s chances. I suspected there would be some sort of acknowledgement of the event here!

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      Covering the last of the golfer litter this week was a happy coincidence. It saved me from going too far afield to find a way to mention one of my favorite events of the year. I was trying to analyze why I love the Masters the way I do (I don’t get into any other golf or sporting events in that way) and I think I have a few ideas but it’s still a bit of a mystery to me.

      I’m continually amazed at the attention and fascination Jordan Spieth draws and admit that I’m similarly drawn to his successes and failures. The closest analog I can find is the mystique surrounding Seve Ballesteros, especially for Europeans. Seve and Speith share what almost looks like a joy in dancing on the edge of disaster with its attendant dramatic ups and downs on the course. Spieth also talks about his game with surprising candor, does so intelligently, and just seems like a decent human being on top of it all.

  2. Penny Bateman

    Your beautifully written feral cat stories and family photos always tug at my heart strings and cause me to fall in love with each of them so easily. This one brought bittersweet tears to my eyes.

    There aren’t many cat rescues and shelters like there are for dogs, for lots of reasons I’m sure you could list very quickly. The years of persistent effort and care you and your wife have extended to this sometimes multiple generation cat colony is extraordinary.

    In my eyes, you and Loretta are the best of the best and true heroes. From a hopeless and chronic lover of animals, thank you.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      Thanks for your kind words, Penny. Caring for the cats in the colony was an unplanned but rewarding experience for us. We’d always had pets and loved every one of them, but we never expected to care for and come to love so many. The hardest part was remembering that the goal was to reduce the feral cat population at the same time we were trying to give every one of them their best shot at a long, comfortable life. With MiniMo still preferring to live in my office and not go back outside we have a cat-free yard for the first time in years. It feels strange when I walk out the door. And our 3 inside the house cats (pets, not feral) look out the window and wonder where the show has gone.

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