Feral Cat Fridays: Is That Mosby or MiniMosby?

You’ve all met MiniMo so it’s time to meet her mother and namesake, Mosby. Mosby was born to Mama in the early days, before we accepted that we needed to start trapping and neutering the feral cats that kept coming out of the woods.

If it’s all the same to you, I’ll stay close to this tree.

Mosby earned her name for her behavior and her appearance. She was an elusive and skittish cat for much of her life. Her personality plus her gray color reminded me of The Gray Ghost, a television show from back in my childhood. For those too young to remember, that show was about Colonel John Mosby, an officer in the Confederate Army. If any cat was a gray ghost, it was Mosby in her early days.

You can’t really see me, can you?

As Mosby matured she became more comfortable around us but she maintained a respectful distance. She spent most of her time hanging out with her daughter and doppelgänger, MiniMosby, or MiniMo for short. As MiniMo matured it became more and more difficult to tell mother and daughter apart, although MiniMo stayed slightly smaller than Mosby. They were so close that we were concerned for MiniMo when Mosby was gone, but MiniMo quickly adjusted and made new friends.

That’s Mosby on the left, MiniMo on the right.

Here’s a quick MiniMo update. She continues to surprise us and is doing well as my office cat. We expected her to want back outside as soon as the weather warmed but it’s now been nearly 4 months since the February freeze. She has turned down all open-door offers. We set up a perch for her by a southwest facing window and she enjoys looking out and watching the world go by, but that’s as close as she wants to get to life outside. It’s like she had enough adventure in her first 12 years and is ready for some peace and quiet.

MiniMo is answering the “Can a feral cat become domesticated” question with a qualified yes. She immediately took to using a litter box and has gone from tolerating only a light touch before swatting at our hand (only 4 months ago) to wanting to be petted and rubbed behind the ears. She enjoys afternoon playtime with Loretta and clearly appreciates attention. But lap time or safely picking her up is still in the future. It may never happen.

2 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: Is That Mosby or MiniMosby?

  1. shoreacres

    That reluctance to be picked up or engage in lap time reminds me of my Dixie Rose. I think I mentioned she voluntarily sat in my lap once, for five minutes or so, and then jumped down. It never happened again. I could pick her up, but a firm grip was necessary, and the sounds that came from her could be vaguely terrifying.

    On the other hand, I have something in common with your MiniMo. After thirty years of international work and travel, and years of sailing, I’ve had enough extravagant adventure; I’m ready for some peace and quiet myself.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      That reluctance to be picked up may be a calico thing. Taylor, the calico we had for 20 years, was like Dixie Rose for much of her life. It wasn’t until she lost her best friend Padgett (our dog) and she traveled in our RV with us that she became interested in human contact. I still vividly remember the first time I saw her face close up. It was one of the first mornings we were in our RV full time and she had climbed on my chest as I slept. She was staring into my eyes as I awoke. We became the predictable part of her life after we hit the road and she decided it was OK to be close.

      Like you, MiniMo seems to be looking for the quiet life now. She had many early adventures and at least 1 near-death experience when we saved her when she was attacked by a group of raccoons. We didn’t think she would recover from that attack but she gradually healed and stuck closer to home from then on. Similar to our experience with Taylor, by the time the rest of the colony was gone we became the predictable part of her life. She’s happy now just to have me visit her as I work in my office and she naps on her cat tree in the window. As long as she gets her afternoon game with Loretta, of course.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *