Feral Cat Fridays: Stoney Assumes Command
Last week I introduced Stoney, a cat who grew into the role of the feral cat colony’s gentle ruler. Stoney seemed destined for a leadership role from his early days and was interested in everything that was going on in his world. Very few of the cats seemed to care about what went on inside our house, but it wasn’t unusual to see Stoney peeking in a window.
He never showed an interest in coming inside. It behooves the leaders of neighboring nations to understand one another, and Stoney simply needed to gather intelligence about that world on the other side of the door.
Stoney wore his mantle of leadership comfortably. One look at his demeanor in the photo below lets you know that this cat is secure in his position and proud of his appearance. His tipped left ear shows that he was neutered when this photo was taken, but he was still the undisputed king of the colony.
Several tomcats were semi-regular visitors to the colony and Stoney made sure they understood their place. If they wished to stay and hang out, like Goldie in the first photo below, Stoney was happy to have them as a visitor.
But if they overstepped their bounds, like Caramel Sundae was prone to do, Stoney made sure they knew who was boss. Stoney made sure that Caramel Sundae’s visits were brief. Goldie behaved himself and had Stoney’s blessing, so they shared comfortable afternoons at the foot of the stairs.
- Feral Cat Fridays: Meet Mr. Stoney
- Feral Cat Fridays, One Day Late: Sporty
That first photo of Mr. Stoney reminded me of some advice I was given when Dixie Rose had been with me only a few days. A vet tech who’d been my go-to for advice about raising my squirrel said a good way to make a lone kitten feel at home was to put tuna juice on its paws and let it lick them clean. One look at Mr. Stoney’s paws and it all came back.
Caramel Sundae is an interesting name. Now I’m wondering if any of the cats enjoyed licking her (him?) like an ice cream cone.
I haven’t heard the tuna juice on the paws trick before, but I see how it could work. Would it be tuna juice for a squirrel, or would it be some other flavorful potion?
Like many of the cats in the colony, Caramel Sundae’s name was multi-determined. He was one of several transient members that came and went unpredictably. They never stayed long enough to be trapped and neutered because there were no unspayed females around, but the food was good for a day or two of recharge time. Before Caramel Sundae appeared another tom had just passed through and we had named him Fudge Ripple for the dark streaks in his coat. (It was a long, hot summer and we had ice cream on the brain.) Caramel Sundae showed up and his white coat topped with golden brown earned the name. He was a prickly guy who never stayed more than a day or so and I’m betting no one was interested in licking him, unless you count Stoney and use licking in the “Give you a good lickin’ if you don’t cut that out!” sense.
For my squirrel, it would have been peanut butter!