Feral Cat Fridays: Fuzz On Your Tux? No Problem!

When Harley appeared with her first litter we were debating how to confront our feral cat explosion. Harley must have known we were investigating trap, neuter, release (TNR) programs. She wasted no time in presenting us with a second litter of young Davidsons.

Harley proudly presents the young Fuzzy Tux.

You’ve already met the aptly named Tux, one of the members of that second litter. Today the stage belongs to Tux’s sister, the just as aptly named Fuzzy Tux. She was a large, beautiful cat like her mother Harley. Her size and long hair in combination with her tuxedo markings made her one of the most striking members of the colony.

A multi-generation Davidson napfest, with Softy, Fuzzy Tux, and Harley.

Fuzzy Tux was just as attached to the Davidson clan as were the other members, but she was also a social butterfly. She would nap and eat with her Davidson kin but then would enjoy the company of other members of the colony. Here you see her resting on the backyard feeders with Herkemina and her children Guildenstern and Georgette. The cat eating in the feeder below Fuzzy Tux is Stubby, an on and off colony member. If you look carefully you can also see an unidentifiable cat in the back feeder. You can tell it’s summer because Fuzzy Tux is wearing her summer coat.

Snack time on a summer afternoon.

If you’re wondering about the flower pots and fencing around the feeder, those are components of our deer-deterrence system. It took a lot of trial and error, but the combination of barriers you see here kept our cat food stealing deer under reasonable control.

Tux and Fuzzy Tux share dinner while sister Motley waits in the wings. We’ll meet Motley next week.

2 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: Fuzz On Your Tux? No Problem!

  1. shoreacres

    I learned two things here: that deer will eat cat food (why not?) and that cats have summer and winter coats. I suppose Dixie never did much shedding because she was an indoor cat, and her environment rarely varied. She got brushed morning and night, too, so any shedding might not have been as noticeable.

    Both Harley and Fuzzy Tux are beautiful cats. Were all of the cats immediately recognizable to you, or did you sometimes have to ponder a bit before you figured out one’s identity — or simply forget a name, as parents of large families sometimes will?

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      Deer eating the dry cat food was a major problem for us. It got to where the local deer had learned our feeding schedule and would wait their turn on the edges of the clearing. We finally came up with the system in the photo so we could leave food out for stragglers. We had to let ourselves in while keeping the deer out, so the lids of those feeders were on hinges. My suspicion is that there is enough grain in dry cat food to make it quite palatable to deer. Regarding shedding, it’s interesting watching MiniMo shed now that she’s moved in. At first she filled the room with loose hair. Later we began brushing her to habituate her to being touched and petted. The amount of hair that has come out of her after 12 years of outdoor living has been impressive. And she’s a short-haired cat.

      I was frankly amazed at how easily we were able to identify all of the cats. A few that were very similar in appearance gave us gave us problems (Starsky and Hutch were the toughest) but even those two had subtle differences. We had to study them for a while before making a sure identification and still made a few errors. I don’t think Starsky and Hutch knew or cared, though.

      I think we were able to remember names as well as we did because they were based on some physical or behavioral characteristic or on some theme. For example, Fuzzy was named for her appearance and that lead to the others in the litter getting golfer names. If parents named their children like that they’d have some explaining to do, but you can get away with naming a cat Batman because he bats at your fingers and then naming his brother Robin.

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