Our feral cat colony was a magnet for wandering souls. It was an oasis in times of drought, a reliable cafe when food was scarce, and a place to make new friends if you were nice, knew your place, and those friends would have you. Goldy wandered into our clearing one day and gradually wormed his way into the network by keeping an appropriate distance and never challenging the powers-that-were for position.
We first saw Goldy from a distance, looking forlorn and waiting by the water tub. He kept his distance from us and the resident cats as he assessed the situation and screwed up his courage for a closer approach.
Soon he was coming up to the food bowls on the Harley platform. The platform was about 25 feet deeper into the colony territory than the water tub, so a quick escape was possible. With time Goldy made it all the way to the back yard feeders but he was careful to show the appropriate deference to Uncle Ernie, the colony patriarch and leader. Ernie was a benevolent despot who was willing to live and let live if his subjects gave him no guff. Goldy was a pro at speaking only when spoken to and bowing when required. Here you see Goldy shying away from Ernie (in the feeder at the left) while Grable (in the feeder at the right) watches and Fluff (on top of the feeder) is bored by the drama. She’s seen this show before and knows how it ends.
Eventually Goldy became accepted by one and all. Stoney, Ernie’s eventual successor, was even more benevolent than Ernie had been. He was happy to spend a restful afternoon with Goldy and his other subjects by his side.
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