Wandering male cats were attracted to our colony, sometimes by the food and sometimes by the hope of feminine companionship. They found reliable food but their hopes for lady friends were dashed if they were after anything more than a platonic relationship. All the females in the colony had been spayed as a part of our trap, neuter and release program. There were just a few males that had avoided being trapped and neutered.
Stubby was a wandering tom who became a semi-permanent resident despite the lack of somebody to love. He was a shy, nervous guy at first. A handsome gray cat with a short tail and a white mustache, he was careful to acknowledge the existing colony hierarchy and spent most of his days on the periphery, in the back yard.
Stubby may have been a shy loner, but but the food he found in the colony was too good to turn down. He appreciated the dry food but the canned food snack that accompanied the evening meal was the clincher. He learned the colony’s routines, adhered to the schedule, and with time ventured out of the back yard and into the front yard. Eventually he became comfortable enough to pose for a glamour shot on the front deck.
Bud was another short-tailed cat who passed through, but Bud never stayed. We first saw him on the front deck grabbing a snack and drink of water. He was quite surprised when he saw Loretta snapping a photo through the study window.
His most prominent feature, other than his surprised expression, was his short, ragged tail. In contrast to Stubby’s neat bobtail, Bud’s tail looked like the result of some traumatic event. You can see how the hair thins out near the tip in the photo below. When we saw him for the second time, a year after the first sighting, the hair on his ragged tail had filled out. We saw him grabbing a bite on the deck a few more times but he never stayed.
A neighbor who cares for strays told us that she had adopted a short-tailed cat not long ago, so Bud may have found a home.