Dry Creek Hill

Feral Cat Fridays: Two Nomads Passing Through

We saw a few of the visitors to our feral cat colony only a time or two. We never knew where they came from or where they went, but the woods were full of feral cats when we started our trap, neuter, and release efforts. With time and work, these visits by strangers diminished. We named these cats when we first saw them so we could keep our population count organized, but we didn’t see them often enough to get more than a rudimentary sense of their personality. We most often saw them slinking away like the cat in the feature photo for this post on the home page.

Tuxedo Cat appeared in our yard a few months before we began our TNR program and was only around for a few days. As you can see, he looked very much like Fuzzy Tux. However, Fuzzy Tux was nothing more than a gleam in her father’s eye when Tuxedo Cat visited. Those gleaming eyes likely belonged to the cat you see staring over the water tub in the photo below.

Tuxedo Cat standing at water tub
Tuxedo Cat stops by for a drink at the community watering hole.

Ghost appeared 2 years after Tuxedo Cat. He stayed for a day or so, disappeared for several months, and then reappeared for a few days. He kept to himself and seemed uninterested in joining the colony, but he was comfortable hanging out with the crowd while he rested and refueled on his secret mission.

Feral cat named Ghost sits in yard
A rare photo of Ghost at rest.

He was a beautiful long haired cat with a soft gray coat. His coat in combination with his gliding way of walking and his habit of disappearing made us think of a ghost, so Ghost he became.

Ghost walks across yard
Ghost glides though the colony grounds.

4 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: Two Nomads Passing Through

  1. shoreacres

    Their names make perfect sense. Still, from today’s perspective, and given their habits, they could have been named Cotton (the gray one) and Joe — as in:

    “Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Cotton and Joe?”

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      Your comment sent me off on a search. I’d never seen that debate about Cotton-Eyed Joe before. It reminded me of the argument from long ago about the “real meaning” of Puff the Magic Dragon.” I saw PP&M in concert when that debate was raging and Peter Yarrow did a hilarious skewering of the issue. Peter is in the penalty box these days for other reasons, but I haven’t yet heard any calls for erasing PP&M from the folk music catalog. I hope I never do.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      We feel the same way. We took care of the ones that stayed by feeding, spaying/neutering, and vaccinating and we got to know and became friends with many of them. It often was hard to remember that the reason we were doing all this was to reduce the population of ferals and strays. It took years of care, but we were successful in the sense that that the colony is gone and we aren’t seeing more cats coming out of the woods.

      But we still have our 4 indoor cats and they all came to us during the days of the colony. One is the last colony survivor who moved in during the cold and snow in February and doesn’t want to go back outside. The other 3 were most likely abandoned or lost kittens who had been domesticated. They clung to us when we first saw them. They’re all part of the family now, and 4 is plenty for us.

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