Dry Creek Hill

Feral Cat Fridays: A Trio Of Black Cats

These 3 black cats were visitors to our feral cat colony but they never became permanent residents. Anyone who has been around black cats knows that it can be hard to tell them apart at a distance and we were initially uncertain if there were 2 or 3 of these guys. Time and repeated visits eventually showed us that there were 3.

King the feral cat sits by the water bowl.
King takes a break by the water bowl.

You’ve already met King as the loser of a stare-down with Foreman, a long-term resident black cat. King had the good sense to back down when Foreman gave him the evil eye but most of the time he carried himself with pride and a jaunty, assertive air. He would stay for weeks at a time and then melt into the woods, only to appear again a few weeks later. There were times when he was a regular breakfast customer but the morning always came when he was not at the back yard stump for his rations. Not long after his encounter with Foreman he seems to have decided the competition was too stiff and he never returned.

Bump the feral cat is poised for flight.
Bump prepares to skitter away if the photographer gets too close.

Bump appeared a month after King’s first appearance. For reasons that you can easily see in the photos, at first we didn’t notice that a new cat had wandered into the clearing. But then we saw an injury on Bump’s neck that we had not seen on King and a slight bump on his back that was absent from King’s back. So Bump he became.

Bump was more skittish than King. He appreciated the food and water during his short stay but kept his distance from us and the other cats. He remained a loner and left after a few months.

Feral cat Bluff eats the food in a trap with the door propped open.
Bluff appreciates the snack as he passes through the clearing.

Bluff appeared within a month of both King and Bump but he only stayed for a day. In fact, we would not have noticed his presence at all if we were not keeping a close eye on a trap we kept propped open so a few trap-shy cats would habituate to the traps and we could trap and neuter them. Bluff took advantage of the situation and stopped for a brief meal as he traveled to wherever his final destination was. He seemed to survey the territory before he left as if he was committing the area to memory but we never saw him again. It’s probably a good thing we had the trap door propped open. Bluff may well have been a pet cat on his way home from a long walkabout.

It’s odd that all 3 of these black cats arrived within a month or so of one another, but we have no idea if there was a prior connection or if this was just a freak, chance occurrence. If I have to put my money down on a choice, I’m upholding the reputation of black cats and going with chance.

2 thoughts on “Feral Cat Fridays: A Trio Of Black Cats

  1. shoreacres

    The words of Groucho Marx never have seemed more appropriate: “A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” That may well have been the case with Bluff.

    Those green eyes are beautiful. Looking at them, I realized I’ve never seen a black cat with blue eyes, but now I know that it’s possible. Yellow can appear, too. Whichever color their eyes, they certainly shine against those black coats.

    1. Charles Prokop Post author

      I have to agree with Groucho. If black cats crossing your path was a bad omen we’d have been dead long ago what with all the black cats we had in the colony and our 2 indoor black cats. Loretta says that all the black cats she’s known have been extra friendly and loyal. I’d have to agree with her based on my observation of how much they attach themselves to her. They treat me fine but she seems to be something special to them. I won’t speculate further for fear of getting into serious trouble.

      I’m going to review my records to be sure but I think I’ve introduced all the cats in the colony now, plus the few brief visitors I covered during the past several weeks. Next week I’ll be taking a different turn but staying on our experiences living with so many cats. It’s nice to no longer worry about the details of tending the colony but we sometimes miss the show in the yard.

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