Our little man having a lovely afternoon kip in his ‘arhse’ (house)
click images to enlarge
Our little man having a lovely afternoon kip in his ‘arhse’ (house)
click images to enlarge
I had a chat on Skype with my friend Kelly yesterday and I was discussing the (what I thought was) sexual ambiguity of Roma (our little semi-feral cat that I’ve referred to in previous posts), saying I wasn’t sure whether she was female even though in my mind I thought this to be.
Kelly concluded due to descriptions I’d given of Roma’s back end that perhaps she was actually MALE! I’d obviously had my doubts, hence the conversation but I had never had any experience of Tom cats before so wasn’t really sure what I was looking at “down there”. It wasn’t until I then looked at some pics online of male cats but I still couldn’t quite see what the pictures showed me. I could see that Roma was definitely not a girl but wasn’t convinced he was all boy either.
Then today, a photo op availed itself and, ta-dah! Behold!
There’s a YouTube clip as well, just to confirm. you live and learn…
As you will know from a previous post, we ‘adopted’ a little semi-feral cat that had been making her presences felt all through the summer. We started to refer to her as Roma and had started to feed her, provide her with shelter and generally take care of her.
She was very, VERY timid at first (for obviously reasons, if you read the previous post on her). She’d accept food from us (from a bowl put outside for her) but wasn’t very comfortable approaching us or being near us. Over time that changed to the point where now – we can stroke and pat her pretty much at will! The breakthrough happened about 2 weeks ago.
In the earlier stages of Roma hanging around our house/yard, she had a friend in the form of GT (or Geets, as we now refer to her, see previous post). All was not a bed of roses in catworld and Geets had become distant with Roma (this was happening before we started caring for her). Roma still wanted Geets’s approval, so whenever she saw her, she would show displays of affection and be submissive. One time this happened Em decided to see if, whilst Roma was distracted by Geets’s prescence, that she might be able to pat Romes. Lo and behold! She was!
It still took a little time to build up. At first it appeared the petting would only happen during Geets’s prescence, but over the last 2 weeks it has slowly built up to where we don’t need Geets around and that Roma is willingly SEEKING petting!!! Almost happy to see us!
We didn’t think it was going to happen as prior to the whole Geets and petting thing, we had a bit of a setback. We had some exceptionally wild and windy weather for a few days and it really set Roma back. She was SOOO afraid of the winds and wild weather, she wasn’t even staying with us and went missing for a couple of days 😦
But once the wild weather calmed she was back with us and then the petting process started. She seems to get more and more comfortable with us every day. We can even pick her up – well at least lift her off the ground – we can’t pick her up and hold her, but being able to LIFT HER UP is just AMAZING! There are things she’s still wary of. She’s still not very comfortable with coming into the house, but there’s not much we can do about that at this time of year. It’s WAY too cold to leave the door open – so perhaps when (if) the weather starts to warm up we can start on that.
She spends most days/nights here (but obviously goes off exploring at times) and has TWO houses to choose from. House one is the one shown in the previous post – but now more insulated for the winter weather. Still not ENTIRELY weatherproof, hence house two – which is a purchased, fully moulded heavy duty plastic affair which I lined with an insulated camping mat. She lays on a thick layer of hay and has a (pet friendly) heat pad(s) put out for her. During rainy weather she’ll go to house two (the shop-bought one), but mostly sticks with house one (the makeshift one we fudged together from an old milk crate).
Anyway, here’s some clips of her enjoying a feed and a smooch…
I spotted this yesterday when shopping online for pet supplies and HAD to share! Lol
There is a rather unsavory back story to this that I am not entirely proud of.
Around about March/April of this year, several new cats arrived on the scene around our street. Two gorgeous grey cats. One a silver tabby – but with very light, swirly marled effects on her fur. The other, a Russian blue with a teddy bear face. They’d hang about our strip of garden in the afternoons and into the evenings during spring and summer. After a short while we gave them nicknames, RB (for Russian Blue) and GT (for Grey Tabby).
At this time I was putting out regular feeds for the foxes we get coming round. One particular fox with a limp, broken, left hind leg (which we imaginatively nicknamed Limpy) was becoming a nightly visitor. I’d put all manner of things out for ‘Limps’, mostly chicken bones, but sometimes cheap scraps of meat, or sausages, or things being sold off cheaply to ASDA, or sometimes jam sandwiches.
Shortly after starting up this routine, another cat appeared on the scene. This time, in the form of a kitten. Whilst I was putting food out for foxes this became a bit of a bane. You see, she would be around at night when I’d put out the fox food and she’d steal some. When putting chicken bones out, this was manifest in both concern and ire. Concern she’d eat bones she shouldn’t, and ire that she’d deplete food for the fox(es).
After a while, to repel her coming, I bought myself a high-power water pistol. When I put out food and saw her coming for it, I’d fire it at her. It didn’t work that successfully, only in so much as deterring her when she was fired on, and making her scared of me.
I thought of her purely as a pest, a bane, and I had nicknamed her f*ckface. This I am NOT proud of.
I just assumed she was owned. I just thought she had one of these ‘laissez-faire’ owners. You know the type I mean. One where a cat is just something that you just get and have outside to prey on all the small birds in your garden and use your flowerbeds as a litter tray. I think the word is, erm..irresponsible? Yeah, that’s it!
As the months wore away it was becoming obvious that the owner was either particularly ‘laissez-faire’, or, despite what we first thought, she actually was NOT owned. Or had been, and got lost. She was outside ALL the time. Day and night – particularly at night. Again, denoting irresponsible cat ownership.
As the summer went on, I fed the foxes less. There was less evidence of them coming around, so I pulled back on leaving food out, and I was getting tired of the ‘battle’ I was having with ****face when putting the food out. In the past 6-8 weeks I haven’t really put much out at all.
Em feeds the hedgehogs on a nightly basis, but it gets put into a covered box which only they (and other small animals – if they chose) can access. But as Em would go out to feed the hedgehogs, she’d have an ‘audience’. Primarily in the forms of RB and ****face. The latter would be particularly vocal about wanting food – having finally found her voice to meow and not run off at first sight of seeing Em coming out the door.
We are now about 2 weeks into a complete U-turn on my feelings for, who we now call, Roma. It came to me one night, thinking about her. Strange really, as she doesn’t “roam” but has always been here – right by us, right in our garden.
I’ve been thinking sometime now that we should try and catch her and take her to the vet to be scanned to see if she is microchipped. But we cannot get near her. I have given her too much fear of us by having tried to warn AND ward her off in the past. We are trying to rebuild the trust. She is now semi-feral. I think due to never actually being owned (or owned for a short time as a kitten, but getting lost).
We have also taken to feeding her regularly now. She seems endlessly hungry. She has a gaping pit of a stomach. But she would do if she’s been out having to defend herself for the past six months. I suspect she has worms, which we will treat as soon as we can by buying worming granules we can add to the food we feed her.
We can’t have her indoors, as our own cat Chrissy would just NOT allow it to happen. So we are caring for her as best we can. feeding her, giving her warm bedding to sleep in/on at night (spraying it with flea treatment to help ward off any fleas she may have – we’ll try to give her internal flea treatment too ASAP), and just hoping over time we may win her trust enough to perhaps see if she’s owned. But there is a little part of me that thinks, frankly, if you can let a kitten out to fend for itself, it goes missing and you can’t even be bothered to try and find it (Em has kept an eye on the local notice boards for missing cats, and one like Roma has never appeared), then well, perhaps we can do a better job!
So, here we are, sort of a two cat ‘family’. Meet Roma…
The wall shelf in our loungeroom
Chrissy, earlier on today, playing with string.
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