Roma is RoMAN

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…

Roma… Update

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…

Zoo Days

On Tuesday we went to Whipsnade zoo. The first visit in around 5 years.

We arrived shortly after 10 and were there in time for the first display of the day, the lemur feed. There’s a little bridge connecting where the lemurs spend their days with the area that the keepers use for the feeding display. While all us visitors stand on the bridge, the lemurs bound over for their feed. It was a fun little display and I learned things about lemurs I didn’t know.

(The keeper caught midway through explaining why all the lemurs at the zoo are males)

There was a chimp chat afterwards but we decided against that as there was a group of teenage boys on a school trip there and they headed off for the chimp chat, and we were trying to evade them. Instead we headed for the “Birds of the World” display that would be happening in some 45 minutes time. We meandered about, got psyched out by a VERY protective mara mother of her young bub, caught up with the school boys (shit!) and just generally hung about.

"You looking at me?"

The keepers were late with the bird display as they’d been in Dunstable looking for their missing stork which had flown out of the zoo grounds the previous day. As a result we had a shortened display – they needed to continue their search for the stork as their morning search had not resulted in a find, and this day was VERY windy as well, and the birds they DID display weren’t coping well with the winds. We were shown a tucan, a harrier hawk, two scarlet macaws and one military macaw (who was too scared of going MIA to fly). The scarlet macaws are just SOOOO colourful! And the harrier hawk was just gorgeous. Despite the winds Taltos gave us a wonderful display.

After that we went to the sea lion splash and saw the display by Lara and Bailey. Bailey wasn’t really wanting to perform as she should do and then Lara joined in later on, but they are such lovely creatures and sooo mischievous, you can’t not love them!

After that it was a general wander. We went and saw the tigers, which was quite sad really. Ana, the female tiger, had free range of the whole enclosure but appeared to be waiting for food whilst Mickhail, the HUGE male, was in a small compound having just been given a nice juicy slab of meat to eat (I must say, he didn’t seem that enamoured with it – whilst Ana was salivating away like Pavlov’s dog). After eating the meat, Mickhail just paced, whilst Ana, resigned to the fact that she wasn’t going to get a look-in on the food front went and laid down on the lawn in the middle of the den.

Teddy on the menu?

Nom nom nom. Something looks good says Ana.

From there we went and saw the Asian rhinos, the onagers (which I kept referring to as Oligarchs and giving them Russian accents. Lol), gaur and sloth bears (which was another sad sight as one bear seemed quite institutionalised because although it had access to the whole of its range, it was pacing against the caged wall of the space adjacent to an enclosure).

Asian rhinos drying off after a mud bath.

We then caught the bus to do a loop of the whole zoo before coming back round to stop off in time for the penguin feed before leaving the zoo.

It was doomed from the start. Firstly, we had to change buses after one stop as the bus we joined had banged into something and the upper deck was out of use. Soon after we changed to the other bus I was aware of a wasp being on board – and if you know me you’ll be aware of how my reaction to this would be. I tried to stay calm, and the wasp stayed by the second exit doors, but then it started to fly about and I just WASN’T having it! Thankfully we were approaching a stop – and although it meant I HAD to walk past it, we alighted the bus.

But this took us right back to where we’d joined the bus in the first place. Right back to the opposite end of the zoo. It was 1.45pm and the penguin feed was at 2.30pm. I thought we could make it but we didn’t dilly-dally. Despite this, we didn’t make it. The last time we were at the zoo we missed the penguin feed and I was DETERMINED to see it this time. We walked all the way back round and got as far as the zoo entrance before being resigned to not going to make it. It was nearly 2.30pm by the time we got back to the zoo entrance and it would have been another 10-15 mins walk to get to the penguins. I was EXHAUSTED by this time (we both were), so decided to call it a day 😦

THANK YO WASP! More reasons to why I hate these creatures.

So the visit ended on a bit of an anti-climax sadly. We got some good pics from the bus on the way round and we saw Spike, the male lion, with his harem of ladies far on the hill. He was, literally, king of the hill!

Spike and his harem of lovelies.

You can see more photos by going to my Picasa page HERE

All the videos are available to view on a YouTube playlist HERE

Hog Roll (a hog gets rolled)

One hedgehog, pee’d off at the sight of another hedgehog comes along and nudges it and rolls the hog over – SEVERAL times! Amazing behaviour.

hogroll.mp4
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Fox Cam footage.

Footage from early this morning of a fox in the garden. Sharing the food with a cat, no less. S/he gets a little spooked by the cat towards the end which is a bit funny.

09-06-2011Foxcam.mp4
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Hog Cam Video

Footage from last night (Wed 8th June) of THREE hogs in the garden 🙂

08-06-2011_Hog1.mp4
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