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Monday, February 01, 2016

A recycled post about our calico cat and other contrary critters

This is a post from March 2006 about  Patches and our old rooster, Sam.  Although  Sam   met his demise  several years ago when he lost a fight with an enraged  'possum, Patches, described as  an aging cat in 2006, is still with us- even more aged. She's still feisty, but moves a little slower now.  She  can't groom herself as she once could, and consequently developed some terrible mats that looked  awful  and must have been  very uncomfortable.  She wouldn't hold still for us to do anything about them for more than a few minutes at a time, so they continued to get worse.  I finally found some  super  little cat  grooming combs last week and Patches actually seemed to enjoy having me me  comb out about  95% of the mats over  several days.  She finally got  tired of the whole process today though and  hissed at me. So I'll have to be   very careful as I attempt to groom her daily. I'm afraid if we don't keep the loose hair combed out we'll have more mats.  Anyway, she's still as ornery as ever.  She  gets along OK with Agatha now, but barely tolerates poor Victoria, who has never  done her any harm.  Cats can be so contrary. 

Anyway-- here's the old post. Patches still looks pretty much as she does in the pic, except for being a little thinner- probably because of losing  so much hair this week:

This is Patches- an aging calico Manx. She is almost fearless, even in her old age. She does NOT like Sam. And Sam does NOT like her. She also does not like the very big black cat who sometimes turns up behind the fence. No matter how badly she wants to go outside she will always pause at the door and look around to make sure the coast is clear. If Sam or the black cat are anywhere in sight, she'll retreat back inside. Hawks, possums and other critters do not phase her, but in her mind, Sam and the black cat are truly her mortal enemies.

Now I just assumed that Sam didn't care for cats in general, seeing as how if poor Patches does happen to be outside at the same time he is, he comes at her the same way he goes after Mr. G. but turns out I was wrong. I think Sam knows that Patches and Mr. G are in tight and he sees Patches as an extension of Mr. G.

Even though I'm the one who most often feeds her and changes her litter box, Patches cares much more for Mr. G than she does for me- she gets on his lap and rubs up against his legs. But she ignores me for the most part unless she's hungry or wants to go out. She doesn't ask nicely, either- if I'm not moving fast enough to suit her, she hisses and gives me that evil look that only cats can give.

As it turns out Sam does NOT hate all cats- and here's how I discovered that interesting bit of information. A month or so ago I had lunch with some fellow soapmakers, and ordered calamari, which I love. It took an inordinate amount of time to get my order and when it came, it looked lovely and smelled wonderful. But when I bit into it, I surmised that the delay in being served had been caused because they were out of squid and the chef sent someone out into the parking lot to harvest rubber from tires, because I swear, that's what I was trying to chew! Since everybody else was already almost finished with their meal, I decided not to send it back, but asked for a rooster bag and decided Sam and the girls might enjoy having a go at it.

So that evening, when I let Sam and the girls out, I tossed the calamari out with their regular corn. They picked at it, tossed it around, and generally played around with, so I came back inside. Next time I looked out, Sam was sitting on the deck rail, intently watching something. I followed his gaze, and saw Hentietta and the big black cat, sharing the calamari as nice as you please. Pretty soon, Sam and the other girls joined them, and there they all were- three hens, a rooster, and a big black cat, feasting away together like they were the best of friends. I figure Sam has recruited that black cat to help make Patches' life miserable, and he repays the mean critter by inviting him to dinner every once in a while!


Rick Watson said...

We've lost a lot of chickens to possums and raccoons. The last one I caught in our live trap I was going to smite because it have slaughtered several of my baby chicks the night before, but as I stood there trying to muster the strength to do the deed, three tiny possums crawled from beneath its belly. Needless to say, they were relocated instead of harmed.

Grace Smith said...

It's hard trying to find a balance where you can coexist peacefully with the critters. Mr G and son did kill the possum that finally killed Sam- Sam did not go out meekly and had delivered some pretty nasty injuries to the possum, who was pretty enraged and violent when they confronted him, plus there was, at that point, one chicken left alive and uninjured. Relocation wasn't an option that time. I hope there were no orphaned babies!