Saturday, September 19, 2009

Domestic Cats, Feral Cats, Race Horses and Farm Animals, All in My Neighborhood

First, the race horses... we are in Kentucky, after all. In my neighborhood, all the streets are named after famous horses and jockeys. This is an intersection near my house: Aristides and Sea Biscuit. Aristides was the horse that won the first Kentucky Derby in 1875. In 1938, Sea Biscuit won a historic race at Pimlico against War Admiral, a Triple Crown winner. It was called "a race for the ages' and was featured in a popular movie made in 2003. By the way, War Admiral is another street in our neighborhood.

Farm animals aren't far from our neighborhood, either. I took these two photos between two houses down the street. Notice there is a barn in the background, and those little dots are cows. (Not very good photos; I had my old camera with me.)

There is a colony of feral cats behind our house. The photo below shows the food dishes we fill twice a day. The cats come out of the bushes in the background, eat the food, then run back into the bushes. A few are beginning to feel more at home, though, and will come all the way up on our deck. The little kittens sometimes come out to sun themselves or to run around and play on the grass. It's hard to get photos of them because they run when we come outside. The biggest family includes black cats: there is a small adult we call "Little Blackie" and a bigger adult we call "Big Blackie" and four kittens, born in June. There is also a gray cat, a black and white cat, and a new litter of gray kittens born just a few weeks ago. We hope to catch all the cats and have them neutered before the colony grows out of control.

Two of the black kittens:

Then there are the cats who live with us in our house. This is Katie, the oldest. She came with us when we moved here from Philadelphia. She is a Maine Coon cat.

Then there are the two former feral cats we adopted from our back yard. They were little kittens who came up from the bushes behind the house. We started feeding them, then playing with them. Now they are perfectly adjusted house cats. They were easy to socialize. This is Tiger:

And this is Tinkerbell:

It's pretty easy to see how comfortable they are as house cats! They are friendly and playful and completely well-behaved.


Jenn Jilks said...

Critters are wonderful to have around, aren't they? Great photos. Thank you for sharing your babies!

Susan said...

Boy, you sound just like me! I've got two cats in the house right now and another that I'm grooming to come in the house as soon as I can get him to use the litterbox.

He's one that we've seen off and on all summer, but farther down the road. He started showing up at the edge of our woods a couple of weeks ago, so I put food out on the front stoop. At first, he would run off when I tried to approach him, but with perseverance and time, he now climbs up on my lap and wants me to pet. I've been bringing him into the screened porch the last couple of nights. He's going to the vet on Thursday to get checked over and then neutered if he's healthy.

I've already named him Frankie, because he has blue eyes.

Don't ask me how many times this has happened. My husband just rolls his eyes and sighs.

judy in ky said...

Hi Jenn, yes, I can't imagine life with furry critters!

Hi Susan, I am so familiar with what you are saying, about cats showing up in your life. It's amazing when they stop being afraid and come to you. I was lucky with the two I brought in... they took to the litter box without any prompting from me.

rachel said...

Good for you, taking care of the feral cats, but do you have it do it alone? Or is there an equivalent to our Cats Protection League who lend you cages and help with the neutering?

Of course I'm rather obsessed with feral kittens at the minute.... Glad I'm not the only one!

judy in ky said...

Rachel, I have been doing research to try to find an organization in my area that might provide help with feral cats. I have a couple of possibilities I am going to call this week.