Friday, April 22, 2011

Long Weekends Everywhere Else

Welcome to your holidays you lot.  In Britain you are starting an 'enforced' break of - is it 11 days? - to enjoy spring, rebirth and the sacrifice of a not-quite-so-young bride.  In Australia, because of the late Easter, ANZAC Day coincides with the long weekend, making it a five day 'super' weekend.  I bet the supermarkets are empty and the highways full.  In North America you are also enjoying an Easter break, as will many parts of the rest of the world.  Lucky you.

Here it is an ordinary weekend of Friday/Saturday, standard fare. 

It is starting to heat up.  The temperature under our car-port showed 27 at about 7 am.  Yesterday it hit 40 while I was out.

This morning Marius went for his swim:

I came along for the walk.  I am only just able to swim again - which I love - but am still a little wary of getting out of the pool.  I'll probably swim tomorrow morning.  Well, swim is possibly an exaggeration as I have to be careful not to be too enthusiastic and wreck myself, as it were.

I had company sitting in the shade, as I was escorted by my friend Ratty and our uninvited lodger Pink Floyd.  They would never normally come up by the pool if there were people around, I'm sure, but they both seem to be besotted with me (nice to have a fan club even if I do bribe them) and tend to follow me around if I am out and about.

Ratty, formerly known as Black Ears
We have known Ratty since last September I think.  Until then, we had a little cafe in the clubhouse, and the chef used to feed both the birds and the wild cats with scraps from his kitchen.  Then unexpectedly, the cafe closed and there was no one to feed the strays, which is where muggins here stepped in.  There was Ratty and his little side kick, Little Guy, who was tiny.  Our number one cat Miss Ming, was once a starving stray, smaller than my hand but over 6 months old, and although I wrestle with the ethics of it all, I can't bear to see animals suffer, or cats starve. 

We began donating the odd bit of left-over fish or uneaten cat food to the pair of them, and gradually took over their nourishment with cat-crunchies.  Ratty and LG always hung out together, slept curled up together and rubbed each others' heads.  They would run along the road to greet us, calling to each other, tails up, and then run back to where we fed them, tails entwined, rubbing their shoulders together and their bodies.

LG was always Little Guy until I started to suspect she might be Little Girl - a suspicion that has been confirmed.  Until recently, they were always there and always together, sometimes with others, but they were the faithful ones.  Once Ratty disappeared for a few days and LG was quite bereft and lost without him.  We were all pleased when he returned from his adventures.  Now LG seems to have taken up with one of her boyfriends - a raffish black panther creature - and we don't see her any more.

To begin with, these wild cats were wary of us, happy to be fed but not touched.  Then cold-hearted Marius set to work to break them, taking several scratches, but now they love pats and cuddles and purr quite contentedly.  They even leave their food to come for walks if they think they haven't had enough patting attention.

There is a separate story for Pink Floyd - which I will save for another day.  Suffice to say he and Ratty seem to be making friends:  they will always be joined by jealousy.

Ratty keeps Pink Floyd away



jabblog said...

Beautiful cats! I like the names you've given them. I hope LG isn't about to add to the numbers of feral cats - such a sad life when there aren't enough good-hearted souls like you and M to care for them.

Isabel Doyle said...

LG was in season a few weeks ago, filling the place with eager tom-cats. Surprisingly, Ratty wasn't all that interested beyond his normal affection for her (I've seen them cleaning each other's ears).

Sadly I suspect there will be more feral kittens over the summer, but many do not survive - they even get eaten by male cats. I have seen kittens with a paw missing - the males come into the nest and eat them one paw at a time, which is shudderingly horrible. We thought (well I thought) about having LG neutered but we worried how would we return her to the wild, post-op? M is adamant that two family cats are enough and I can hardly argue against him.