Tuesday, 9 November 2010


This black cat has been around for four or five years and I still don't know whether it's a genuine stray or an opportunist who 'does the rounds', finding food where it can.

He's very, very wary and I can't get anywhere near him/her. He sits outside waiting to be fed and was dozing on the doorstep until he became aware I was just behind him - indoors.

I show him the tin of cat food, if that's what I'm going to put out, or extend my hand if I have dry food but as soon as I raise my arm towards the door handle, he's gone. The closed door seems to indicate safety.

He nips round the side of the house and is confident enough to wait out of my sight but because I went round to take this photo, he hopped through the cats' entrance to wait in safety the other side of the gate. There's just one eye showing beside the hosepipe.

Count to two after the door's been shut and he's there - this time just a small handful of Ashley's dry food - I think this was a complete surprise to him the first time I put it out. He eats anything, jacket potato skins, even bread and butter. With 'wet' food I think he'd eat the plate as well if he could. Then he mooches off until next time, then he'll be waiting nearby for the next handout.

He's not the first cat who's just turned up outside the door. My first cat, well, not my first cat, just the first of the present run which began in the early 80s, when Stuart, my son, came home after splitting up with his girl friend. He brought a scared tabby cat, which got renamed as Puss, and the girl took the Old English Sheepdog... then a friend said there was a pretty white and ginger kitten at the farm, one of a litter belonging to one of their farm cats. He became Sherry. The next was a hefty tabby, also a bag of nerves, and all I saw of him for weeks was one eye peering round the wall at the end of the garden. The two cats ignored him and eventually he plucked up the courage to come indoors and circle round the downstairs room before exploring upstairs and so he joined the gang. He was named Fraidy, cos he was a Fraidy cat. They've all gone now, all buried at the garden. But when I came here, I saw a black and white cat out in the wilderness which was the old overgrown sandpits. He, too, came to get scraps, was accepted by the resident three and now Ashley is the last one left. Perhaps the black one will eventually pluck up courage enough to stay nearby when the door is opened.

Time will tell...


Kath said...

I think cats are drawn to people they know will be kind to them.

Bernard said...

I get quite a number too. Some are more bold than others, and I even get one, a black & white one, who explores all over the house! In the summer, my Tom-cat, Wesley likes being fed outdoors, and of course his left overs are quickly polished off by some passing pussy. I also put what Hazel leaves, outside in the evening for the hedgehogs. It is 'hit & miss' whether it ends up inside a hedgehog or another cat! :)