Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I am up to my ears in cats.

My neighbors are away and they have three cats that I've been feeding once a day (I think they'd like more, but that's what they're getting).

I'm also feeding three cats across the street. Wild cats that have learned how to let me know they're there and they're hungry. The black cat (Minina double) sits under the wood pile and meows at me. When I shake the food container, the grey kitten (about 6 months old now), comes out of the bushes and joins his mother/father on the platform where I put the food. They eat hungrily and then are gone.

The third cat across the street is probably the father of the grey kitten and is the least friendly and most suspicious. Recently the poor cat has been limping badly - his front leg broken or something, from some sort of accident. The cat cannot put much weight on the foot, but he uses it for balance and uses the side of the leg to climb up to the feeding platform. The other day I got close enough to see his foot, and although all the fur is intact, the claws are extended - looks like maybe nerve or muscle damage that stops him from being able to retract those claws. I'm not sure how that affects his ability to protect himself, but he's been this way for several weeks, so he's managing. There are many days we don't see him, but when he comes he gets on top of the platform and just lies there waiting for me to deliver his food. After seeing his foot, Miguel suggested putting a bowl of water out for him too, so we're doing that. I hope he'll be ok.

Yesterday morning we went to the mercado and on the way we came upon a dying cat in the road. Several men were gathered around it watching it twitch. Miguel picked it up and put it in the plants so it could die and not be run over. There was nothing that could be done for it at that point, but it was sad to see it dying.

Our own cats have been good and bad. For some reason, Minina, who usually loves to be on the back terrace, is not happy out there in the mornings. She is climbing the screen door and crying and being a pain. Maya, who has been very content out there until the last two days, has been watching and now is climbing the door too. But she climbs all the way to the top, and there's nowhere to go from there except back down. I've been throwing water at them and so they moved to the kitchen window. Actually, just Minina moved to the kitchen window, because Maya learned several weeks ago that water comes through that screen as well. And now Minina knows too. (insert evil laugh here).

Minina has always been good at slipping out the front door, but until yesterday, Maya just sat there and made no attempt. Yesterday we were in the kitchen and I just sensed that the house was too quiet and the cats were up to no good. Sure enough, both Maya and Minina had slipped out the front door that Miguel did not close correctly. They were both in the front garden, with Luna watching (Luna knows they are not supposed to be there). It was some effort to round them up, and later that night Miguel opened the door and Maya was out before he could even shove his foot in the way. It took a few minutes to catch her - she's fast and she just ran from one corner to other corner and back again. I was guarding the street as it was dark and Maya is probably small enough (or crazy enough) to jump through the hedge.

With guests in the house we have been sleeping with Maya and Minina in our room so as to keep them from making noise all night long or slipping into the guestroom (after 3 months, we still do not have that darn door for the staircase to keep the cats downstairs). Maya is a brat and tackles Minina wherever she is resting and makes her move. Minina had the top of the armoire as her refuge, but last night Maya finally figured out how Minina got up there. We heard a scuffle and some cat fighting, and realized they were duking it out up there. Finally Minina jumped down and the triumphant Maya slept there until I got up to the bathroom in the middle of the night and she cried to be lifted down. But I think Minina was the winner, as she got to sleep in the blanket near my feet. Maya hasn't figured that out yet.


Bennie said...

Wow, you've become the cat lady we all talked about as kids. The funniest part is picturing you trying to herd them in from the front porch. Good luck, I hope you live through this.

Islagringo said...

Herding a group of cats! LOL! I love your animal stories. They all have such distinct personalities. I think our two had a discussion that went along the lines of "let's just agree to get along before one of us gets the boot!" They don't spend any time together or socialize with each other at all. But at least they don't fight either!

jeanie said...

Sue, You care so much for all the animals around you. You and Miguel make the world a better place.

K.W. Michigan said...

I love your cat stories! I'm laughing as I'm reading. Thanks for sharing.

Scottozoid said...

Sue you know I am most decidedly a "cat person" even though now I only have to herd one Junior Cat and she is getting elderly (no "senior moments"...yet)

I really loved connecting with the three "official" cat girls on my last visit: Luna the Fierce, Minina the Beauty and Maya the kitten goof ball

Good luck with all the outdoor cats and the rest of the menagerie.

Loco seems like a really good sport, he is after all in the minority in the household but is pretty good natured about it all. Watching him play with "his kitten" Maya is vastly entertaining (for me better than TV)

I like most animals a lot more than I like most humans...I tell my cat this all the time I think she smiles at me when I say it...