Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I'm not sure what's going on in the cat world out there in the 'jungle', but it seems the word is out. "There's good food over at the house, hurry!".

It started with the "Chongs". The black Chong who suddenly stopped coming last July, and we feared the worst. His buddy, the grey Chong, still immature, hung around and lived in the garden. We never could touch him but he spoke with us - meow, meow, meow...a constant babel of cat sounds letting us know he was around and waiting for food. And after he'd eaten, he'd follow a grumpy Luna around, yapping away at her while she simply growled at him.

Chong longed for company, so we were happy when a baby from the jungle across the street finally figured out that the food was in our garden. Velose, who we'd hardly been able to get a glance of before due to his extreme fear, finally came out of hiding and started talking to us too. He and Chong seemed to get along well, except when Chong grabbed him by the neck and held him, crying and struggling to get away. We don't really  know what Chong had in mind but it appeared pornographic and the baby Velose was hardly a good choice for his hormone-driven instincts.

And now Chong seems to have left the area. We think he is ok because he came back for a meal after being gone a few days. So we choose to believe he has headed out in search of a better choice of mate, and maybe that's what happened with the original Chong as well. We intended to trap the Chongs and get them fixed, but it may be too late. I am leary of trapping as our own cat died in one of those traps, but I think we have to give it another try because...

With Velose 'speaking' with us, other cats hanging out have been listening, and now we have three strays showing up on the terrace. Worse is that they are walking along the wall on the back terrace, and one is even coming down into the back terrace via the vines, and if our 'girls' are out there, it might not be pretty. The last thing I want is a beat-up cat on my hands, and so our girls are spending more time indoors lately.

All three of our indoor females (Minina, Maya, and Smokey) are ticked off about Velose out there. Minina was the worst, running from window to door, tail all fluffed out and beating her paws against the glass trying to get at the kitten. Velose made it worse by climbing up into the window sill and staring in nose-to-nose. I think Minina burned the bottom of her paws by clawing so long at the glass. And she turned on any cat that dared come near when she was angry. Minina is little and dainty but boy, when she's mad, watch out!

Maya has been watching all this and now she has taken over the Velose assault while Minina sits back and watches. Velose comes to the screen door and sits and stares in at us, and Maya sniffs at Velose and tries to poke through the screen. So far Smokey just sniffs and stays out of reach of everyone. Smokey is not happy about Velose either, once she got out and chased the poor kitten into a corner. Why our normally calm, sweet cats are so mean with newcomers is something I don't understand. Luna simply ignores Velose - if she goes out and Velose is around, she simply growls and goes off the other way. Should Velose come close Luna would probably take a swipe, but as long as everyone keeps their distance from her, she's cool. Grouchy, but cool.

Velose is trying to get close to Loco, and Loco has stopped chasing him, so they may become buddies. The other night one of the other strays was up on the terrace stealing Loco's food, and Velose came up beside it and rubbed in and out, just wanting contact. The cat allowed it too, so maybe it is Velose's mother or will simply be its friend. The other night Velose and another cat were on the front terrace when the aggressive white cat came by and attacked. There was some shrieking and the cats ran off and spent yesterday away from the house. Miguel spotted the three strays hanging out together in the jungle. But last night Velose came by and called for food and then proceeded to torment the indoor cats.

I suspect Velose will never allow us to touch him, so we're going to have to try to trap him to get him 'fixed' before he reproduces. Actually, I'm not sure if 'he' is a male or female - the face is dainty like a female, and Velose may actually be Chong's offspring as the markings are similar. It has been interesting observing the social structure of these cats - the biggest surprise is the acceptance of the kitten by the adults. Are they Velose's parents or are they just loving cats? We'll never know for sure. All I know is that my indoor cats are not loving cats to little Velose. From their perspective, he is clearly an unwelcome intruder and they will do their best to keep him out. I suspect there will be a truce declared soon and Velose will be allowed to stare in the windows and doors. But we'll see...

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