Keef (of the Mick & Keef twins) is back! At least I think it’s Keef. This morning, she came within about 30 feet of me. Sort of studied me for awhile. And then slowly sauntered back up the hill.
It could be another cat. There are a lot of gray tabbies in this world. But I doubt it. A feral cat that wasn’t familiar with me would never be that bold in approaching me. Cats in the wild are extremely cautious. And for good reason.
I haven’t seen Keef in over a year. Which is about 4 years in cat years. So who knows how well Keef remembers me, or how she was factoring it in her cat brain.
Keef is one of the cats that I sort of consider “semi-feral.” Because I’ve been feeding her since she was a little kitten, so she would come right up to me and let me pet her, just like a normal housecat. Whereas the feral cats that weren’t touched in the first 6 months of their lives, rarely seemed to warm to human touch. (I always thought that Sigmund Freud was kind of a quack. But he was probably onto something regarding how crucial those first months of a baby’s life were, and how it affected our lifelong behavior patterns.)
It’s tricky, by the way, to compare cat years to human years. Cats mature much more quickly, relatively speaking, than humans. By the time a cat is 2 years old it’s a complete adult. So the first 2 years of a cats life are equivalent to 20 years in a human life. So you’d say 1 cat year equals 10 human years. But after that, their development slows down. And for the rest of their life, 1 cat year equals about 4 human years. Now you know. . .
Keef was one of the more mentally well-adjusted of the feral cats (unlike that nut Moon Cat). Keef always seemed happy and on top of things and really enjoying her life. A very contented cat, she seemed to relish things a bit more than the others.
I’ll always wonder how the feral cats survived so well during the 10 months I was gone. I suspect they ate a lot of insects. Because I used to watch them hunting. Or more accurately, their attempts at hunting. And I know how difficult it is for them to actually catch a prey. Only once did I actually see them catch one. I blinked my eye and just like that, Scamp — one of the quicker and better coordinated of the cats — had a blue jay in her mouth. Several times I’d see them pounce right on the back of a squirrel. But the squirrel always managed to scamper out of their grasp. It was funny to watch the cats right before they lunged at their prey. Their entire bodies would stiffen and tense up. Except for their back legs, which they were sort of pumping up and down — almost like revving a car — to give them extra spring for that initial rush. And they’d be staring intently at their prey, and their mouths would often be going up and down like they were practicing biting the prey. Then — boom! — they’d be off like a shot. But the birds and the squirrels were usually just a little too quick for them.
After I packed up my campsite, I left a can of tuna fish in the catfood dish. . . Keef will be back.