Feral cats pecking order

Mini Scaredy has established herself as the alpha cat at the top of the feral cat hierarchy. By dint of her superior strength, athleticism, aggression and overall fighting ability.

And there’s really nothing I can do about it. These are wild animals after all, with their own inner-species society with it’s own unique rules and bi-laws. You can’t really “train” feral cats in the wild. Because they react to any attempts to “discipline” them — or any aggression directed at them — as a life-or-death attack on their personage.

So I just let the cats sort it out among themselves.

So this morning I fed Mini Scaredy — the ruling queen — her breakfast at my campsite.

 
Then I went down to the creek and fed Micro Scaredy — who Mini Scaredy banished from my campsite — her breakfast down there at her spot.
 

And then I fed Fatty — who’s been banished from the creek by Micro Scaredy — her breakfast at her spot about 30 yards down the trail from the creek.

And somewhere — even farther off in the distance — is Moo Cat at the bottom of the feral cat pecking order, waiting at her spot for me to bring her HER breakfast

Sheesh. Cats.

Mini Scaredy, leader of the late-night parade

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Mini Scaredy does this thing that kills me. Every night she’ll be waiting for me, hiding in the bushes a couple blocks down the road from the trail to my campsite in the Berkeley hills. Many nights she’ll wait there — hiding in the bushes by the road — for 2 or 3 hours. Waiting for me to show up.

Then when she spots me staggering up the road — usually around 1 AM in the morning, drunk — she’ll come running up to me (she keeps a couple feet away from me because she knows I’m drunk and might step on her in the darkness of night — she’s not dumb). And then she’ll run towards the trail. And I’ll follow behind her. She’s like leading the parade. And she helps me get up the trail. Because its usually pitch dark and I’m drunk and i can barely see where I’m going. So it helps that she’s leading me up the trail because I can see her flickering image as she runs up the trail a couple steps ahead of me.

When we get up to my campsite the other three feral kittens are waiting for me (they’re hungry). And Mini Scaredy is so proud of herself (leading the parade) like, “Look who I delivered up to our campsite, fellow cats.”

As soon as I lay down my cardboard matting, Mini Scaredy comes rushing over to say hello to me. This is the magic moment they’ve all been waiting for. I pet her a couple times then I break out the cat food. And then they all feast.

And then we all go to sleep in a big clump for the next 8 hours. That’s the best part!

Its like a ritual we inact every night.

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The Queen of the Scene

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 Scaredy Cat is the alpha Queen of the feral cat tribe. The undisputed ruler. But she’s a benevolent ruler. She doesn’t impose her will on the other feral cats. She allows everyone to do their thing.

She even allowed Moo Cat to return to the tribe. Even after Moo Cat had attacked her several times and almost slashed her eye out. After running Moo Cat off the scene several times (Moo Cat running for her life, ha ha). And establishing herself as the undisputed leader at the top of the pecking order. Scaredy Cat allowed Moo Cat to return. So long as Moo Cat behaves herself. And doesn’t try to challenge Scaredy Cat’s authority. (Moo Cat grumbles about it, of course. But she’s accepted her place in the pecking order)

Scaredy Cat is an extremely wise and intelligent creature.

Scaredy Cat is the undisputed center of the scene. She has her beloved kittens (Mini Owl and Mini Scaredy). Her beloved sister (Fatty the black cat). Her mother and father (Feral Tammy and Owl). And Moo Cat (the one remaining cat from the previous lineage).

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