Mini Scaredy, the feral kitten, starts to grow up

 

This morning Mini Scaredy stayed nestled on top of my blankets all morning. Which is unusual. Usually she eats her breakfast and then splits.

When I woke up from my nap around noon I figured out why. Owl the burly feral tom, was standing there 2 feet away from me. Which is unusual. Usually he keeps a respectful distance. And he didn’t run away when I sat up. Like he usually does. Instead Owl held his ground. Alternating between looking at me and looking at Mini Scaredy, with a distinctive hungry leer.

You could see the whole scenario in that picture. 8-month old Mini Scaredy, the Belle of the Ball, was freaked out about the eminent prospect of losing her virginity to Owl. She had even burrowed down into my blankets, like she was in a hole, with a protective wall of blankets around her. You could tell she was freaked out about the whole thing. Probably wondering what it was all about and why Owl was ardently pursuing her in the first place. So she wasn’t about to leave the relative safety of my bedding.

But even there, Owl kept making tentative little steps in that direction. Like he was going to jump right on top of her then and there. You could see that his sex drive was even stronger than his feral fear of me.

It was also the first time I ever got a look at Owl up close. He’s a battered old war horse. And he kept blinking his eyes at me in this inscrutable manner.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I couldn’t spend all day at my campsite defending Mini Scaredy’s honor. I needed to get some coffee.

And sure enough, as soon as I stood up to pack up my campsite, Mini Scaredy went running down the hill. With Owl in hot pursuit. And as I was leaving I could see them off in the bushes, facing off. No doubt going through some serious negotiations.

The next morning, Mini Scaredy was in a particularly chipper mood. So I guess the tryst worked out OK.
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True cat romance

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I’m gonna’ be gone for a month (doing my eye surgery thing).  So I’ve been stuffing my feral cats with food in the meantime.  To prepare them for the lean times.  The problem is, Blondie’s been in heat lately.  So she’s been somewhat indifferent to food.  She just sorts of picks at it, and then goes off tom-hunting like a hussy.  You know how it is when you got sex on the brain.  You don’t think of much of anything else except for sex.  But I keep trying to tell her:  “Listen.  Eat up now.  There might not be any food for the next month.”  But unfortunately, she doesn’t understand English.  The dumb  beast.

But at least for the moment she’s feeling no pain.  Today she was romping around with this gray tabby that’s been romancing her lately.  She was so happy that she spent about 15 minutes just rolling around on her back in a state of pure joy.  I guess it’s love.

The cat courtship can go on for a couple of weeks.  When this gray tabby (who I cleverly named Gray) first showed up on the scene, Blondie would growl fiercely whenever he approached her.  But now, two weeks later, whenever he shows up, she makes this purring/clucking sound of pure delight.  I guess Gray finally wore down her resistance with his manly charms.  Cats.  Sheesh.

But Blondie isn’t “easy,” as we used to say.  Blondie doesn’t put out for just anybody.  She made Gray really work for it.  The first week, every time Gray showed up, Blondie would run off up the hill.  Gray spent a solid week chasing after her.  Stalking her, basically.  I guess Blondie was playing hard-to-get.  But not that hard.  Because every now and then she would actually succeed in ditching Gray.  So she’d have to back-track and go looking for him.  So they could resume the whole stalking charade.  Slowly, gradually, Blondie let Gray get closer and closer to her.  Until, well, finally .  . .  there’s a reason there are so many kittens in the world.

But I’m sure it all makes sense on an evolutionary  level.  Blondie was testing Gray.  Making sure he was strong and resourceful.  And, more important, had strong and resourceful genes.  Before she made her selection.

Love really is a pretty brutal game.  I guess that’s why there are so many sad-sack love songs on the radio all the time.

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