I don’t know if it’s because of all the rain we got this month, or because I accidentally beaned her with a stick the other day, or what. But Mini Scaredy was definitely in an ill-humored mood this morning….. Moo Cat tried to sneak into my campsite to get some breakfast — something Mini Scaredy usually let’s slide. But not this morning. Scaredy immediately went after Moo. To escape Scaredy’s wrath, Moo ran around to the back of my campsite and hid behind my backpack, cowering in fear. While Scaredy stood there about ten feet away, tensed up and ready to pounce on Moo as soon as she made her move.
Moo sat there cowering behind my pack for about 30 seconds, wide-eyed, and assessing her options. Which were severely limited at this point. She’s got her back to the wall, and somehow has to get around Scaredy if she wants to get to safety.
Suddenly Moo makes her move and sprints passed Scaredy. Scaredy turns and chases after her in full sprint. Moo manages to get about 20 yards down the trail when Scaredy catches up to her. Scaredy dives at Moo with her two front legs fully extended and spears Moo in the side with both fists. A very impressive and athletic move by Scaredy — reminded me of one of those nature films where a lion in full sprint lunges at an elk and takes it down. Moo is is knocked sideways by the blow. But she quickly scrambles and regains her balance and runs down the trail with her tail between her legs.
Scaredy saunters back to my campsite with a smug look on her face, like: “I ain’t in the mood to take any shit this morning.” Ha ha.
I fix a plate of food for Moo Cat and walk down the trail to deliver her breakfast in a neutral zone. Moo Cat doesn’t seem hurt by the exchange. Just a little humiliated. Her thick winter coat probably prevented Scaredy’s claws from penetrating to the flesh.
I guess every now and then Mini Scaredy just feels the need to re-establish the pecking order.
I think the great Mini Scaredy vs. Moo Cat feud is finally beginning to thaw out.
The other night there were no feral cats at my campsite. Usually Mini Scaredy and Scaredy Cat sleep with me all night long. But it had rained during the day. So they were probably holed up somewhere getting shelter from the storm.
So around 4AM Moo Cat dares to show up at my campsite. Usually she’s afraid to get near me when her arch nemesis Mini Scaredy is around. But tonight she’s got the place to herself. So she climbs up on top of my chest and starts meowing repeatedly in my face to wake me up.
“You!” I said.
“Meow!” she said.
I give her a couple of pets and she starts purring loudly. Then she jumps on top of my backpack where I keep the food (hint hint).
I happened to have a leftover rotisserie chicken that I had ground-scored earlier in my backpack. So Moo Cat really scored. “Meat on the bone!!” Her favorite. She immediately started devouring the chicken with gusto.
But then about 5 minutes later, who shows up? Mini Scaredy. The evil one. Moo Cat immediately starts growling fiercely at Mini Scaredy (what a tough guy she is!). But for once Moo Cat holds her ground. She doesn’t run. She continues feasting on the chicken. And for once Mini Scaredy doesn’t run Moo Cat down the hill and up a tree. Instead she trots over and sits on my chest, purring loudly while I pet her.
After Moo Cat is done eating and makes her exit, Mini Scaredy trots over to the chicken and starts chowing down. About 5 minutes later Scaredy Cat shows up (the gangs all here) and takes her turn at the chicken. And pretty soon there’s nothing left of that carcass but bones and gristle.
The fat cats all go to sleep, with smiles on their mugs. Everyone is coexisting. And there’s peace in the valley (“Can’t we all get along?”) And everyone lives happily ever after (except for the chicken). The End.
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).
This morning I noticed that Scaredy Cat was getting a little, uh, rotund. She’s either been eating VERY well. Or she’s preggo. Sheesh. How do I get into this stuff. Well, there’s been so many calamities and traumas at my campsite lately that I haven’t gotten around to contacting FixOurFerals. And now it might be too late. Oh well.
Scaredy Cat has gotten incredibly attached to me lately. A lot of the feral cats have gotten attached to me over the years (daily feedings will do that). But nothing like with Scaredy Cat. Every night she’s waiting for me at my campsite. Then she sleeps with me all night long. Then she hangs out with me at my campsite right up until the very moment when I finally leave. All the other feral cats, they’ll usually linger around my campsite for awhile after eating. But then they take off. Not Scaredy Cat. She’s more like a loyal little puppy than the typically aloof cat. She’s by my side the entire time I’m at my campsite.
This doesn’t always sit well with Moo Cat. Who can be very possessive about my attention. It’s funny. Moo Cat and Scaredy Cat are always vying for the prime sleeping spot at the top of my chest. But if Scaredy Cat beats her to the spot, Moo Cats will lie alongside me. Grumbling loudly the whole time. Ha ha. Cats.
This is a little weird. A twist in the plot amongst my feral cats.
For years, Moo Cat used to bully Blondie. She’d regularly hiss at her and slash at her and try to drive her off the scene. Blondie never fought back. She’s always been a pretty timid cat. She just took the abuse with a look of exasperation.
But lately it’s like the worm has turned. The pecking order has shifted. And Blondie is now the dominant feral cat of the tribe. Like this morning, I put out two dishes of cat food. One for Blondie and one for Moo Cat. Blondie starts eating from her dish. But then she decides, “I want Moo Cat’s dish, too.” So she pushes her face into Moo Cat’s dish and starts eating Moo Cat’s food, too. Blondie has taken over both dishes!
Moo Cat runs over to me, whimpering loudly at the unfairness of it all. I’m sort of like: “Well, that’s what you get, Moo Cat. What goes
around comes around. The same cats you abused on the way up, you might meet up on the way back down.”
So now I have to put Blondie’s dish way over there. And Moo Cat’s dish way over on the other side. Just so they eat in peace.
But I wonder what happened. I think Blondie finally got sick of taking Moo Cat’s shit. And kicked her ass. Settled it once and for all. Or maybe she teamed up with this big new gray feral tom cat that’s been on the scene lately who she’s real friendly with. And they double-teamed poor ole Moo Cat.
I swear. Sometimes, feral cats can act just as uncivilized and poorly behaved as human beings.