As I mentioned previously, we have befriended a white long haired cat that appeared in our neighborhood. It is very suspicious of people, seems to be pretty deaf (as is common with white cats with blue eyes) and gets in lots of fights with other cats that roam the neighborhood. In other words, he is a raggedy mess and we feel very sorry for him. I am using “him” for the moment, as that is how we refer to this cat. Who knows, it may be a her.
To make things a bit easier, we call him “Cloud.” That is shorter than “That white cat.” Cloud is kindly eating up the Science Diet canned cat food I got for a rip roaring good deal at Pet Smart, that my cats absolutely refuse to eat. Even the young ones will reject it for the dry food every time. Folks, this stuff was 37 cents a can and I bought LOTS of it. They were changing their labels, it wasn’t like it was on sale because it was several bad flavors. I guess when you are living life on the mean streets, you aren’t as picky.
Cloud is very wary of people. When I fed him the first time he waited until I was completely out of sight before he would come investigate. I can’t see how a cat with a high percentage of Persian in him could be a compete feral, but it is obvious that life has been hard for him. However, I don’t want to leave food out for him randomly due to the wildlife and other cats we have in the neighborhood. I have no interest in becoming a magnet for all cats nor do I want my place to be the snack bar for all manner of rodents, skunks, raccoons and coyotes.
So, I made a deal with Cloud. I see him, I feed him. No see, no food. I am pleased to report that he is getting the hang of this concept. However, it does result in what I call the “Cloud Dance” at times. The front door to our house is actually on the side of the house and to get from there to the driveway you have to go about 10 feet to the front yard and then veer left on a walkway across the front yard. Cloud’s bowls are at the corner of the house, If all I am doing is going out to get the newspaper, which Hubby has kindly thrown up by the front door, and I see Cloud, I just grab some food, put it in his bowl while he waits warily what he considers a safe distance away, and all is good.
It gets a little complected, however, if I see him while I am coming or going. If I am leaving the house and I happen to see him, I can go back in and get some food for him. But, as I try to get to my car he inevitably sprints ahead of me, away from the food I put out for him, and near and nearer to the car I want to drive away in. So I have to put the food down, start towards Cloud (who is between me and my car at this point), which makes him sprint a little ways away, then I cross the planter, circle around the orange tree, and cross the grass to get to my car. That way he doesn’t go any farther and end up under my car.
The other day I did the Cloud dance, but from the opposite direction. I came home, and he was curled up under the lemon tree, his favorite spot. So I went in with my groceries, and came back out for the second load. But, as usual, Cloud had gotten up and was sitting by his dish. In order to get my groceries, I would end up driving him across the yard again. So, I went back in, got some food and gave it to him, then went through my house, out through the garage, though the side gate, and into my driveway to get my groceries. All to avoid disturbing a stray cat while he was eating. Oh well, at least I get more steps in, doing the Cloud dance.
The other night something funny happened. Remember, Cloud is a very dirty and ragged white Persian kind of cat. He of reminds me of a former Hollywood starlet who is now old and has seen better days.. Hubby and I came home after dark, and, as we turned into the driveway, the headlights highlighted Cloud, doing that funny sit up cats do that exposes their private areas and belly for all to see while they groom themselves. Cloud looked up with his amazing resting b**** face, and I felt like I had just accidentally stumbled into someone’s boudoir! I wanted to say, “Pardon me!” and curtsy!
I am happy to report Cloud is less wary with us now. We can walk right by him while he is resting under the lemon tree and he won’t even get up, even though we are only a few feet away. He is still uninterested in our direct attention, but we give him food and I think that counts for a lot when you are living life on the streets.
This is Cloud, hanging out in his favorite spot, where he waits for us to appear and give him food.