Thursday, December 29, 2005

The Tiny Lions in Winter

You may have been wondering how our little feral cat colony is doing now that temperatures have finally dropped. The good news is that all six are alive and appear to have no new health problems. We don't see too much of them, since it's too cold to wait on the stoop for food. They come round in small groups when the hunger bug strikes. All but Rrose are receptive to petting. Their fur is cold.

Feral cat specialists have all sorts of advice on helping the furry ones survive the season. Groovy shelters made of styrofoam home insulation, lined with straw, are the best. Of course, frozen water is another problem. There's no low-tech solution to that.

Our guys seem to have formed cliques this winter. Pictured is one clique, Junior and Elvis Memphis, who have been keeping each other warm in the rafters of our garage. Better digs are available, but these guys are too afraid of the bigger cats to learn. They seem to be the battered geek clique. I want to tell them it'll be so much better after high school, I swear!

Vince is a clique of one. He appears to be bunking in the basement of the apartment building next door. I think he gets along with someone human over there, who leaves a window ajar. He begs to come inside by the fire, and I think he might be ready. Anybody want a friendly, but aggressive, drooling cat? (He drools when he's happy. Part of the kneading ritual. Some cats hump, this one drools.)

And the other three, Rrosie, Marcel, and Elvis Vegas, appear to be hiding out somewhere down the block, probably the same spot where Rrose used to go to give birth. Haven't figured out where, but it's likely a doghouse or warmer garage.

Meanwhile, the indoor crew is doing its best to keep the gas bill down, piling on top of us at bedtime in a big, snoring mass. Sweet dreams.



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