(Central Coast of California)
This is "Yellow Cat". We call him/her our "outside" cat. Bigfoot seems to know him. He watches him eat through the window. Yellow cat must be truly feral, as he is afraid of everything. One noise and he is gone. I keep folks away from the back door from 5PM to7PM so his feeding doesn't get interrupted. I can always tell if it was he who ate the food, because he leaves a little behind for later. Other critters sometimes come at night and finish off the bowl. It could even be the neighborhood skunk. I smell him now and then in the middle of the night, and worry about Yellow Cat getting sprayed. I?m sure he?s too smart for that.
In this picture, I interrupted a sunny afternoon nap, even though I was quiet as a mouse. I managed to snap three pictures of him, but this was the best of the three, using the zoom lens. Sorry it is so fuzzy. I've have tried to get a picture of him for weeks to post here, but he?s so elusive. It doesn't work to photograph through a window. Here, he's ready to run down the rain-drain where I think he tunnels around. It is the same drain where I found Bigfoot hanging out in last summer before I brought him in. There is a huge difference between the behavior of Bigfoot and that of Yellow Cat. Bigfoot was a "homeless" cat. Yellow cat is definitely feral. His wild eyes prove it. His ways are very wary.
I've been thrilled to see all the input on how to house feral cats. It is fairly cool here in the winter time. Not much rain, but the temps drop down into the 20's occasionally, but most often in the low 30's which ices up everything. I?ve been looking for a small igloo to place in the back yard for Yellow Cat, and now from these stories I know what to fill the igloo with to make Yellow Cat Happy. I hope he finds it. I?d love a kitty cam out back so I can really see the life that goes on when no one is looking.
I don't see many feral cats here in my neighborhood, which is surprising since we are fairly rural. There is an Agricultural FFA farm (Future Farmers of America) across the street, and maybe they all live there eating the rodents, and settling in the barns at night. I don?t know because I don't see any. That is a good thing.
I have a friend who lives next door who is in her 80's. She is more clear headed than I am most of the time, and she thinks the yellow cat has been around for 20 years, since before her husband died. Well, I think this is an offspring perhaps. This cat is very agile, fast and sure about what he is doing. I doubt he's old. I?m keeping an eye on him. I'll see about trapping and neutering/spaying in the summer.
More From Dorothy - links added by Michael:
Hi Dorothy... I turned your comment about Yellow cat (intended to be for one of the pages on sheltering feral cats) to a page as it is too long and too good for a comment!
Hope you are OK with that.