Doris, and her sons Peter and Edward (above) have been with me for 10 weeks now. As you can see, Peter (tabby) and Edward (black) are much bigger than last time I posted photos of them, and the whole family has settled down enough to come out of the pen they were housed in previously and be given the run of the room.
Doris (below) – aka Owl Face – is a really attentive mother who absolutely adores her two boys. She’s only just stopped allowing them to feed from her. And they’re 5½ months old… with big sharp teeth! Doris’ chosen method of weaning her over-grown babies? Vigorous bunny kicks to the head every time they tried to suckle – problem solved in less than 48 hours!
I’ve found out a little more about the family’s background since their last Caturday Cat Pics appearance. Apparently Doris was given to someone as a present, who didn’t actually want a kitten, so decided the best thing to do under the circumstances would be to banish Doris to the garden, where she was fed but never interacted with. I’m assuming that Peter and Edward were born outside in the garden, and consequently Doris and sons are semi-feral. How they ended up dumped in a car park of a block of flats is a complete mystery.
They may have had a semi-feral start in life, but I haven’t given up hope that they can find a home together as domestic cats. They’ve all come an awful long way since their arrival here, and are now pretty confident around me. No one actually likes being stroked yet, but no one runs under the furniture when I enter the room either, and the boys are happy to settle down on my lap for a snooze. The whole family really enjoy playing games with me, and they all love being hand-fed cat biscuits. In fact Biscuit Time usually turns into a rugby scrum – with me at the bottom of the pile!
This week we reached a major milestone, and finally broke through the purr barrier. Hooray!! My money was on young Peter to be the first one to crack, but mum Doris beat him to it. She’s purred twice in as many days – once when being hand fed biscuits, and again while playing The Stick Game.
So, here’s hoping that the boys will follow mum’s lead, and next time round I’ll be able to report on a full set of purrs!
Posted in HQ Cats
Tagged foster cats
We haven’t had a Caturday Cat Pics for a while, so rather than risk boring the pants off you with loads of photos in one hit, I thought the HQ Cats could have their turn in the spotlight this week, and the fosters can have a go next Saturday.
Alfie and his sister, Ethel, are three this month. I’ve chosen the 24th as their official birthday (they neither know nor care about the date), so decided a birthday photo shoot would be in order on Tuesday. Alfie would not be persuaded to return from next door’s garden (too many flies needed chasing); as a result of her brother’s uncooperative behaviour Ethel gets both birthday pictures!
Cheer up, Ethel: you’ve just turned three, not forty!
OK then, I’ll settle for ‘wistful’.
Martha had a lovely dirt bath – although all that rolling around proved to be quite tiring!
There was an indisputable champion in the Queen of the Castle contest.
But, with power comes great responsibility – swiftly followed by self-doubt and a creeping sense of anxiety, in Ida‘s case.
Feral Beryl went off to the vet’s for some minor dental work and a general check-up this week. She came home with sparkling teeth and a clean bill of health; I’m now on a course of industrial-strength antibiotics due to multiple bite wounds. Not Beryl’s fault: she absolutely detests being picked up (she is feral, after all!), and also, as I discovered, doesn’t have a scruff reflex (most cats will become motionless for at least a couple of seconds when lifted by the loose skin on their neck/shoulder area). I made another discovery that day: it turns out that I’m not strong enough to keep a sufficiently firm grip on a furious scruffed cat in order to prevent said cat from biting me – doh! Two valuable lessons learned! I’m pleased to report that Beryl has very kindly forgiven my errors of judgement and we are now the best of friends again.
(‘Scuse grubby fingers – I’d been gardening!)
Meet Foster Cats No’s 24 – 26, more affectionately known as Doris, Edward and Peter. Doris and her 12-week-old sons Edward (black) and Peter (tabby) were rescued by the Celia Hammond Animal Trust from a car park behind a block of flats in South London. Another small group of cats had been rescued from the same location a few days previously; sadly this group included a kitten with a broken leg. A dead kitten was also found at the scene.
No one knows for sure how these cats ended up in the car park, but it’s most likely that they were dumped there. A kind resident of the block of flats had been leaving food and water out for the homeless cats and kittens, but other residents objected to their presence and were removing the food and water and chasing the cats away.
We’ll never know what Doris and sons went through prior to being rescued, but whatever it was has left them absolutely traumatised. They were so utterly exhausted and shell-shocked that they barely moved for the first few days they were here; toys remained untouched and bedding completely unruffled. When you consider how lively a pair of 12-week-old kittens should be, it really puts the extent of the family’s trauma into perspective. Edward and Peter just didn’t seem to know how to play, and poor Doris was permanently rigid with fear.
The family has been here for eight days now, and I’m pleased to report that they’re making progress. Yesterday evening Edward and Peter were coaxed into a game with a feather stick, and this morning their bedding was all over the place and the water bowl had been upturned – a sign that they’d probably been wrestling each other overnight. So it looks as if the two boys have learned how to play! Doris (pictured above) no longer tries to hide behind her sons when I enter the room, and is now either sprawled out relaxing, or right at the front of the pen waiting for some food. She’s also started to tolerate being stroked, and even stuck her head forward for a chin rub today! No purrs yet, but I suspect she’s been on the verge a couple of times.
This family of three have got quite a long way to go before they can learn to trust us humans, but they’ve make good progress in the last eight days, and I’m confident that they’ll be ready for their forever home in a few weeks. So far young Peter is proving to be the bravest member of the family – even though he’s the smallest!
Now here’s a thing I thought I’d never capture on camera: Ethel in the garden!
After a year-long recce from the safety of the balcony Miss Ethel was finally persuaded down the stairs and into the big wide world by the irresistible sight of Malcolm From Downstairs devouring a wood pigeon. Continue reading
Alfie‘s now a dab hand at this going outside malarkey, and has become quite the Man About Town. (Well, Man About the Back Garden, anyway). Continue reading
This week it’s a Caturday Cat Pics Holiday Special! I’ve just spent a very windswept week away in the olde worlde East Sussex town of Rye. I had hoped to return laden with snaps of cats looking cute in picturesque locations, but it turns out cats are a bit thin on the ground in Rye – or word had got round that a strange woman was out stalking them with a camera, and they’d all gone into hiding! However, I did happen upon this gang of three moggies…