Nov 25

Crone doesn’t rule out becoming turkey-brothers with feral cat

Feral catLest I be accused of insufficient cat blogging — I think it is an Internetian misdemeanor when a blogger can be demonstrated to have access to a cat and yet cat-blogs not — here is the latest photo of Smudge.

Smudge is the name I’ve given to the feral cat who’s been hanging around here for the past six weeks or so, but of course I only ever call him “Kitty-Katty.” Since his arrival, and my subsequent lavishment upon him of endless cans of foul-smelling pâté, he has gone from exhibiting quite the skeletal anti-cronal attitude to a somewhat less aloof demeanor and a more — shall we say robust? — silhouette. Just in the past couple of days he’s started powering up the purr while favoring my pants-leg with his excess fur (see photo). Lately he also condescends to poke at my hand when I’m dishing out the grub. And of course, he still accompanies me to the paddock when I feed the horses at night, so he can bust a move under my feet every 5 seconds. We may yet become turkey-brothers. I may have to cut back on the pâté, though, as his move-busting is starting to take on an unseemly waddling affect.

Howver, thus far old Smudge has displayed no interest whatsoever in getting petted. When he sees the cronal mitt coming his way, he scrams toot sweet, hiding under the horse trailer and yowling unhappily. Which I must say, has me feeling a little used. The whole point of a cat is that it sits in your lap and exudes contentment while you stroke your cares away. Stupid Smudge.


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  1. stacey

    Yay! Cat-blogging. My love is secured.

  2. Comradde PhysioProffe

    Cats are very good at manipulating people to get what they want. Smudge is quite a cutie!

  3. Megan

    Cans of fish goop may not be the cause of Smudge’s waddle. Cats need more than a few weeks of treats from kind women to grow from a near-skeletal frame to one indicating a sway in the middle. Unless! Have you considered Smudge may be knocked up? That kitty looks total preggers, what with looking skinny-except-for-the- belly physique. Here’s hoping I’m wrong.

  4. gingerest

    It would be just like a cat to pretend to be male and then turn out to be full of kittens. How are Ginger Rogers’ pusbags? Is she still all crusty?

  5. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Another reason for the belly-bulge might be a nice gutload of worms. Seek out Smudge’s scat and take it to your vet for analysis pronto.

  6. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Well, I’m no catspert, but I’m pretty sure I’ve glimpsed male junk on the Smudgal keister, so I’m temporarily ruling out parturience. Worms are a definite maybe, though. Because he’s seemed in fine health — shiny and bright and so forth — I’ve been putting off the vet for one logistical reason (until the barn gets finished I won’t really have anywhere to keep him confined post-op), and one emotional one (I am also reluctant to betray his hard-won trust by trapping him). My thinking was that if he can hold out for one more month, I’ll have a nice warm tack room in which to imprison him during his recovery. But Antoinette is right. The poetical words “seek out Smudge’s scat” should be my mantra.

  7. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Oh, and on the matter of Ginger Rogers’ pus bags: she was completely cured, I thought, until this morning, when to my horror I noticed them beginning to re-emerge. Currently the size of jawbreakers. It’s a bafflement!

  8. threemilechild

    Hah. Smudge’s decided you’re his human. He’s not sure yet he wants to be your cat. (Cats mostly prefer to dispense with patriarchy in favor of tyranny.) He’ll probably accept cheek scritches before actual pets.

    Lap cats are overrated. Having a friendly cat to interact with is nice. Having a warm furry growth permanently attached to you gets old.

  9. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    I’ve had the lap-attachment type cats before. It’s a fairly simple matter to dislodge’em, but I agree, they have a way of making you think you shouldn’t.

  10. Laurie

    Yep. When I was growing up (and later when my kids were small), “But I have the kitty” was a legitimate excuse to avoid getting up and doing something. Sorry about the pus bags. Poor Ginger.

  11. Pinko Punko

    Smudge is using invisible animal mental kudzu tendrils to mentally incapacitate us all. To do his bidding.

  12. Owly

    On the off chance that Smudge does have kittens, can I play with them? I can’t afford a kitty right now, but heart-warming snuggles sure do wonders for a tired, cynical broad like me.

  13. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Turd-gathering should be fairly low on the trauma scale for both of you. Simply provide a box with clean litter in an out-of-the-way place. Yon kitty will make his deposit after chowing down. Then you can slip the appropriate meds (if memory serves, it’s a yucky yellow powder) into the next day’s portion of turkey bits in gravy.

  14. Jezebella

    Short cats get all nervous when tall humans lunge down towards them with their big weird furless paws. If you really want lap-sitting and head-rubbing, sit yourself on the ground somewhere in his territory, and Smudge will almost certainly come to you for pettings, especially if you bribe him with treats. Once he discovers head-skritches and butt-pettings, he won’t forget how awesome they are.

  15. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Dang, this tame-the-feral cat business is extremely complicated and full of rules. I think maybe I’ll just start ignoring that cat again; he’ll probably start jumping in the Gator with me. Last night I took a stroll in the moonlight (looking for hogs) and he followed me the whole way.

  16. Anne

    I am so glad you’re still writing! HURRAY! No one can turn a word quite the way you do.

    I hope Smudge is well.

  17. Gertrude Strine

    For what it’s worth, accompanying you on a stroll shows that the cat has already invested in you, not the food.
    Further, going for a joint midnight ramble is generally more tom than queen behaviour.

    Do him a favour and confine him, as soon as you have it prepared, in the quarters you want him to call home.
    Do it well before any disturbance such as truck rides off the place.
    Make it 2 or 3 days, with plenty visits for a chat and little tidbits. I usually read a lot when getting these half-tame scrags to identify their home.
    Change that sandtray *as soon* as he uses it. Cats hate the stink more than we do, if they are unsure of themselves.
    After the couple of days let him loose and only feed him in there for ever more. Shut him in his own place at night if you want him to eventually become a house cat.
    Forget any dosing until a vet vets him.

    The little thing will be very comforted to have a home room he can already call his own to recover from any surgery in.
    I hate lap cats and envy your having a walking mate there. One little bloke I still miss very much used to follow me and the dog for nighttime walks by hooning from tree to tree down the footpath we were on. I found out later that a couple of the street residents thought I was mentally ill because I used to talk to the sky a lot at night.

  18. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    “going for a joint midnight ramble is generally more tom than queen behaviour. ”

    YESSS! I really want this cat to be a tom.

    Gertrude Strine, I have examined your plan for flaws and found none. It will be implemented very soon. Thanks!

  19. M.K. Hajdin

    I await the first successful ear-scritching with bated breath.

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