This is Alfalfa. This photo is remarkable because he is asleep on my bed, in my lap, and he's not sick. We got Alfalfa about 15 years ago from behind a small store in town. Okay, all the stores in town are small stores. I mean the Post Office has six parking spots and I can only remember twice having to park on the street. Even at Christmas. Anyway, we got this little kitten and he was pretty much feral. He never would come in the house without panicking so much we feared for his health and put him back outside. When he was about a year or so old he went in the street and got hit by a car. His back leg was broken. Like dangling broken. I don't know how long it took us to catch him but he was hiding in our garage. If you have ever seen our garage it would be like hiding in a fun house that's been meshed with a junk yard. But we caught him and he was wild! We jammed him in a crate and took him off the vet. They pinned his leg together and he's been just fine ever since. He used to fight any cat that came into our yard. We noticed in the last few years he just lets other cats go where ever they want to. He doesn't hunt like he used to either. D would have to show him the mice in the hay barn and maybe Alfalfa would go after one. He's fine and healthy, he's just slowed waaaay down. For Alfalfa Darryl and I are the only humans he can tolerate.
We also have Barley. I don't have a good picture of Barley right now. But I expect I will soon. Barley used to live next door to us. He was abandoned by his owner when she moved out. But I already knew Barley as he was Oats' brother. Oats is no longer with us. Barley was raised in a house with dogs. So being a relative and all we adopted him. It seemed it was okay with Alfalfa. In the last year or so it's Barley who chases off cats and does most of the hunting. Barley will let almost anyone pet him and doesn't run from the dogs. Which, I must say, confuses the hell out of the dogs.
Then there is Patches. I have posted many photos of her and she's a pretty spoiled princess. She never goes outside. Her dainty toes have never had to dig a hole in the hot summer dirt to do what she needs to do, then try to cover it up. Her food and water are waiting for her whenever she chooses to partake in small bite or two. She even yowls at me if she feels her litter box is no longer fit for her to use. And she doesn't shut up until I change it.
But lately there's been a discord in this peaceful kingdom. There seem to be a few very tough and wily feral cats around here. So much so that I can't put out enough food for Alfalfa and Barley. Barley will chase them away and get his share and he's fine. But poor Alfalfa was suddenly thin as a rail. And he was in the doorway a few days ago and I swear he was asking to come in.
So I talked to Darryl and we decided to bring the outside cats inside for a while so that we could trap the feral cats. Don't worry we take them down by the river where the hunting is exceptional. It's our own personal relocation program. So last night Alfalfa was hanging out by the laundry room door so we picked him up and brought him in the house. We were expecting yowling and pacing and general panic. Darryl showed him the litter box then showed him where the food and water are. Then he ate. And ate. And a little while later he ate some more. He looked casually around and peered at Patches but ignored her. Then he sat in the window and scoped out the outside. The next thing we knew he was asleep in the middle of the bed. Patches is so bent out of shape she can hardly meow. She threw me the most hateful kitty look you ever saw. But somehow managed to tolerate sleeping on my feet that night.
Then tonight Barley was hanging out by the front door so I picked him up and brought him in too. He yowled, and paced, and pretty much begged to get out. We showed him the litter box. We showed him the food and water. He didn't eat or drink it. He wants outside. Then Alfalfa came over to him and rubbed his body all over Barley and Barley seemed to calm down. But Miss Patches is seriously pissed off. Her domain has been invaded by these two interlopers! All three are confined to the master bedroom and bath to prevent dog encounters of the loudest kind. No sense freaking them out any more than they have to be.
We went outside after dinner and set traps for the feral cats. Stay tuned for the Further Adventures of the Three Big Cats! Will Patches ever forgive me? Will Alfalfa want to go back outside? Will Barley ever come in the house again? And how many feral cats are there really?