Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Cat Genealogy

Two days before our ginger cat died, another feral cat appeared in our back garden. He was half-ginger and half-tabby, small and fairly thin. We thought he could well be the son of our cat and had come to take over his territory. So we chased him away. But he returned the next day, whilst our sickly cat was in the back garden. Much to our surprise, no fight took place. The two cats tolerated each other well. We christened the new cat Mini Dog. The day after our ginger cat died, Mini Dog reappeared and T began to feed him. He was always hungry and ate enormous amounts of food. Over the ensuing weeks he put on a good bit of weight. Then he disappeared, only to return with a tiny ginger kitten in his mouth. So Mini was in fact Minnie.

She made a nest behind the bins in the back yard and nursed the kitten. It was tiny and helpless, being blind and with its ears fully closed. We gave Minnie plenty of food and milk. The kitten lay still and silent in the grass whilst she was away. She bolted her food down and went back to feeding the kitten. We tried to get her to make a nest in a cardboard box in the shed, but she felt more comfortable behind the bins. We also did a search of the garden for the other kittens, but found none. We have since learnt that young cat mothers may only have one or two kittens the first time. Minnie was certainly young, not much more than a kitten herself.

We christened the ginger kitten Chip, as in ‘chip off the old block’. We reckoned that our ginger cat was either his grandfather or his father; or possibly both (as morality is not a major concern of feral cats). And this theory was supported that very evening, for the only other ginger tomcat in the area suddenly appeared in the back garden and challenged Minnie. This ginger tom was the brother of our cat and had never come here whilst he was alive. We feared that the brother might want to kill Chip as he wasn’t his offspring. So we scared him away and kept watch. Luckily the nest was underneath a motion-sensitive security light above the bedroom window, so we could get some warning. We are now on high alert at night, T especially, in our official capacity as the minders of Minnie and Chip.

No comments:

Post a Comment