My secret shame
Yes, that’s a gnarly feral tomcat. And yes, that’s a blankie. And a hot water bottle.
It’s Christmas, dammit!
We call him Asbo. He’s been hanging since Summer. Maybe before. Nipping in the kitchen door when we leave it open. Stealing food. High-tailing it out again if he hears us coming.
Probably peeing on stuff; he’s an intact male.
He’s not completely feral. He won’t let us closer than a few yards, but he seems to like being near us. In warm weather, he’d doze nearby in the grass while we were in the garden. He likes the sound of our voices. He’ll walk up to the window if we speak to him, and sit looking up at us for as long as we do.
At first, he stalked the chickens with apparently evil intent, but somehow he got the idea that would be Trouble. Now, he often lazes on top of the henhouse, alternately snoozing and watching them peck around in the grass.
All growed up, the chickens bully him now. If we feed him near them, they will run him off and steal his Friskies.
Yep. When the cold weather came, I started feeding him. He comes to the back door and calls loudly for his supper. Yowly boy. Like he has some Siamese in him.
I feed him under an old enamel table. He feels safe under there and will come up quite close for his plate. A few times, I’ve reached out and stroked his head, but he doesn’t like that at all. He gives me this horrified look like, “hey lady! You touched my head. With your hand.” Not a stray pet, then.
We worried about him when the snows came. I didn’t have much hope he’d accept shelter, but while he ate, I put down near him an old cat carrier with a blanket in it. He finished his supper and walked straight in.
I suspect he has a real home. He disappears days on end, but he’s getting downright fat now. All things taken into consideration, I believe he’s probably an untame barn cat from the horse farm next door.
A serious working farm animal that we have utterly ruined by keeping him fed.