Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

It's Miss Kitty!

In a previous post, I mentioned how the cats had been reacting to a skunk that seemed to be hanging around. Well, for the past couple of nights, there hasn't been any sign of the skunk, but last night, Tres and Dulce were so interested in the visitor outside that they actually shared a windowsill. Dulce is sensitive about her space, and she NEVER shares a windowsill, but last night she did. When I turned on the porch light to see what was up, there was Miss Kitty.

Miss Kitty is a feral cat, very wild. The neighbors across the road had been looking after her to the extent that they could -- putting out food and water for her -- but those neighbors have moved away and put the house up for sale, and I hadn't seen Miss Kitty in months. She's extremely timid about humans, and doesn't allow any humans to come anywhere near her, but she did come up to the screen door that had our cats' food just inside.

She has the grey-tabby-stripe coat of the original North African wildcat ancestors, which allows her to disappear into the background in the blink of an eye, and which has allowed her to escape the coyotes. She's also probably doing us a great service in rodent control -- we've been having problems with mice, but lately, we've had much fewer of them.

Sometime in the past, Miss Kitty has been spayed, so she never has to deal with kittens. The question arises: To what extent should I be taking care of her? She's much too wild to become a house cat, and if she gets too close, she could bring fleas or other parasites to Dulce and Tres. On the other hand, she's doing a vital service in the pest-control department. I could leave food and water dishes out for her, but that's frowned upon in this neighborhood because it could attract hungry bears. But then, the neighbors across the road were leaving food and water for her, and they didn't have bear problems.

My current instinct is to set out a water dish and a dish of crunchy kibbles, and let Miss Kitty continue pest-control duty.


Blogger Pat said...

Go for it; give her a few goodies. In time, Miss Kitty might become slightly more trusting; she might never become a housecat but might tolerate our presence a little better.

Tue Aug 02, 11:10:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

And once the rear deck/patio is finished, all three cats can eat more-or-less together, since Dulce and Tres' dishes are just inside that door, and Miss Kitty's can be just outside. That area's already where I see her most often.

Tue Aug 02, 11:45:00 PM MDT  

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