In the past I’ve mentioned we have some feral cats hanging around HA. The last year or so I have been feeding at least one of them, a black male we call Midnight.
At first he was just a shadowy figure seen flitting about during the day, running whenever he heard a loud noise or saw someone working ourside. But I am happy to report we have made some progress in the trust department.
Now, he is waiting for me most mornings when I refill the food bowls I keep just outside the workshop building. He still maintains his distance, but that distance is less than it was in the beginning. He usually sits waiting near the food bowl, then retreats a few feet when I move to fill it. As soon as I turn my back and walk away, he jumps up on the plant stand where I keep the food bowl.
I’d love to have him neutered and get him vaccinated, but we haven’t gotten that far yet in our relationship. We have reached a kind of truce though, Midnight and me. As long as I don’t get too close, he’ll stick around and show himself. Of course I’m sure the feeding bit helps a lot. He’s even gotten used to the local paparazzi, with their cameras making funny noises. Well, sort of!
I did discover one thing while working in the shop yesterday afternoon. Unbeknownst to me he had come for his afternoon snack, and when I opened the door to the shop he ran off when he heard the sound of the blaring music I was listening to. Perhaps he’s just not a George Thorogood fan? Oh well, he was back this morning for vittles, so I guess he doesn’t think I’m Bad To The Bone!
When I lived on a farm, I always had outside cats that were tame and friendly. They were well cared for pets, actually, with a warm dry place to sleep and hang out, and they all got spayed and neutered. Some of them even followed me around whenever I worked out in the gardens, and I miss that. I’m not sure Midnight and I will ever get to that point, but that’s all right. A relationship with a cat is usually what the cat wants it to be anyway. If I’ve made his life a little better, that’s good enough for me.