Porcini is vocalizing and stretching, and gets licked by Pommie, then sits on Poppy, who isn’t entirely thrilled, but then they snuggle happily. Just another day in the feral cat shelter.
It’s time for more cat snuggles!
And a bunch of staring off into the distance:
But let’s not forget the (disappointed) possum menace:
Interestingly, there was a cat sitting in the doorway, and just watched the possum walk by, without retreating:
There is a water dispenser inside the feeder area, but since it has been below freezing lately, I decided to add a heated water dish outside. This dish warms up the water just enough to prevent it freezing, and only comes on when cold enough to be needed (I have a larger version of this for Rory’s dog water on the deck):
Another visitor, this time a raccoon; again, was watched from inside by a cat:
Stretch and snuggles:
Can’t have too many stretches (watched from the window):
A meeting outside, and an observer inside:
Porcini staring at the camera. Oh, and if you look closely, you may notice an addition to the images from now on: I’ve added a watermark as a copyright notice and URL of this blog. I use the excellent Retrobatch app to convert the large BMP images from the cameras to a more compact HEIF format for importing into the photo library, so I now also add the watermark to ensure the images have proper attribution if shared:
A pile of three cats snuggling, and another greeting with a lick:
Staring off into the distance again:
An invasion this past week: a couple of raccoons went inside the shelter, and one even went onto the upper level (which I hadn’t seen before). Fortunately, no cats were present at the time:
A couple of cats peering out the shelter windows:
Another raccoon visit, this time with a cat in the shelter doorway:
I added a second screw to each of the thermal mats on the upper level, to stop them flopping down over the edge:
With the sub-freezing temperatures overnight, the cats have been spending a lot more time on the lower level recently, directly on the heating pads:
All five cats inside:
A sequence of three stills of Portabella falling down while playing; always impressive the way cats twist around to land on their feet:
Did you watch her playtime in the YouTube video?
A deer walks by, watched by a cat in the doorway:
And more snuggles:
Portabella looks at the camera while waiting her turn for breakfast:
Porcini and Pommie (or Spud… but I think Pommie?):
Portabella is ready for her close-up:
That’s it for this week!
One of the feral cats, Portabella, plays around inside the shelter, and gives an opportunity for an instant replay.
It can sometimes be a challenge thinking of a title for the #Caturday posts, since they’re typically an assortment of cats doing cute things, and sometimes wildlife.
This week, no wildlife pictures (a few visits, but nothing notable). But there seems to be a number of pictures of the cats staring at things, and showing teeth while either hissing or yawning… and as always, lots of snuggles.
Here’s an example of the eyes, briefly concerned by some noise outside:
Having a playful moment:
More eyes, of all five cats this time:
All five again (and a wet back):
Another playful moment; Spud-like behavior, but it’s actually Pommie:
All five cats; can you see all of them?
Two on the awnings, two on the deck:
More teeth, this time a hiss, as Poppy was startled from a sleep by Porcini wanting to snuggle:
But she quickly relaxed, as they licked each other:
And snuggled for quite a while:
I hope you’re not getting bored of snuggly cats! Always makes me happy to see that.
For those in the US, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving. Among other things, I am thankful that Poppy chose our property to raise her kittens, and thankful that they continue to enjoy the shelter & feeder I spent many hours building for them.
One thing I’m a little embarrassed to admit is although I can recognize Poppy, Porcini, and Portabella, based on face and paw markings, I still can’t tell Spud and Pommie apart, unless I see their nether regions (since Spud is male, and Pommie is female). Their fur markings seem pretty much identical to me.
Here’s a picture with Spud, Portabella, and Pommie. I know that Spud is on the left only because I saw him jump down from the top of the camera, so I could see it was a male cat; otherwise I’d have no way of telling the left and right cats apart.
Here’s another shot, showing Spud coming out of the feeder:
Compare with this one, of Pommie coming out of the feeder:
They do look a little different, but I think that’s mostly differences in pose; watching video of both, I can’t identify any noticeable difference in markings.
Oh well, I’ll keep looking, and may spot something eventually. Most of the time it’s easy enough to tell who is who, based on behavior. Spud is more active and playful, as is common with boy cats. He also often snuggles (and play-fights) with Porcini:
Stereo yawns (Poppy and Porcini — Poppy has only a little white on one paw, and Porcini has a white stripe on her nose):
Snuggling inside, when alerted by some noise:
Stretch! (See the white stripe? Yep, Porcini.)
Porcini (again) looking at the camera in the feeder:
Porcini on the awning, Poppy on the deck, enjoying some sun:
Spud or Pommie; who can tell?
A non-cam photo of the shelter side, showing the “Cat House Saloon” sign:
And the “Mercantile” feeder side:
A cute cactus ornament inside the feeder window:
Porcini watches someone (probably Spud) on top of the camera housing:
Two mushroom girls looking at each other at breakfast time; probably negotiating who is next in the queue:
Pommie and Spud again; spot any differences? I know that Spud is on the right.
A cat watches through the window as a disappointed raccoon visits:
Watching from the doorway as a deer walks by:
Porcini and Spud snuggling:
Double-decker cats as another walks by:
That’ll do for this week!
Nothing too dramatic happened at the cat house this past week… but here’s a very “dramatic chipmonk” look:
This look from a few seconds later is amusing, too:
We did have a few un-dramatic visits by disappointed raccoons (notice the cat peeking from inside; didn’t even run away):
And a slightly more dramatic visit by a disappointed possum (with a cat in the doorway, who did retreat, and another inside, who didn’t):
Look closely at this picture; sure, there’s a cat on the awning, but do you notice the paw sticking up from under the deck?
Jumping down from the top of the facade:
All five cats snuggling inside again; makes me happy to see that:
A bit later, some cute licks:
All five for breakfast a couple of days later:
Enjoying some sun on the deck:
Spud and Porcini doing their play-fighting thing, while Poppy sleeps below:
Spud (front) and Portabella (back) nuzzling with their mother, Poppy (left):
I can’t decide if that or this shot from a couple of minutes later is more cute:
Preparing to jump up on top of the camera housing:
Another levitating cat; jumping up to the facade, the reverse of the shot earlier:
(Rather thick fog, too.)
That’s it for this week.
All five of the feral cats turn up for breakfast, and some of them notice a spider on the wall.
This past week the cat house had an experiment with their front door, and a feeder malfunction, among other things.
But first, a historic event: all five cats inside the shelter at the same time. I haven’t seen this before; the most I’ve seen is four at once:
Here they are all outside:
The next day, one of the cats (probably Spud, that scamp) was playing with one of the thermal mats in the shelter. These have foil or something inside to reflect the body heat of the cat, helping them keep warm (in addition to the heating pads on the bottom level). So they make a fun crinkle noise when moved:
He pulled it down to the bottom level:
So I decided to screw them down, so that wouldn’t occur again. Just one screw and washer for each so far, though I may add another later.
While I was there, I also started an experiment to see if the cats could figure out the front door. When I built the shelter, I installed cat flaps on the front and back. The front one is their main door, and the back is an emergency exit, so they can’t be trapped by wildlife. But to encourage them to go inside, I have a bungee holding the door open (visible in this construction post). Now that they’re using the shelter every day, I thought I’d try removing it, so the door is closed. That’d keep it warmer inside.
But they couldn’t figure it out:
The door had a couple of magnets holding it closed, to stop it flapping in the wind, which also made it harder for them to open. So I removed the bottom magnet, to make it easier; the weather stripping around the edges still holds it closed well enough. I even propped it open with a stick:
While that worked to get Porcini to go inside, as soon as the stick was knocked away, the door of course swung shut, and she acted trapped. After a minute, she figured out the door, and exited:
But then she and the others went back to acting like they couldn’t get in. Even pathetically peering in the windows:
I felt bad, and relented. The next day, I put the bungee back on the door. Maybe I’ll try again another time, or maybe I’ll just accept that they don’t want a closed door. Even in their small old shelter, they pulled the back door flap off, and almost always went in that way, rather than the front door.
If they were pet cats, I could train them to use the door by shoving them through a few times. But that isn’t feasible with ferals. They had a strong drive to get inside, but couldn’t figure it out.
But they’ve forgiven my experiment, and are happy to be back inside:
Another interesting thing this week was a malfunction of the automatic feeder. When rearranging things in the feeder cupboard, I had accidentally unplugged the feeder. It has a battery backup, so kept working, but after a few days the battery got too low during a breakfast feeding… and had a strange failure: instead of just stopping, it continuously dumped portion after portion of food, ending with a huge pile:
Fortunately I saw this happening on the camera, so went out there to fix it. I plugged it back in, and scooped up a bunch of the excess food.
A few hours later, I captured some video of the cats playing on the deck and awnings:
Did you watch my Cats Playing in the Sun video on YouTube? Check it out!
Apparently I didn’t scoop away enough excess food, as there was still quite a bit left that evening… but fortunately no raccoons or possums visited, so the cats got to enjoy midnight snacks:
Yesterday, Porcini and Spud had a difference of opinion (Porcini wanted to sleep, Spud wanted to play), resulting in a bit of fighting inside:
But as usual, things ended peacefully enough, after Porcini put Spud in his place.
Another screenshot from my iPad, showing cats in all four cameras. This time, the shop cat is Pepper, the fluffy black cat that sleeps in the front of the shop, and just comes to the back to eat:
Lastly, some cute snuggling from this morning:
Tune in next week, same cat-time, same cat-channel. 😸
A silent video of one cat playing with the decorative wagon wheel on the deck, then a couple on top of the awnings and another on the deck, enjoying a bit of warmth from the sun.