Our cat graveyard

Earlier this year wasn’t a good time for our cats; we had three cats die within a few weeks. Back in March, we lost the mother of the outdoor feral cats, Poppy. Then in early April, we lost Pepper, one of the two feral shop cats. And a few days later, our elderly pet Pippin rapidly declined.

We buried each of them in the little cat graveyard near our pond, around some grasses that were planted in memory of an earlier cat, Pixel, who loved them. Each of our cats is memorialized with an engraved stone:

Cat graveyard near the pond

It’s appropriately below a weeping willow. There used to be a katsura tree and catmint there too (yes, puns), but the deer destroyed those.

A closer look at the cat graveyard, with the three recent graves and others:

Cat graveyard

Cat graveyard

Here are all of the stones, from the most recent. Our pet cat Pippin, 2007-2021, buried next to his littermate Padmé:

Pippin 2007-2021

The shop cat Pepper, 2015-2021:

Pepper 2015-2021

The feral momma cat Poppy, 2016-2021:

Poppy 2016-2021

A non-engraved stone for a black alien cat that someone hit crossing the road in 2018:

Black alien cat

Pippin’s sister Padmé, 2007-2016:

Padmé 2007-2016

Our last cat from NZ, Pixel, 1999-2013; he was our oldest cat, which was remarkable since he had diabetes and insulin shots for half his life:

Pixel 1999-2013

Our first cat (who also came with us to the US, though isn’t actually buried here), Piwhacket, 1994-2007:

Piwhacket 1994-2007

It’s always sad to lose a cat, whether pet or feral. Giving them a respectful burial and memorial stone gives some sense of closure.

Cat update for week ending May 1

Happy Caturday to you! This week, some fun GIFs of the cats, several pictures of Porcini as usual, some of Paladout, and cat feet.

Here’s a GIF to start off; Spud walking between the cabins occupied by Porcini and Pommie:

Cats GIF

A still from that of the three cats:

Three cats

Porcini having a drink of water:

Porcini

Spud:

Spud

Spud (or Pommie? I still can’t always tell) and Paladout:

Spud and Paladout

A GIF of Porcini and Pommie arriving and going into cabins:

Cats GIF

A time-lapse GIF of a couple of cats playing around the cat house:

Cats GIF

A GIF of going up and over the cat house:

Cats GIF

Pommie (I think) and a rare Bella sighting; Portabella doesn’t sleep in the cat house or cabins, only turning up for food:

Two cats

Two cats

I spotted Porcini near a backyard path:

Porcini

Porcini and Paladout:

Porcini and Paladout

Spud and Porcini:

Two cats

Porcini watching birds from the front steps:

Porcini

Feet:

Feet

Feet

Feet

Spud in the breezeway:

Spud in the breezeway

Finally, a relaxed Porcini in the cat house:

Porcini

Cat update for week ending April 24

Welcome to Caturday. Some cute pictures of Porcini (shocking, I know), plus I lift the fog on the cabins cam.

Porcini relaxing in the kitchen garden:

Porcini in the kitchen garden

Porcini in the kitchen garden

The cabin cam has gotten quite dirty from rain splashes; like looking through a fog:

Dirty camera

So I gave it a bit of a clean:

Wiping camera

Ah, much better!

Clean camera

Hey Spud:

Spud

Two cats greeting at the cat house:

Two cats

Pommie:

Pommie

Now that the weather is warmer, I’ve discontinued the heated water dish, and gone back to the higher capacity unheated one:

Drinking

Porcini on the right of the cat house, watching me walk past in the field (just visible on the left):

Porcini watching me walk past

Porcini in a cabin:

Porcini

Porcini and Pommie:

Porcini and Pommie

A day later, them again:

Porcini and Pommie

Cat update for week ending April 17

Not many pictures of the cats this week, as my cameras were having issues, but some nice ones.

Firstly, two cats in the garden by the stream (which was off at the time; I just turned it on yesterday):

Two cats

Porcini on a path:

Porcini

Paladin doesn’t like the pâté wet food, so I’m giving it to the ferals; they’re not as picky. Here’s Spud enjoying it:

Wet food

Porcini asleep inside the cat house:

Porcini

An animated time-lapse GIF of several hours inside the house, showing her movements:

Porcini

A skunk visited the house too:

Skunk

Porcini is an expert at relaxing:

Porcini

One more picture of her, outside this time:

Porcini

Finally, Pommie oozing out of a cabin on a warm afternoon:

Pommie

Cat update for week ending April 10

This week on Caturday, various feral cats, several watching me, plus a GIF of a possum at the cat house.

Comfy Porcini in the cat house:

Porcini in the cat house

Cats greeting:

Cats greeting

A GIF of a possum climbing onto the awning of the cat house (no cats home at the time):

Possum

Spud relaxing in our kitchen garden, watching me watching him from a window:

Spud

Spud

Porcini in a cabin, watching me walk past:

Porcini in a cabin

Paladout watching me refill the cat feeder:

Paladout

Paladout and Porcini:

Paladout and Porcini

Porcini on a bench by the fountain garden:

Porcini

Porcini

And Bella watching me from under the bench:

Bella

Finally, three cats at the cabins:

Three cats at the cabins

RIP Pepper, shop cat

Two weeks after posting about the passing of Poppy, the outdoor feral momma cat, I’m sad to report another cat death: Pepper, the feral cat that kept the front of our workshop free of rodents. The two cats never met each other, but they had similar jobs, in different domains.

We got Pepper back in 2015, when she was a few months old, along with Pansy, the other shop cat, via a local “kitties for hire” program, where feral cats off the street, that are too wild to become pets, can be given a productive life helping keep workshops and barns free from rodents.

Here’s Pepper soon after she joined us:

Pepper

And a more recent picture, on her heated bed:

Pepper

I always enjoyed seeing her when working in the shop. Of all the feral cats, she was the most trusting of me. Like any feral, she’d retreat if I got too close, but she was content to watch me from a few feet away, supervising my work.

Now Pansy has the shop to herself, which will suit her, being a loner; the two shop cats quietly avoided each other.

Pepper was also buried near the pond, next to Poppy and our late pet cats.

Rest in peace, Pepper.

Cat update for week ending April 3

It’s Caturday!

Two cats in the morning:

Two cats

Bath time in the cabins:

Bath time

Porcini:

Porcini

Spud and Bella waiting for food:

Two cats

A cat in a tree:

Cat in a tree

Spud watching me from the steps to the fountain garden:

Spud

The cats have been avoiding inside the cat house since Poppy’s passing; this is the first time I saw one inside:

Cat inside house

Porcini coming from between the cabins:

Porcini

A sleeping cabin cat, and Pommie thinking about pouncing on an unwary bird:

Two cats

Two cats with happy tails:

Two cats

Spud sitting on the driveway; moments before he had been rolling around:

Spud

Finally, Bella emerging from the feeder:

Bella

Cat update for week ending March 27

This week marked the passing of Poppy, the mother of our other outdoor feral cats. She wasn’t a pet cat, but it’s always sad to lose a cat of any kind. We were also visited by a bobcat for the first time (or rather, the first time I’ve seen one on my cameras).

Let’s start with some pictures of Poppy before her death; here she is with Porcini (left):

Porcini and Poppy

And with Spud on the deck:

Poppy and Spud

Here’s a cams app screenshot showing four cats; one in a cabin, one in the feeder, and two in the house:

Cams screenshot of four cats

Porcini looking out the upper back door, and Poppy below:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy:

Porcini and Poppy

The last ever picture of Poppy, about the time she died; at least it was in the comfort of their heated house:

Poppy

In the morning, Spud discovered Poppy’s body; it’s good that her offspring saw that, to help them understand that she had died, rather than just mysteriously vanished:

Discovering Poppy

Porcini also saw her:

Porcini seeing dead Poppy

Rest in peace, Poppy.

For the others, life continues. Here’s a cat in a cabin on a rainy morning, watching me walk by:

Cabin cat

Porcini outside the cabins, with Spud and Pommie inside:

Porcini, Spud, Pommie

Porcini joined Spud in the left cabin:

Porcini, Spud, Pommie

Porcini, Spud, Pommie

Porcini scratching a tree:

Porcini scratching a tree

Porcini again:

Porcini

And again, watching me from a cabin:

Porcini

A bobcat visited our homestead; this is the first time I’ve seen one (GIF):

Bobcat

Bobcat

Another GIF:

Bobcat

I wouldn’t want to encounter this suddenly:

Bobcat

Bobcat

The bobcat also checked out the cabins, with nobody home (GIF):

Bobcat

A still from that; so tall:

Bobcat

It was a busy night at the cabins; a few minutes later, a possum went into the left cabin:

Possum

Yawn, feeling sleepy:

Possum

It curled up and slept in there for a couple of hours:

Possum

The possum leaving:

Possum

A cat checks out the cabins, but decides she doesn’t want to stick around:

Cat

Good thing, since a raccoon also wanders by a few minutes later:

Raccoon

Finally this week, Porcini sniffing at the kitchen garden this morning (a sunny day, so bright reflections off the window):

Porcini

RIP Poppy, the best feral momma cat

I am sad to report the passing of Poppy, our feral momma cat. She died at around 21:00 last night, peacefully in the cat house. The cause of death is unknown; no injury that I could see. She was about four or five years old; a ripe old age for a feral cat.

She first joined us in 2017, when she chose under our front steps for her four young kittens. Here’s a previously unpublished picture of her with one of her kittens:

Poppy and kitten

She was a very attentive mother to her kittens, bringing them rodents to eat, and always looking out for them. Here’s a picture of her having a rest under a deck while the kittens play:

Poppy having a rest while the kittens play

I like to think that she chose well, as we started feeding them, and provided heated shelters, neutering, and more for them. If you haven’t seen it, you can read more about them joining us on the cats page.

Here’s a recent picture of Poppy on the cat house deck:

Poppy on the cat house deck

And a picture from the most recent Caturday of Poppy by the cabins, keeping an eye on me:

Poppy

I will miss that Poppy-face.

We buried her this morning, next to our late pet cats beyond the pond.

Rest in peace, Poppy.