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Friday, 3 February 2012

Day 34 Interaction

When Charlie Badmash was a kitten and first venturing out into the garden on his own, I would sometimes find him playing with a beautiful grey and white kitten of the same size. This green eyed beauty appeared to be feral and was quite unapproachable. My neighbour Ann started to put food out for him, and when they were of an age to be castrated, the vet provided a trap and he was given the snip as well as Charlie. By this time, no longer a kitten, Charlie started to get territorial and their interaction became confrontational. Chancie continued to visit Ann twice a day for food and would even venture inside her house providing all the doors were open and he could see his escape route, but he rarely ventured over the wall into our garden. He is a sweet natured boy, and there was never a bad word between him and Ann's two female cats. Years passed, and after she retired, Ann decided to move South and inland, away from the expensive coastal strip. But what to do with Chancie? She was moving to an apartment in the centre of a pueblo near Granada. Ann asked if I would see he didn't starve if the new residents next door didn't take to him, and of course I said yes. The new owners had a trail of short term tenants, non of them interested in feeding a stray, and so from feeding Chancie on the top of the stairs by their front door, I gradually moved his dishes closer and closer to the garden wall and eventually he was eating at the bottom of my stairs. To begin with I had to keep a tight grip on Charlie, but after a month or so he stopped being aggressive and I was able to put Charlie's food down upstairs in the kitchen then go and feed Chancie downstairs. Soon Chancie began to wait at the top of my stairs at feeding time and I started to feed him inside the porch. He now comes through the cat flap into the porch when he wants food and rattles it by going in and out until we notice he is there. He still refuses to use the cat flap from the porch to the house, but comes into the kitchen to eat with Charlie as long as he knows the doors are open. Their interactions these days are quite amusing. A nose to nose greeting when they meet, and a careful tasting of what the other cat has in his bowls when they are fed. Charlie Badmash has always turned his nose up at cat food from tubs, but has to consolidate his position as Top Cat by eating a mouthful from Chancie's plate, and never complains if Chancie eats the bits of fish that fall of Charlie's. In the photo Chancie is eating out of Charlie's biscuit bowl and ignoring the identical biscuits in his own bowl! I don't know where Chancie sleeps exactly, I see him jumping over the wall and strolling up the road when he leaves. If it is raining he doesn't turn up until it stops and I rarely see him wet so he must have a snug hideaway somewhere. He has been known to sit in the sun in the living room and have a postprandial wash, but only if he can see that the door is open. They are 11 years old now, and still have time to learn new behaviour, so maybe he will eventually "come in from the cold".

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