Today I got to spend time with a semi feral cat I feed from time to time on my porch I named Paul Newman. Because I had time to feed, touch and string play with him, I saw him more clearly than I did in the past when I wrote about him before.
I thought the cat Paul Newman was a pale yellow. Today I saw that he is not. His fur is almost white, and his ears, tail, and face have symetrical pale orange stripes, which, along with a subtle but distinct wideness of jaw suggest Dad might be a long dominant neighborhood Tom I have always called Orangey. He is beautiful and has a curious, lively personality, but I also saw the twitchy siamese in him that was his mother and where he got his startlingly blue eyes.
We never found out what her name was, but she moved around a lot, was hyper and we spayed her, along with two of her progeny because the neighbors who owned her didn’t. She and one of her daughters disappeared, we took in the other cat, Daisy, who is a large and graceful calico.
The cat Paul Newman is clearly not a kitten, but he’s young and inexperienced, and not big enough to be as domineering as his sire. If we touch him for more than a few seconds, he bites and scratches us, so I am careful when I am feeding or talking to him. He comes to eat and be appreciated, likes to cross our threshold and hang out, check out things in the house. He has learned not spray in front of us after our first reactions when he started invading in the back and trying to establish territory by marking.
His ears, nose, paws and tail are always a bit grimy, and he has nicks and scratch marks on his nose. Today I brought out two shoelaces tied together and he had a lovely time ambushing, biting, and clawing the end of the shoelace. I enjoyed watching him, being close to him, and talking to him lovingly. He has taken to being more calm and parking himself on his side, rolling and lounging happily, though he exhibits a firm independence by streaking outside the minute something happens he isn’t sure about.
It’s taken me a long time to become a good cat mother. I’ve learned to observe and tune into the cats, do the least to get the best results. What cats like the most is respectful consistency and access to food and water. Considering their size and the difficulty of being a cat in a human environment, they are surprisingly affectionate.
I know it would be best if we spayed Paul Newman, the sooner the better. But I have learned not to force things with either my guy the cat nut or cats themselves.