More than a year ago I blogged about the Boys’ Club that much of the Back Courtyard has become – the little “families” of male cats that constitute their own small colonies, and how they interact. There are a number of females to be found there as well, but many of the latter seem to prefer the solo life. However there is one group in particular that I specially love. Strictly speaking, they’re a “Newcomers” group (not because they’re new, but because that’s what we call the area between the SingleWide trailer and the courtyard). Now that we’re finally getting warm days, they’re deciding that being out in the sun is a much nicer place to be.
Woody was an adult when he came to us in 2006, so we estimate he’s around 17 years old – perhaps more. He is one of those ferals who doesn’t hide in terror, but just prefers to stay out of the way; he’s pretty sociable with other cats, and now tolerates humans – especially the med-staff, who bring him his medications in tasty food disguises. He used to spend all his time in the Newcomers, but we now see him appearing in the courtyard on a regular basis.
Moxie is the last of his family; his brother Willi and sister Samantha have both passed. He’s been at the Sanctuary since 2009; we think he’s more than 17 years old. I remember him as a dapper tuxedo gentleman, bonded with a little tortie called Vienna; in his senior years he’s looking a little more scruffy, and he prefers the company of his own gender, though he is tolerant of Alexandria’s tendency to do yoga inches from his nose.
Dark orange Albi was named for the sociable husband of a former staff member – but feline Albi was anything BUT social. He arrived in the Sanctuary in 2012, and we think he’s now around 14 or so. At first he was a very shy boy, preferring to hide away, though allowing occasional petting – we think he was likely a stray rather than a feral. In the last few years he has begun coming to us, looking for contact – he is one of those submissive cats who almost immediately rolls on his back, trusting his vulnerability to our hands.
All three senior gentlemen have slowed down considerably; they like a quiet pace of life, with occasional treats and petting, and a lot of sleep, cat-style. They are often chivvied out of it by the younger and more energetic Pumpkin.
Pumpkin adores the three older cats, and can often be found bunting and rubbing and tail-weaving with them – in fact, he is so enthusiastic about it that his strength sometime pushes them off balance. He can also be found sharing sleeping space with them in the Newcomers area, and I suspect his energy helps to keep them going. When the old guys appear in the courtyard, Pumpkin will not be far away, and we all love to see the affection among them.