An embarrassing moment for Moo Cat the feral cat

One of my FB friends asked me how Moo Cat was doing; mentioned I hadn’t posted any recent photos in awhile. . . Well, that is certainly a glaring omission. So here’s a shot of Moo Cat from this morning, after wolfing down a big breastfast. Chilling on the “bridge” — this large tree branch that spans across the creek. Getting ready to head up the hill to her territory on the other side of the creek. But keeping an eye out on me, just in case I put out any more treats in the cat food dish. In which case she’ll turn around and come sprinting back to me.

Only once in all these years did I see Moo Cat fall off the “bridge.” It’s a good drop — about 20 feet to the creek below. She got careless and slipped and fell overboard. But before she fell all the way down, she managed to grab ahold of the tree branch with her claws. Hung there like that for about 10 seconds, swaying back and forth in the air, her two front arms stretched out as long as they could go. Until she finally righted herself, let go of the tree, and gracefully fell down to the creek (which fortunately was dry). Picked herself up and scampered out of there, uninjured, except for the embarrassment to her pride (the klutz, ha ha).

Moo Cat.

We’re all water

Hit 90° in the Berkeley hills today. Something like the fifth day in a row of 90-plus weather (with a high reaching 105°). It’s a bit draining and overwhelming — I’ve sweat through my shirt multiple times already. But I LIKE it. I’m happy to see the summer weather holding out for as long as possible (this time last year we ended up getting 8 inches of rain in the month of September).

I’ve got 4 different water dishes that I’ve put out at various spots for the wild critters of the Berkeley hills. And they are hot items. Attracting a lot of critters. When I showed up today, this little bird was perched on the edge of one of the water dishes, desperately trying to get a drink of the water. It was incredibly tiny — smaller than a dime. And too small to be able to reach down with it’s beak and get at the water. The bird circled around the entire edge of the dish, pecking in the direction of the water, trying to find a spot where it could reach the surface level of the water. I dumped some more water into the dish to raise the level of the water to the brim of the dish. Which scared off the bird, naturally. But hopefully it’ll come back later for a good drink. . . It’s bone dry everywhere in the Berkeley hills.

It’s one of the amazing things about water. It attracts everybody. It’s very universal. Earlier I had spotted this massive deer at that same water dish — huge antlers, looked as big as a moose, probably weighed 300 pounds. . . Then later I spot this tiny bird who probably only weighs an ounce at the very same water dish. . . It’s probably a banal observation, but something about that juxtaposition of critters struck me.

Feeding my feral cats

I like to spoil my feral cats. I like to give them a buffet of food to choose from. A smorgasbord.

Often I’ll have a 5-course dinner for them to choose from. Generally I’ll start out with a dish of dry cat food — some good plain solid fodder for them to crunch up with their teeth. Then I’ll crack open a can of wet cat food — which is basically meat by-products in a savory gravy (they LIKE it). Or if I really want to over-load them with meat I’ll crack open a can of chunk turkey or tuna (they particularly love the salty, greasy water that comes in the can, they always lap up every drop first). Then (for the next course) I’ll usually have some leftover meat that I ground-scored — some fried chicken or a beef buritto or some pepperoni pizza or maybe some Italian meat pasta dish drenched in a rich cheese sauce. I might also give them a little taste of milk, which they love (when I buy my coffee in the morning I’ll always ask for 5 creams, I’ll use 2 myself and save the other 3 for my cats). And then for desert I’ll give them a chunk of cheddar or jack cheese — which is their absolute favorite. But I always make sure they eat their cat food first before they get their cheese desert.

So far?? No complaints from the cats about the cuisine.