Conversation with a feral black cat

A while back, I wrote a blog post about a feral black cat who’s been coming around Dragonfly Pond Farm. (If you’re interested, here’s the link: https://babettedejongh.com/sometimes-animal…/) The picture of the cat on the blog is a stock photo, because he wouldn’t allow me to take his picture, but the one posted here is of him eating on the cats’ outdoor feeding station. (Notice the strays welcome sign.)

I’ve been trying to communicate with him ever since I first saw him, and he has only recently stopped running away the second I tried to connect. He has allowed me to name him Amos  though he insists that he doesn’t want or need a name. That is purely for my benefit (because I think that having a name will help him to feel a greater sense of belonging).

Today, I was sitting at my writing desk with Georgia on the ottoman at my feet, when she jumped up and ran to the open window. Amos was out there, looking pretty comfortable for a feral cat on cultivated ground. This time, for the first time, he didn’t run when I connected in telepathically. I told him again that I hoped he would allow himself to be caught in a live trap so he can get vaccinated and neutered (which I explained in the least-threatening terms possible) and become one of our cats.

He said: “I am one of your cats, just not one of the tame ones. I’ll never be tame, and you can’t make me. I’ll eat the food you leave out for me, then I’ll go away. I don’t go far anymore like I used to. I have my own hiding places in the woods, but I also stay in the places you’ve made for me.” (We have created a lot of animal-accessible sheltered areas under the house and outbuildings.) “I appreciate that the dogs don’t chase me and that the cats welcome me into their domain. But don’t push your luck. Forget about the live trap. You’ll catch every one of your tame cats a dozen times before you ever catch me.”

This relationship is ongoing and will hopefully continue to evolve into greater understanding and cooperation over time. I hope you’ll stay tuned.

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