Feral Felines

There’s always been plenty of cats in our neighborhood. And they all stroll up and down the same trail facing my office window almost daily when the sun is up. But recently they decided to come closer and into our lives.

We had recently lost our cat “The Boss”, and had plenty of cat food left over. So my wife started feeding one of the cats that was bold enough to stop and “chat” with us while passing by.
He came back again for more and we took his picture. Comparing that to an older picture we had of “the boss” conversing with another cat from behind closed windows we knew that was not the first time this particular cat was at our door (and windows). We had thought it was a female previously. And “the boss” was bold enough to chase away other cats that ventured near his balcony, so we never saw that cat again while he was with us.
Soon after, my wife was leaving food for “Garfield the red” on the balcony every night, and we always found the bowl empty in the morning. Garo (for short), was also visiting during the day, and screaming for attention (and food) whenever he saw us. But we suspected he wasn’t the only one eating our food.
One day, we saw the one I always called “hag” passing by. But instead of taking the trail down the wall facing the office and to the street, she went straight to the balcony and to the bowl of food! Yeap, Garo had competition.
And it was real competition for our affections, as Giselle was so cuddly and human-friendly you wouldn’t believe it was a feral cat. She spent her time rubbing against my wife’s feet. When Pia sat down she would come and sleep in her lap. And she was never too hungry or preoccupied to let us pet her and check her for flees.
It was mating season, so we heard plenty of screams night and day. That was normal. Then one day, Garo came with a huge cut on his forehead, next to his right ear. He allowed me to put some betadine on the wound. We were worried, but he’s doing fine now except for a bald spot where the wound used to be. We also treated both cats with tick repellant.
Giselle was now spending most of her time on our balcony, leaving only for a few hours every day. On one night, we heard her calling out in her small voice (as opposed to Garo’s howling cries) to someone we couldn’t see outside. We came out to see another female of the same size, coming in from the outside. This one we called Xena after a few days because she always annouces her entrance with the same war cry that Xena the warrior pricess used when attacking enemies!
Xena and Giselle were now inseparable. They even defended “their” place against all other intruding cats. Even Garo was sent crying when he tried to come in for a bite.
The story continues, with lots of interaction and new cats coming in from the wild daily. Giselle went out one day and did not come back, we’re not sure where she is. Garo is sleeping on the balcony now. Him and Xena tolerate each other. The stealthy Gerard and his black and white side-kick are venturing nearer now, but Xena still slaps them silly when they try to trespass!
I’m posting just a few pics, let me know if you like them.

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