Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cats in the Rafters

Ultimo got down off the beam too quickly.
Having an 'open' house leaves lots of options for cats...
Sombra or Shadow - she lives up to her name, darting
about, especially if there are strangers around. She is a
one-woman cat, and lives in the shadows herself.
Here's a change of pace from the sadness of remembering a disaster and the seriousness of saving the planet. I have been enjoying the funny things that cats do; whether to amuse us (a presumptive assumption on my part) or to satisfy something within themselves (more likely), and I have been taking pictures of the 'Loaner Cat,' who eventually became a permanent installation and acquired the name Ultimo and the 'Rescue Cat,' known alternately by her Spanish name Sombra, or her English name, Shadow. What is interesting is that she comes to either name; she doesn't seem to have a preference.

Ultimo is a talker. It must be the Siamese or Himalayan
genes and he's not shy about voicing his opinions on any
subject, including politics. If the TV is on, he will complain
about the news rigorously. 
Ultimo has had his little surgery. The vet said she only cut one because there is a new theory that giving male cats some hormones keeps them healthier overall.  So while he doesn't seem to have the drive to wander, he does call out a lot at night, especially when the moon is full. It is apparent that he has some Siamese or Himalayan background with his markings and his desire to have conversation with me, especially in the morning when he comes to wake me up. He is stubborn about where he likes to sleep - and annoyed when he gets disturbed.

Sombra will be having an operation in a couple of weeks as I think there are too many unaltered cats here and too many kittens that get dumped and I know it is healthier for her to not get caught up in that cycle.

The first Colombian cat was sweet Pasqual, and he was a good introduction to Scott, the dog, who up until that moment hated cats. Pasqual taught Scott that cats can be friends so when Ultimo showed up, Scott was less resistant. Ultimo must have learned from Pasqual even in the short time he was around how to get along with a dog. Just yesterday I watched Ultimo play with Scott's tail and he simply laid there and let it happen.

This cat, really more kittenish it seemed, was hungry. It just
appeared one day, yowling and insistent. Ultimo was willing
to give up and let it eat, but Sombra had another position.
Sombra was not welcoming, and would not bend on this. So
I found a finca that needed a cat and this little female was
transported to her new home. I hope she's happy there. She
was very pretty indeed, and had lovely fur.
But Sombra doesn't like dogs and swears all the time when Scott is around... "Hsssssst! Shhhhhhhhhhh!" Not at all the way to endear herself, so there is no tolerance on either side, sadly. She has more 'wild' in her than domesticated, I think, as she is an avid hunter and that means bugs, moths, lizards and birds. So far she hasn't caught any of the wild birds that come to the birdbath, but she scares them away. At night she is on the prowl, and the giant moths are her greatest delight for chasing.

She also doesn't like strangers, and that means anyone but me - not the owner of Scott, not the gardener, not visitors whether day or night. She particularly dislikes interlopers of the cat persuasion. She ups and disappears or if food is involved, she stands her ground about her 'welcome'. But she is devoted to me and comes and lies on top of me whenever I am stopped and sitting down or on the bed. She is incredibly affectionate and will gently tap my nose in the morning when I'm asleep to wake me up after Ultimo has announced it is time to get up.

Sombra also loves, loves, loves potato chips. If I am eating some, she comes and tries to grab a chip from me. Then she sits and waits for me to get the hint and give her a piece.

Ultimo is the pacifist. He will back off from the food if Sombra pushes in, he lets her have first position on the bed, and he also welcomes her cleaning of him and is a fair-exchanger. He also loves watching the wild birds come to the birdbath and will simply continue his lie-down, enjoying the diversion and color.

A potted cat....
What is this? It's a cat-a-one-tail?
One thing that amazes me about Ultimo is the places that he chooses for sleeping/napping. He doesn't seem to mind lying on the coffee table, even when there are books and ceramic pieces strategically placed to discourage him. He simply winds himself around the hard objects until he finds a comfortable spot and dozes happily. Look at this recent shot of him in another s-pot.

Another view of Barichara and the cathedral from a higher elevation, not
far from my casa. Taken this morning on a walk... lovely day!
Anyone who has animals knows how quickly they integrate into the family, and how one day you look around and wonder what you did before they were there.


  1. Your Sombra looks much like my Jada... (who might be a reincarnation of my "first born" Cabby...."Cabrona" I'll bet that the locals there can tell you what that means)

    Ultima is absolutely GORGEOUS, Sandy. What a face- what markings! I love a talker! Cabrona was that way.... but always bitching about something, thus the name. LOL

    Great pictures. I can look at kitties and puppies (as well as possums and pigeons) all day! xoxo

  2. Love your photos of Ultimo, especially the ones where he curls around stuff!