Strangely I find that I have never told you about Ginger Roger the cat!
Several months ago a little stray ginger cat started appearing at our back door.
He was a skinny little thing with a sad face, another stray of course, there are so many of them here. The farmers have cats in their barns, they breed and some are chased out of the barn – the runts usually, the weak and the small kittens that the older cats decide are not worth the effort to bring up.
We’ve taken in several such cats already and as soon as they are old enough or well enough it’s straight to the vets to be neutered, they all seem to forgive us eventually.
Anyhow, the ginger kitten was very feral and very wary. He never came into the house but he hung around a lot and I kept finding him asleep in the chickens’ straw bales. He’d run off like he had a rocket tied to his tale whenever I came near him. This went on for months and I’d leave some food out for him each night and he started to sleep under a chair on our terrace. Every morning when I’d go out to feed the chickens, ducks and geese, there he’d be, just watching.
As the winter drew in I started to worry that he would freeze to death on his own outside and renewed my efforts at friendship. We began to get to know each other better. Finally he allowed me to stroke him and after that he became my shadow/stalker. He followed me into the house and has never stopped following me.
We took him to the vets to see if he had a chip or tattoo to make sure he didn’t belong to anyone and to check him out as he seemed to be very wobbly on his feet. It turns out he had mites in his ears and they were making him very unstable and after he was cured, left him totally deaf.
He is now a sleek, getting plump ginger cat whom we call Ginger Roger.
He still follows me about, if I’m in the garden he lies close by watching me, wherever I am in the house, he is at my feet tripping me over. He tries to jump up into my arms which is incredibly painful when he clings on!
He screams, a lot. He doesn’t meow like the other cats which I suppose is due to his deafness. If he wants something he’ll throw himself at my legs and scream. He hates going outside and likes to sleep on a chair near me when I’m working so he can keep an eye on me.
He has the worst manners of any cat I’ve known. He doesn’t appreciate cat hierarchy and ‘Enry Cooper who is the boss cat (despite his cute looks) is utterly disgusted by him. He is greedy, whiny, jealous and will quite probably trip me up and do some damage one day but he’s awfully loving. The other cats tease him mercilessly, he doesn’t hear them creeping up behind him, they do it a lot. He screams loudly as if he’s been stabbed which freaks everyone out including the cats, but they still keep doing it.
When he went to be neutered I am sorry to say he reverted to his old feral self and when I picked him after the operation the vet said he was very “mechant”. He had scratched and bit and fought like a wild cat.
I don’t think he’ll ever be like the other cats I have who are now completely domesticated, spoiled, lazy and take me for granted – he will always be special.