the community cat

Soossie Cat WordPress collageWhile we pragmatically left Taylors Arm Soossie Cat to her independent devices but in the care of LHS neighbour following our June stay she hadn’t not been on our minds. Upon arrival at our house for a late August break, I first checked for her… and then her verandah igloo which showed leafy, twiggy, furry indications of having been inhabited. The G.O. checked the shed, and Soossie Cat’s bed there had also been slept in.

Our first sight of Soossie Cat was somewhat later as she perched on LHS neighbour’s kitchen windowsill having exited via the opening. LHS neighbour also appeared, assuring us all was well with our “community cat”… she’s gorgeous, I love her.  Plus Soossie Cat suspected of being pregnant before definitely was now, the assignation between LHS neighbour’s grey cat and Soossie Cat being witnessed. LHS also assured us although she wasn’t keeping one for herself she’d easily find homes for the kittens… hmmm, I’d bet money at least one kitten stays to replace the black & white cat which died in June.

Soossie Cat’s arrival coincided with the peace & order that comes after we’ve unpacked & cleaned. Thus we could pay full attention and respond in a timely fashion to her request for dinner, and she could eat it in peace as is her preference.

That settled, Soossie Cat did too. Except for brief expeditions around the yard, next door to keep up her usual dining routine, and apparently rat catching evidenced by the 2 rodent [wedding?] gifts deposited under the G.O.’s ute, Soossie Cat remained in and around the house. If warm she would range around the sunny spots on the verandah but the weather tended to drizzly and cool so she amused herself accompanying the G.O. as he lit or stoked the fire. Then she slept in various locations and positions around it. For variety she reacquainted herself with the inside amenities; no bed or pillow on top or underneath escaped her reconnaissance.

Generally wherever we were Soossie Cat wasn’t far away, happy for company, to check out the contents of a cup or glass and taste whatever we were eating. On our last night she moved from the fire to the rug near our bedroom door. I deposited her on the bed and she remained quiet at the foot between us, with only one midnight lap around our heads before re-settling until the G.O.’s early morning bathroom visit. When we later emerged she was asleep in the chair on the verandah outside our bedroom door.

Soossie Cat ordinarily has a healthy appetite but pregnant it is colossal… as are her farts… oh dear. On the morning we were returning to the city as we went to drive out, Soossie Cat was back over the fence with LHS neighbour, who I felt it only fair as I was saying farewell to warn that as Soossie Cat had eaten all the tinned cat food on hand her breakfast had been a large-ish can of tuna in springwater and leftover half of a boiled egg…

Note: We’re cat lovers who believe we aren’t currently in a position to provide a suitable home environment to a cat either at our tiny Sydney apartment or our part-time house at Taylors Arm, but wear the invisible sign that attracts cats. We’ve sadly and responsibly twice surrendered kittens to organisations which can find them homes, and we provide what care we are able for city independent living cats we encounter. Soossie Cat although quite domesticated with us, and now LHS neighbour, is somewhat an independent living cat. We believe up until last year she resided among an excess of cats and small dogs at a quite undomesticated house up the road. When the house burned down Soossie Cat approached our house in proximity of LHS neighbour’s cats, and decided to remain. Soossie Cat is terrified of the G.O.’s ute when it is running [ as opposed to my cat Jack who in his day waited at the gate for car rides up to the house, and regarded vet visits as a social outing ]. We bear in mind vet care and spaying are necessary, however being caged and driven to town to be handled by strangers will be also be traumatic for Soossie Cat. We’ll attempt it in due course…

13 thoughts on “the community cat

  1. Cats are amazing creatures. So independent and flexible and yet have very distinctive personalities. Give her a little scratch behind the ear from me, next time you see her.


  2. Love your wood burning stove, we haven’t used ours for years. Is wood expensive your way, or do you scavenge. Your curtains in that pic mirror mine, except I no longer have lace ones in Gib.

    I’m sure SC loves your return 🙂


    1. The curtains were the choice of the previous owner but they look ok so they stay. Locally a load of wood is $80 – $100 depending on who you are and who you get it from. I think our neighbours go through about 3 loads a winter. A couple of suppliers have private land or permits and do a bit of winter business from fallen trees, cleaning up etc. We’re not there constantly to assess economic value of it but it is at least pay as you go, effective and pleasant form of heating. Soosie Cat indeed appears to enjoy our company.


    1. Despite our best effort it does appear we have a cat, or at least a share in one. I would have thought Soossie Cat in our absence would have moved permanently next door but no. Anyway, we like her and it seems to be working out…


  3. Hi Ella. At my vet there is a sign that asks “do you have a secret cat?”. I guess the answer in your case is “yes”. They encourage people to consider their sterilisation as a donation. Maybe you can ask your neighbour to organise it otherwise she may be pregnant again when you go back.


    1. Your Piipi then must be a pretty cat 🙂 Cats are clever beings, I think that’s one of the things I enjoy about them, and Soossie seems to have made up her own mind on her situation and we’re all expected to go along with it.


  4. It appears you have been chosen by a cat…sometimes they share if they feel 2 households are worthy – we had one that lived with us, but enjoyed spending mornings with a neighbor. We found out later she was a cancer survivor who didn’t feel up to owning a cat but treasured having morning tea in the sun with Perfect who adopted us after being rudely abandoned. We laughed he was hedging his bets.
    Love the wood stove and the cat poses


    1. I’m certain kitties hedging their bets is quite common, plus they are streetwise and social little beings. Perfect was well named 🙂 Both my Baddy & Jack cats made themselves as at home as my as various neighbours let them. Baddy at one stage would spend her days with a mum & kids while I (and her not-fond-of-cats husband) were at work. And at our previous apartment our neighbour’s cat spent a lot of time with us with her blessing.

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