This is Bob, taken several years ago, on the balcony, where the cats lived happily & fairly safely for years. He's called Bob because he has no tail.
He was born in my bathroom, to a feral cat I'd just caught after fishing for for 2 years. They had a big dog cage, with a small carrier for a hidden nest, and a litter box. The bars were far enough apart for the kittens to come out through them and make friends. (The mama cat, although she was never touchable, learned her name and came when she was called. She was the only one who got down off the balcony and back up onto it all the time.)
I didn't know in time that kittens need to be handled before weaning age by several people for them to become tame, so they weren't very give-away-able. But they didn't survive the dangers of this hillside (dogs, cars, coyotes, raccoons, foxes, a great horned owl, maybe bobcats, bears, or mountain lions) very long once they didn't live on the balcony anymore, so for several years Bob has been the last one left of 2 litters of feral kittens. His wily mother Ugly vanished a couple of summers ago.
He has always been very affectionate with me; he liked to chew on the hair on my forehead, and sleep right by my shoulder when he got the chance. He had been getting skinnier maybe since summer, but the last week or so he went downhill very rapidly. We just took him to the vet on Tuesday, and learned he has stomach cancer.
And I can't even stay with him for the week or so he has left. I am leaving this weekend to visit my mother; in any other case I'd put off the visit for a while, but she also is very unwell.
Labels: 2009, cats