If you are new to my blog and are wondering what is up with this cat thing I am doing, we have a feral cat colony problem in my neighborhood. No one else (that I know of) is helping, and being the animal lover/compassionate person that I am, I (and my caring family members) had to do something about the problem. These cats are not all my indoor pets, but I am their outdoor caregiver I guess you could say. If you would like to read the story about a cat called “Courage” and how this colony thing began, just click HERE for part 1, and HERE for part 2.
This week I want to introduce you to a pretty calico cat named Pumpkin Patch aka “Pumpkin“.
How did Pumpkin get her name?
The little children next door aren’t allowed to have pets, so when they saw me working with the cats one day I told them this one didn’t have a name yet and they could name her. One of the children came up with Pumpkin Patch, I suppose because she has orange colors in her and her fur has different patches of color. Pumpkin Patch is kind of a long name, so while that is her official name, I just call her plain Pumpkin. I am sure not every colony caretaker names the cats, but my family and I got tired of referring to them as “that one with the black spot” or calling a particular cat over with a “hey you”. That doesn’t work well when there are lots of them!
Pumpkin was cat number 3 that had the courage to emerge from the colony and see what the first 2 cats (Courage & Fluffy) were up to. She was friends with Courage also (he was quite the little colony leader!) and I saw her not too long after I first saw Fluffy. I guess I am pretty good at taming cats (who knew!), but I really think a big part of my success in taming them has to do with the snowball effect. These colony cats are a tight knit bunch and since they have no humans to keep them company, they seem to stick together. I think because Pumpkin saw me with Courage and Fluffy, she got curious and brave enough to test the waters. Cats are observers after all!
She would come to me when Courage did, and would stick really close to him. I would pet him, and then it was easy to pet her, because she was up against him. That is how it started. Pumpkin was pretty brave and was one of the very few cats that after that first meeting would gingerly approach me alone the next time.
Each of these cats has a completely different personality! That is what makes them so fun.
What is Pumpkin’s Personality like?
Pumpkin likes the company of other cats, but is also pretty independent. She has been completely tamed and socialized by me (although none of these formerly feral cats approach people aside from myself or my family members that help them,unless I am around). Unlike some of the other colony cats, she is not a cuddling type of lap cat. She greets me every day and looks forward to getting some attention, and will even hang around the chair sometimes while I am sitting in the back yard, but she won’t let me hold her for long. She just likes to be in my presence.
Pumpkin LOVES bugs and butterflies. She loves to chase them and I often catch her crouching low in the yard and then running after them. She has caught several big bugs or beetles (I saw her chewing on one once-ew), but I have never seen her try to go after a bird or any other creature. While she may not be cuddly, she is very loyal to me. She (and a couple others) follow me down the street when I take a walk. ( I will tell a funny story on this later in the week).
Pumpkin also is quite the little stinker. The neighbor lady told me she gets amused watching her in the front yard early morning, because she will run up a tree real fast and then jump in to the birdbath to take a drink. She loves to be up a tree (the only other cat that loves it more is Courage) and she likes to play.
She shares a “bed” (which is a warm cat shelter we have lined with straw for Fall/Winter) with her “flat mate” Chance (one of the male cats from the colony). She is about 1 year old and is a healthy cat now.
Now that you have been introduced to Pumpkin, Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story later in the week! In part 2 I am going to tell some funny stories about Pumpkin , as well as one tragic one so that people will understand why helping cat colonies is important.
A short video of Pumpkin and a couple other cats getting their supper: (if you can’t see the video via email, you can see it by going directly to my website or clicking HERE