StatCounter - Free Web Tracker and Counter
the rec.arts.comics.strips pet gallery
page 2

Jump to page 1
Jump to Patches: a Feral Cat's Story and Mooch 2's Story.

Enjoy them. And please - don't breed or buy while shelter animals die! (Think it's not that simple? You're right - it isn't. Click here for more thoughts on the issues.)

Kate's Perfect Storm
Kate Brown is the western-most member of our Canadian contingent and one of my favourite r.a.c.s regulars. The beautiful Storm is a Flat-Coated Retriever who enjoys hunt tests, obedience, and community work. Hamish is the newest addition to the Brown family. Between them all, they've done a lot to educate us about dogs, retrievers and retrieving, trials and competitions, and fascinating related stuff.

kate & storm
"'Citizen Canine' is a volunteer group in Victoria that encourages responsible dog ownership. Members advocate for dog owners with local government and conduct "Canine Good Neighbour" tests in the community, in which dogs and their owners demonstrate training and good manners and receive snazzy blue bandannas if they pass."

Note that in this photo, Storm is showing off her very own snazzy CGN blue bandanna!

storm in motion
"Storm's favourite things: jumping in water with great splashes..."

storm retrieving
"...and retrieving ducks and bumpers out in the field."

Introducing the newest member of the family:Hamish, the Flat-coated Retriever!

cap'n hamish at the helm
Hamish, like Storm, is a Flat-Coated Retriever, a breed as much at home in the water as on land. Or on the water,as it happens.

storm and hamish
Hamish kisses Storm's whole face.

Kate is quite involved in organized retrieving events and Hamish, like Storm, can look forward to being lovingly trained and spending many weekends joyously running as fast as he can, splashing through water, and doing everything that makes his breed happiest.

Katie's Bean and Penelope
Katie describes herself as a "sometimes-poster" to r.a.c.s but she keeps an eye on most of the discussions. I'm so glad she sent along pictures of her dachshunds- and particularly her description of Bean tearing out the stuffing of pillows - "like guts from a big kill" - which is possibly the funniest owner comment in the whole gallery.

bean and penelope
"Bean was born in 2001 and Penelope in 2003. I spend more time with them than with humans. Bean is full of attitude, and if he doesn't get his way he will do something to make you angry, like tear apart the throw pillows on the couch. He likes to pull out the stuffing, like the guts from a big kill. That's why we don't have pillows that are kept on the couch. That's also why the dogs are only allowed on the first floor of our 3 story condo. Penelope is submissive, yet still stubborn. She doesn't follow commands, and would rather sit in your lap than eat dinner, so you have to watch her eat or bean will move to her bowl just as soon as he's done with his. Sneaky fellas.."

Mark Jackson's Moggies
Mark Jackson is a physicist with a CV as long as my arm, a Unitarian, a comic strip fan, the maintainer of the
rec.arts.comics.strips FAQ, and a cat owner. If he wasn't a married father of some adorable kids, I'd be trying to set him up with my sister.

"Murphy (the big grey tiger)...

"...and Maverick (the even bigger white one) are brothers, born around Halloween 1992.

Typical pictures - Maverick on the bed (he likes to sleep) and Murphy on the dining room table (he likes to demand milk, food, attention, . . .)"

Mike Kieras' Kids
Mike K. is another regular whose posts are always worth opening. I'm not surprised that his contribution is a little outside the norm, but well worth checking out.

Mr. DeMille! I'm ready for my closeup!


Brilliant! Mike has posted some files "of my youngest gal, Tuvalu, in AVI format. They range from when she was a few days old to when she was a couple of months old. Sadly, I didn't have a camcorder when these were taken; I used a crappy little pocket camera that could also take video, so the quality isn't fantastic." The effect of watching the little critter in action, however, hopping like a miniature kangaroo, is highly amusing.
March 19, 2003 (7.4 meg)
April 9, 2001 (7.7 meg)
May 28, 2001 (6.6 meg)

Mike Marshall's Muses
Cartoonist and regular poster, Mike takes an intriguing photo, too.

barney & q
Which is which? I'm guessing only their hairdresser knows for sure.

...who knows how to keep her cool.

The Deacon's Dogs - Mike Peterson's guys
Peterson the prolific; unlike the rest of us dilettantes, Mike is actually involved in the newspaper biz. Currently he's the editor of the Franklin Journal, a tiny twice-weekly in Farmington, "which is heaven".

nellie and destry
I happen to know that Nellie was named for pioneering reporter Nellie Bly, and Destry is named for a particularly favoured film...
In October, 2006, Mike discovered a tumor on Nellie's snout. The veterinarian told him it was highly unlikely that treatment or surgery would save Nellie, and that her prescription for Nellie was "lots of steak, ice cream, pepperoni and love, for as long as she was okay". Mike filled that prescription and more for eight weeks. On December 19, 2006, Nellie was no longer "okay" and Mike fulfilled his last duty to her, holding her and taking care of her to the end.

nellie and destry
Nellie and Destry on the dock at Star Lake, NY. A photo I love so much I hated to crop it.

The Newshound and Nellie Bly
Mascots of the Newspapers in Education Program which Mike oversaw when he was working for the Glens Falls Post-Star. Created in cooperation with a talented cartoonist, one or both graced the impressive articles Mike wrote for the newspaper, clearly and concisely introducing current global events and geography to children.

Destry with Samantha
"This is my granddaughter, Samantha with Destry at Thanksgiving. Note that she is about the size of his head. How do dogs who never see children have such an instinct for being so gentle and patient with them? ... The dogs love the kids and vice-versa."

"After Nell died, I thought about going back to being a one-dog family, but Destry was not happy without company. After three months, I gave in, because, frankly, I missed her, too. Ziwa, a four-year-old Australian-born ridgeback, was given to me by the breeder from whom I got Nellie -- Zee is a retired show girl with a couple of litters, but has settled in to life as a pet."

ziwa the missile
"Well, maybe "settled" is a bad word for this dog, who is, on the whole, rather bouncy.But, between explosions of energy, she's very sweet and Des and I are happy to have her company."

Mom's Hero
When r.a.c.s regular Brian's mom got cancer, he followed his artistic instincts and made a comic strip about it.
Mom's Cancer is a brilliant, honest and deeply moving piece of work about an extraordinary family facing an extraordinary challenge. One member who was added to the family during the course of the saga is a pomeranian pup who Mom named Hero because "he's going to save my life." Brian has generously given me permission to add this very special pet in both his photographic and comic strip form to our gallery. "Mom's Cancer" has been published in book form by Abrams Books and is available through,,, Borders,and, among other places.

hero and his alter-ego
"Hero is a top-heavy, mincing, prancing poofball of a Pomeranian who joined our family to lift the spirits of my motherland help her survive the trials of "Mom's Cancer"."

Nancy G's Buckley
Nancy G. isn't able to get access to post to r.a.c.s as easily as she once did, but she'd gone from being a regular poster to a regular lurker, and we're just happy to have her around.

buckley and the jedi knight...
"He was named Buckley by my S.O.’s daughter, who named him after Buckley, the ghost boyfriend on “King of the Hill”. The Jedi Knight holding him in the photo is my daughter Katie, the aspiring cartoonist who’s lately branched out into photography as well."

Neil's Noble Eurocat
Neil is pretty quiet as r.a.c.s posters go - see, he only posts when he's got something useful or interesting to say, which means he tends to get drowned out by the rest of us limelight-seekers. He happens to be the owner of a hell of an impressive Norwegian cat.

Your basic noble Norwegian Forest Cat.(Neil says he's probably more likely a Maine Coon, but Godai's website is in Norwegian. Now, how's a Maine Coon gonna learn Norwegian?) I believe in this photo he's checking for prowlers before going to bed...

godai in the garden
...and, of course, you can't be too careful
during the day, either.

Nick's Jackie
Nick Theodorakis is a r.a.c.s. regular who rarely lets a straight line go neglected and can come up with a funny one-liner at the drop of a mousepad.

"Jackie, a Norwegian Elkhound. She is about 6 years old. She loves people but hates cats (sorry!)."

Oh Sojourner's Kitties
Oh Sojourner is a cartoonist, having made her living in illustration for many years (with the occasional freelance project in animation and product concept). She pops up every now and then in r.a.c.s. I'm glad she sent along these pics.

"This is 'Chumbles', the real-life 'Chubby Huggs'. It's not easy taking his picture because he usually wants to come up and greet you if you get anywhere near his level... Chumbles was named after Chumbawamba, a band who had a hit song at the same time I acquired him."

"Here's Eliot -- he sure knows how to ham it up. :-) My cats love the fact that I can work on my laptop, sitting on the bed -- hence the opportunity for all these 'look how cute I am' poses." Oh Sojourner actually thought these pictures might be too similar and suggested I include the pair shot below instead. You tell me how YOU could resist posting one of these two pictures?

"This is Patola, living the life of contentment. Patola was an ordinary shelter moggie of indeterminate breed, but she has more personality than most cats (or people) I've known! I wouldn't trade her for any purebred."

chumbles & eliot
Chumbles and Eliot together.

Paul's Precious
Paul is a regular contributor who occasionally wanders off and gets lost in other newsgroups or forums, but like the prodigal son, eventually wanders home and is much welcomed when he arrives. I'm happy to do so by posting this wonderful photo and story of a sweet and much-missed kitty.

"Well, here's a pic of my sugar cat, Max. He was a mutant Manx, rather than a bred one. He lived around 15 years, the last five putting up with two shots of insulin a day. (We were tipped off that it might be diabetes when he started licking the ice cubes from my drinks.) Didn't seem to bother him, though. We would call out "Max, medicine!" and he would come running.

After 5 years of medicine, he just gave up the ghost, and died in my ex-wife's arms as we were trying to get to the all-night pharmacy.

We buried him in our backyard, and I have to say I cried more at the little service we gave him than I ever had before or since."

Penelope's Pets
"Penelope Ashe" lurks and occasionally posts on RACS. She writes that she "draw[s] a crappy web comic called
A Perfect World. It is what prevents me from going on a killing spree." Now there's a sentiment we can relate to. At ny rate, discovering she fosters animals for the Woodstock Animal Foundation of Texas sends her directly to the Official RACS Gallery Favourite People List.

Salvador gets a larger-than-normal photo in honour of being - surprisingly - the first bird in the gallery.

"The cockatiel is named Salvador. He is a 6 year old male gray. He loves to whistle, sabotage my artwork, chew on my ear and scream while perched on top of doors. He lives for head rubs."

All of which, frankly, pales in comparison for me to the fact that he seems to do all of these things with impunity on the head of Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

"The two dogs are fosters through Woodstock Animal Foundation of Texas ( Loki is the current foster dog who is working his way to becoming permanent dog. He is a Bull Mastiff mix. He was rescued from an abandoned Bull Mastiff puppy mill. Bull Mastiff rescue took the pure Bull Mastiffs while Woodstock took the mixes. Loki tries his best to be a lap dog but my lap is not big enough so he settles for just putting his head in my lap."

Visit Loki's dogster page!

"Masey is a Pit Bull mix that I fostered for over four months. She will finally go to her forever home this weekend. The only thing vicious about this dog are her farts. She has no tail to fan the fumes.. "

Peter's Pets
Wyomingite Peter Steiger is a much-appreciated addition to r.a.c.s. He's a good storyteller, as well as a man of faith, patience and good humour.

blackie & felice
"...a pair of stray barn cats my teenagers adopted when they (the cats) were a few days old. Blackie and Felice are now almost two years old and they no longer shred everything in the house to ribbons."

"Candy, the fearless border collie/mutt from the pound who stalks the cats, the chickens, her ball, and everything else that moves with an intensity that is almost pathological. Here she is stalking a bit of cookie that my daughter was trying to pry off a baking sheet."

"Candy is about 8 years old as of January 2006."

Rob Wynne's Ranch
Rob is a 'regular' and a smart and erudite guy. He's another of my personal favourite posters, and the mind behind the entertaining and eclectic website
The Autographed Cat.

MY blanket! MINE!

You may admire me now.

good twin jenna
Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth...

evil twin jenna
...except possibly when she takes a stroll around the fireplace.

Ruth's Range
Ruth is also known in RACS by the fitting nym "nickelshrink", which I've always taken to be a wonderfully creative tip of the hat to Lucy van Pelt. She's a regular contributer and always has something interesting and thought-provoking to add to our dialogue; I particularly enjoy her contributions to the never-ending conversations about the machinations, motivations and madness of the cast of For Better or For Worse.

graymatter & downeyflake
"The Pair. Graymatter (AKA Her Imperial Majesty, or The Bitchlet), and Downyflake (AKA Buttercup, Goldilocks, Dweeb). A rare moment of togetherness. They don't really like each other much but unite against common enemies, such as:..."

"...Marlowe. Appeared in the back yard near-starved. Sweet, funny, lap cat, but made war on The Pair. After three months, we reluctantly handed him over to a nice old couple who will be Marlowe-centric. Came home crying. An hour later, husband says: 'Look outside.' And there was:..."

"...Scooter. The Bitchlet is still opposed to this addition, but he's here to stay."

Sherwood Harrington's Amazing Menagerie
Judging from the pictures he sent me, Sherwood seems to actually be living the life many of us dream of. He sent me many pictures of rooms in a pleasant country home literally full of animals. I had some tough choices, so I'm highlighting the individual stars of his menagerie. If you were a cat - or a dog - or a chicken - wouldn't YOU pick this place to 'hang'?

"Beyond his job, he's taught me a pretty fundamental lesson about what being a human male is about. I have a wife, and I love her more than I love myself. I have children, and I love them with a ferocity that had better not be challenged. I have pets, and I treasure them. But Kelsey is different from all of them. Kelsey is My Dog, with a capital M and a capital D. Kelsey taught me what that meant, and I wouldn't have ever understood it without him. Bless you, K-Dog.."

"Alnitak came to live at Ft. Harrington in the summer of 2003. He had been a show-kitten for a Maine Coon breeder in San Jose, but a possible congenital condition took him out of show-biz, and he became available for relocation to Ft. Harrington. He is a suave, elegant cat, whom we sometimes think of as a re-in-cat-ation of David Niven. Despite his astronomical name ("Alnitak" is one of the stars in Orion's belt), he didn't get it from us; the breeder's cats' names are all astronomical in origin. Alnitak, in Ft. Harrington, is just "Al.""

"Alnitak lives gracefully in all three dimensions."

"Alnitak's nephew, Cooper, wasn't just a "contender" -- he was a champion. His official name is "International Winner, Supreme Grand Champion Lunarcoons' Copernicus," because he won... and won, and won, and won championships at TICA cat shows in 2002 - 2003 in both kitten and cat classes. In fact, he was TICA's International Longhaired Cat of the Year in 2003. When his breeders hung up their, uh, stuff in 2006 and decided to drop out of the Maine Coon breeding/showing business, they wanted to keep Cooper as a housecat, but he didn't get along with his grandfather (Alnitak's sire, Total Eclipse, or "Eek" for short). Sad for them, but happy for us, he had to be shipped off to the Santa Cruz Mountains to live with his uncle Al."

oolie, the black freighter
"Raul, Oolie, the Black Freighter, the Bug Man, is our oldest animal. He came to live with us in the summer of 1995, when we lived in a rented house in Sunnyvale, California, way, way before the whole "Ft. Harrington" thing was even a glint in our imaginations. Diane saw him in a cage at a little pet store in Sunnyvale, one that had just been opened in a strip mall. She had gone in to get a small bag of kibble for our then-kitties (Boo and Max, now long gone) in a rush -- but there was this cage in the corner, with a strangely-compelling little tuxedo kitty staring at her, and, well... okay, maybe we could think about it. Well, okay, maybe she could think about it. Well, okay, maybe it might be okay if she took him home instead of him destroying the entire city, which is what it sure sounded like he was saying he would do if she didn't take him home. Never subtle or cajoling, the Oolie, the Black Freighter.."

The Black Freighter became suddenly and unexpectedly ill in February 2009. Subsequent medical investigation showed that his condition was critical, had been developing for a long time, and was irreversible. His loving caretakers made sure that they kept the final, hardest promise to him, and he passed peacefully, breathing his last breath against Sherwood's wrist. Rest in peace, big guy.

"Emma is our first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. She's from Kerman, near Fresno, California, home of Sandy Drake's Sierra View kennels. Emma came to live at Fort Harrington in the summer of 2004. This picture looks like one of a little dog against a background of leaves, doesn't it? It's actually a picture of my heart."

"Emma's little half-brother, born on June 18, 2005, a small package of the most sparkles I've ever, ever seen in an animal. Jax has to be seen to be appreciated, and then seen again. Smart, calm, playful, inquisitive... Jax is just Jax and no further description is possible and no further explanation can be offered. Spend an afternoon with him, and you'll spend the rest of your life thinking about him. An astonishing, captivating, wordless entity."

finn mccool
"Finn McCool was liberated from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley at the beginning of June, 2007, where he had landed, in turn, as a result of a rescue from a less-friendly pound. He is a handful, but is responding well to the best we can do, which is love, attention, and guidance. He may be taking his new name too seriously, though, as evidenced by..."

finn mccool
"... his immediate fondness for Guinness Extra Stout."

"Fonzie came to live in Ft. Harrington in early 2000. He's a "factory reject" Abyssinian (he doesn't have the dark "eyeliner" lines around his eyelids that show cat Abys do) who attached himself to us at a cat show in San Mateo, California. He lives in more dimensions than three or four, but we have never been able to discern exactly how many. He carries on conversations with invisible beings. He moves via quantum uncertainties. He's nuts. He is also the only non-human in the Fort who can get along with Oolie, the Black Freighter."

buffy and goldie (or vice-versa)
"Ft. Harrington has a small flock of pet chickens -- eleven, as of this typing. We've kept chickens since 2002, and have found that their lifespan can be pretty short, but don't know exactly how long they can be. Google isn't much help, primarily because chickens' lives tend to be dictated by economics rather than by intrinsic biology: stop laying eggs, head for the stewpot, Henny! Of the 18 chickens we've had, 11 still live. The ones that have expired have, for the most part, done so by cancer (as determined by free necropsies done by the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture). The two who didn't metastasize to death expired by (1) infection and (2) eating a whole box of finishing nails. The one who died by nail wounds did so on a Good Friday, which probably doesn't bear much thinking about."

specks, the speckled sussex chicken
"Specks, hatched on June 18, 2005, at the McMurray Hatchery in Iowa (an industrial hatchery from whom we obtained our last dozen chicks) is a remarkable bird. She's smart enough to escape from the chicken run, and, when she does, she follows anybody -- human, feline, canine -- she can find all around the yard, commenting, questioning, talking, schmoozing all the time. Smartest chicken I've ever known -- and that's a set of five words I never, ever, thought I'd write."

the bothy cat
This remarkable cat came along with the accommodations when Sherwood and his wife, Diane, went on a dream trip to Ireland and stayed at The Bothy, a lovely cottage on the grounds of Birr Castle.

the bothy cat and diane
"Once we had been there for a while, Miss Kitty became an eager tour guide for the Birr Castle Demesne. She happily accompanied us on our morning and evening strolls around the 100+ acre grounds and gardens of the lovely grounds." Here she strolls companionably with Diane.

the bothy cat
"The Birr Castle Demesne is huge: about the same size as Southern California's Disneyland park in terms of acreage, in fact. In a distant corner of the Demesne was a strange 'garden' of sculptures called the Theatro Verde. Miss Kitty accompanied us there one evening, and was clearly comfortable there (about half a mile from the Bothy cottage.) It must be part of her usual rounds." To see many more pictures of this "best, and most unexpected, Irish treasure", visit Sherwood's slideshow devoted to her.

Ted Kerin's Critters
Ted's areas of expertise range from the old "Columbo" tv program to... well, you name it. He also apparently teaches old dogs new tricks.

murphy & dingo
"Murphy, who left us a few years ago,
has been described in r.a.c.s. as my dog who once defied evolutionary theory by inventing a tool, ie. the serving tray, by overturning a Frisbee and using it to carry a tennis ball."

evie & dingo
"Like many men, I became a cat person by marriage. But Evie is really a wonderful kitty, very affectionate with people, and adept at dealing with the family dogs. I am grateful to Evie for teaching me the joys of feline companionship."

fergie & evie
"Fergie is very fond of Evie, and sometimes grooms her with that giant golden retriever tongue, a ritual which Evie seems to enjoy...I hope these photos capture the peaceable kingdom that prevails around our home." I think, Ted, they do admirably.

Tom & Karen Mitchell's Pedigree and Nearly-Pedigree Rodents
Pedigreed rats? There are indeed such a thing. This, and much more, including a tale of rodent family scandal and intrigue, is to be found at Ted's
remarkable rat website.

"Our first rats were born 2003-02-01. They are named Pádraig (Patrick) and Caoimhghín (Kevin). Although their mother, OFR Contessa, a Dumbo Agouti Berkshire, is a pedigreed rat, they are not, because in the words of Ms. Needham, Contessa "took it upon herself to find a partner". Therefore, although their father was one of the pedigreed rats at the rattery, we don't know which one, so they are not pedigreed rats. Pádraig is an 'Agouti bareback buck, mismarked with a headspot'..."

"...and Caoimhghín is a 'Black Berkshire buck, with a tiny belly spot'.

Originally, they were "Tom's rats". Along the way, Karen was captivated by these sweet, lovable and loving, creatures; and they are now "OUR rats."

"Since rats only live around two years, and they NEED to have other rats to live with to be happy..."

"...we got our second pair in late 2004."

(These guys are pedigreed. I don't think they'll hold that against Pádraig and Caoimhghín, but you can never be too sure with the Irish. - ronnie)

(disclaimer: ronnie is mostly Irish.)

varkgirl's badger
varkgirl describes herself as more of a lurker than a poster, but notes that Badger is "most definitely the OPPOSITE of a lurker in any environment!"

"My sweet beagle boy Badger."

Welmoed's Beautiful Serendipity Cats
Welmoed Sisson is a longtime regular at r.a.c.s. Posting relatively infrequently but always intelligently and astutely, Welmoed is a most welcome addition to the newsgroup and the gallery.

"This shy little tortie came to us as a stray, with a tiny kitten in tow. She had probably been dumped along the secluded country road where we lived. The pair immediately declared that they were now residents of Redwall. Our vet estimated her age at just under a year, so she was a very young mother.

Gaia was diagnosed with FeLV (feline leukemia) and a malignant neck tumor in late June 2006. She was euthanized on July 8, 2006."

"This orange ball of fuzz is Gaia's only kitten, about five or six weeks old when he tagged behind his mother to take up residence at Redwall. He is our perpetual teenager, full of attitude and playfulness. He often challenges the newspaper recycling stack to a duel, which he usually loses. He is a medium hair cat, but somehow manages to keep himself clean and fluffy even though he is an outside cat (and an excellent hunter; birds are his specialty)."

"This muscular tabby started hanging around the house about six months after Gaia and Gingevere settled in. We were sure they would chase off this interloper, but no; they welcomed him into the fold. We were worried that our cats would start adopting other cats, but ever since Stripe joined the family the three of them have fended off any other attempts to enlarge the brood.."

Wes Rand's Guyzos

" daughter was doing a report on Abraham Lincoln when we got him."

wes' cuties

A more recent photo of Abe, celebrating a birthday... "Abe is a gently enthusiastic guy and just loves to hang out where people are gabbing. He also gets along famously with the new additions to our family who are in the photo below."

zelda and peach
What a great photo! "We've added two "fancy rats" to our house called Zelda and Peach (in that order in the photo.) They show no fear -- even of the dog -- and have quickly made themselves at home. Much to the disgust of my future sister-in-law."

ronnie's cats

His face is his fortune... and he knows it. An incurably mischievous string-eater who never left kittenhood. We have accident insurance on one of the two cats - guess which one?

A sweet-natured tattletale who will wait at the door to greet us and lead us to whatever mess Mojo has made in our absence - at least, she says it was Mojo. She walks proudly about the neighbourhood on her leash and - as you can see - is first in line when the towels come out of the dryer. If Mojo is, as we often say, Iggy Pop's cat, Veronica is Emily Dickenson's cat.

pictures with santa
Photos with Santa is a fundraiser for our local SPCA... but I prefer the looks on peoples' faces when I tell them I took them to the mall and stood in line, instead.

Patches: A Feral Cat's Story

Finally, a special thanks to John Reiher, who sent me the photo and story of Patches III, last of a colony of feral cats. After enjoying these pictures of our pampered and beloved pets, I think we all wish a silent blessing on those who trap and neuter feral cats, or at the very least show them some kindness. John is one of them.

Here's to a world in which every animal is a wanted animal.

patches III
"Patches III is the sole surviving feral cat of a brood that was started by Patches I the original feral cat in my apartment complex. Sex is unknown, not that it matters, Patches III was captured, neutered and released. We used to have several feral cats around the apartment complex, all given birth by this cat I dubbed 'Patches' or 'Mom' six years ago.

I remember my first encounter with Mom, it was winter and she was outside howling in the cold rain. She wouldn't come in, but she would eat my leftover chicken from KFC. She ate everything, including the bones. Two months later she was out and about with troop of kittens: Domino, Mittens, Socks, Blackie, and Patches II. Soon after, the apartment complex [I live in] captured them, except for Patches II, and snip-snip, released them all back into the wild.

Patches II gave birth to more kittens, but this time the apartment and Feral cat folks were ready and captured them all quickly and adopted out the kittens. Except Patches III who like its mom, escaped. It was captured later, too late to adopt out, fixed, and let loose to survive as well as it could.

They have lead a hard life, and Patches III is the sole survivor. Wary of humans, I had to take this picture with a telephoto lens as I couldn't get any closer to it."

Update: in June of 2006, John informed us that Patches III has disappeared, seemingly for good, his or her short, rough-edged journey over.

For another feral cat's story, this one shared by my good friend Bobcat, check out Mooch 2's Story. Thanks to his family it looks like Mooch's life will be a little - or a lot - easier. Thank you, Bobcat.

A book that I have on "Working Cats" - bookstore cats, factory cats, office cats, farm cats, theraputic cats, and so on - contains a chapter on feral cats, making the observation that every stray cat is a working cat; they work all day, every day, from waking to sleep, just to survive.

We hope Patches' workload was not too heavy and that his or her likely passage off this mortal coil was swift and gentle.

Before you go, please sign my guestbook!

Jump to page 1
head to
ronnie's homepage