Cat of the Day

April 30, 1999

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Kat, the Cat of the Day
Name: Kat
Age: Four years old
Gender: Male
Breed: Cat
Home: Seldovia, Alaska, USA
   This magnificent long-haired cat lives Outdoors in Seldovia, Alaska, along the slough... a source of food in the summer and danger the rest of the time. And yes, that's snow on his coat - ever wary, he's gobbling down his first meal in a few days. He's a feral who lives in our neighborhood, and oh dear, what a beauty he could have been had fate had let him be born into a loving home instead of the wilderness...

    He has been commanding his turf around here for four winters now - and that must have been a real struggle through these bitter cold and snowy Alaskan winters. In his cat-world he is a king of sorts; both our spayed females are afraid of him, and let us know when he is around. We don't see him in the summers, unless a walk through the woods surprises him hunched over his salmon head meal - we live by some great salmon grounds. I startled both of us that way once. He's a survivor. He had a brother, a twin perhaps, -looked just like him - and for a while we thought we were feeding one cat through the winter that exhibited multiple personalities- one was much more spooky than the other - and then we saw them both at the same time! After that, one was injured and we've never seen him again, so we thought Kat was alone again out there.

    Kat comes by occasionally for a meal; then he disappears for a few days and I begin to worry about him. Once I get really worried about him he reappears and happily I get his next meal together - and stick it on the porch. He warily approaches the dish and begins to eat like there's no tomorrow- I took this photo of him by sticking the camera out the cat door, while he was distracted by the food. But he does eat and run. We've never been able to approach him; the first feint towards him and he's gone...

    Kat has another chapter in his life. We thought that he was all alone after there was no sign of his brother for a year - but just today we think that it was his brother with the weepy eyes who came by for a handout, but was spooked away before he could get fed. So now we're leaving the dish out all night. (Before, in the dead of winter, the food would freeze solid in the dish, so we had been bringing it in.) But perhaps he has competition for the handouts now. Our Kat seems so much less feral than his brother... though still not ready to be touched. Those poor cats have never been truly warm! Life (for them) is tough.

    Visit Kat's website for more photos and information.

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