Today Scruffy showed up on the deck begging for food, and tried to shove his way in the door:
At the same time, Mark also showed up… and a black cat I’ve seen from time to time. The black cat is really quite feral and has no use for humans. This is the closest I’ve ever been to the black cat, and this is the closest I’ve ever seen Scruffy and Mark get to each other without a fight breaking out:
What the photo does *not* show is why this is quite possibly the last time you’ll ever see the black cat: he’s only got one eye. From the looks of it, he transitioned from binocular to monocual vision within the past few days… it looks really quite horrid. Infection and whatnot might well do him in. Being one-eyed around here won’t help him, especially crossing the road. But there’s no chance of me catching him, thus no chance of me getting him to the vet. And I doubt there’s anything the vet would do with him apart from putting him down. So… while I’m sure Raedthinn thinks he has a hard life, there are other cats quite nearby who have a *really* hard life. As messed up as this feller is, it didn’t stop him from swatting Scruffy when he got too close while eating.
Also not visible in the photos are some rather shocking changes in Scruffy. Before winter, if you fed him he’d let you pet him for four seconds (I counted) before he turned on you and tried to claw your arm off. At the time, those few seconds were enough to show that he had a thick coat… and thick musculature. He was a *burly* cat. But now he has a very thin coat of fur with bald patches, and is really quite skinny. I guess the hunting has not been especially productive this winter. And given his violent and anti-social nature, he probably doesn’t get many opportunities to get human-provided chow.