Heart Goes Out to Wiggy

Regular readers will already be fully aware of Puddy, the semi-feral neighbourhood cat who has inveigled her way into our lives, our home and, yes all right dammit, our hearts. You may know about Puddy but there are other cats in the neighbourhood too, and I feel you should hear a little bit about one of them.

Wiggy is a semi-feral neighbourhood tom. His white-with-black-patches colouring and markings are very similar to Puddy’s, so I imagine he is a brother of hers or possibly she is a ‘sistah from another littah.’ Something like that. Wiggy is just the name I have given him. I don’t think it’s likely that he has a name from anyone else.

Wiggy is a true stray, flitting from back yard to back yard, scoring whatever he can, wherever he can and whenever he can. Wiggy is a great name for him, even if I say so myself. You’d have to see him to fully appreciate it. He’s got a big black patch on top of his otherwise white head and it looks exactly like a low hanging fringe on the front. It is, for all intents and purposes, a poorly placed hair piece. Did you ever see Mo from the Three Stooges? Well, that’s the exact effect.

Wiggy is an un-neutered tom and, as such, he is quite the feckin’ nuisance around the place. He bullies the other cats, including Puddy, and likes to mark his territory very pungently and very often. Unfortunately, he views our front door as a key corner of his domain and his butt is often to be seen spraying itself liberally around that area.

I chase him off verbally whenever I spot him rolling up to have a butt-squirt. I have to, really. He gets fed regularly up at a neighbour’s house, who buys all kinds of treats (like entire Lidl chickens) to keep a few cats around because they ‘keep the mice down.’ Wiggy does okay, I think. He and I maintain a semi-feudal relationship as he continues to squirt my place and bully my cat and I continue to call him by an unfashionable name and berate him and his errant butt away from my front door.

But my heart has started to go out a bit to poor old Wiggy. He is, without question, the ugliest cat I have ever seen. His front legs are bowed slightly which gives him the effect of being a manspreaded body builder. He is always scowling. His wig is a thundering disgrace and his manner is always considerably less than the minimum of what might be hoped for.

Oh, but his stomach is pulled so tight up into his body. Yes, he’s getting fed but is it enough? If I feed him, he will become an even more prominent bullying, spraying feature of my yard and neither Puddy nor I can really tolerate that. I just wish he had a better life, that’s all. Our neighbourhood is kindly and not really dangerous at all but it rains and gets cold, just like everywhere else, and things can be hard sometimes if you’re an ugly tomcat without a home.

Sometimes, when the sun shines, Wiggy regularly occupies a warm place in the grass in my front garden, under a spreading something bush. He sleeps there so peacefully. At those times, I can’t bring myself to call him names or pretend to chase after him. I’ll just let him rest for a while there in the sun. I’ll just… let him be. I just wish he wouldn’t wake up and stink up the entire house with his buttski but you can’t have everything.

I’ll continue to keep an eye on him, as best I can. I think he’s okay, really, but I’ll try to make sure nothing untoward happens to him. I know I can’t be the saviour of all cats.

It’s just, the older I get, the more I feel I should be.


marty47 said...

It's the season for poor Wiggy,so not all his fault, the sure fix is 'The Snip'stops spray & calms him down too,some local cat charities might fund it, It's €50 for a tom & €70 for females here in Sligo ,Bobby the 10 month old Tom is pencilled in for August, we do the best we can for them, while I'm a'dog person' these fellas fascinate me,very intelligent & affectionate & varying personalities too,take care Ken

Jim Murdoch said...

The drawing of lines. Yes. Hm. It is so hard. Once when I was a kid a stray dog followed us home and Dad chased him away. I have a very clear memory of him in the street making this poor creature feel very unwelcome. And I’m pretty sure I was howling and hating him. Not sure if I knew about Butch then but now I know about Butch I kinda get it. Kinda. When Dad lived in Coatbridge he had a Scottie called Butch. Only two photographs exist of Butch. One is in the back garden and the other sitting on the arm of my dad’s chair which, coincidentally, is the only photo of my dad smoking which looks odd. In fact, the whole picture looks odd. My dad with a dog! But here’s the thing, Butch used to run out in the street when he saw Dad’s car, get let in and the two would drive the last hundred yards or so back together. And then one day, so we assume, Butch must’ve seen a car like Dad’s which didn’t stop. Dad found him dead under a neighbour’s hedge and vowed—by dad was big on vows—he’d never have another dog again and never did. He tolerated Mum’s cats and never more than one at a time but knowing how much the loss of Butch affected him I do get it.

We still have our regular visits from Spock who is as contrary and unpredictable as ever. He latest trick was to come in the back door, go the glass door and beg to be let into the hall whereupon he headed straight to the front door and demanded to be let out. Cats!

We’re in a bit of a huff with the Larrys at the moment. A couple of weeks back we discovered a fledgling pigeon on the kitchen windowsill. Scabby-looking thing. So, we got a plastic box, encouraged it to relocate and hoped it would survive the night. Which it did. But it clearly wasn’t fighting fit and spent the next few days hiding under the garden bench. We put out some suet and water and it seemed to be coping. Anyway, somehow it found its way through the fence into Ant’s garden where, much to our delight, it’s mother found it and started feeding it. The problem was Mrs Ant thought the mother was attacking the youngster so Carrie had to educate her which she took well and tolerated the fledgling’s presence. The thing is one of the gulls sensed weakness and had a go at the wee thing who, to its credit fought back valiantly, and escaped into hiding. But after that it was obvious the gull was on the hunt and although I kept my eye on Fletcher, as he came to be known although we had no idea what gender he was, one day he was gone and it was so sad to see his mother wandering around the garden looking for him. So, we’re mad with gulls and haven’t fed them for a few days. One of them knocks at the window but I ignore him (or her, it’s hard to tell). It’s odd, we haven’t really bonded with this year’s gulls. The granny’s returned but no sign of granddad so we can only assume he’s dead. Granny is taking a background role this year too and the youngsters (who we fed as Darrels last year) are a bit bolshy. Youngsters, eh? I imagine we’ll relent when this year’s fledglings take flight and judging by the size of them it’ll be any day now.