Friday, March 7, 2014

The Saga of the Backyard Cats // Clowders, Calicos & Cat-Loafs

My parents are not fans of the clowder of cats that has recently taken up residence in our backyard. Neither is Zoe. But I secretly kind of like them. You know how people are usually either dog OR cat people? Well, I definitely lean towards the canine, but I don't really have hard feelings towards the feline. So all I thought when I found out the cats moved into the lower part of our yard was, "Ooh. More furry friends!"

There's the giant, floofy, long-haired black cat who has a permanent look of disdain on his face, seems to rule all the other cats, and isn't afraid of anything {including YOU, puny human! meooow!}. I haven't seen that one around a lot though.

There's the medium-sized orange tabby who always looks like he's winking at you {one of his eyes is always shut and it's not because he's missing it because the closed eye switches on any given day}, has a fondness for sunbathing and cat-loafing {heh}, and doesn't mind my camera at all.

There's the smaller calico who normally runs and hides when I go outside, but recently has decided I'm not that scary and now lets me get pretty close to take pictures of her. Easily distracted by things flying by {sparrows, bees, butterflies, etc} and likes to sit in weird places {like on a fence post, or stretched out between perpendicular pieces of fence}.

There's the small grey tabby that I think I've only seen once or twice. And that was a while ago, so I'm not sure what happened to this one. Although being chased vertically up a fence by a barking border collie may have something to do with its reluctance to show its face? O.o

And lastly, there's a brown/black calico that's suuuper skittish, so it's never stuck around long enough for me to get a picture or learn about its personality {besides that it's not a fan of me}. Anytime I peer into the lower part of the yard to see if there's a cat down there, it streaks away into a neighboring yard as quickly as it possibly can.

My favorite is the third cat, which makes the Psychology major in me laugh because there was actually a study that demonstrated how people tend to like others who originally don't like them, but then warm up and decide they're okay. It gives people a sense of accomplishment, like you convinced that other person that you're cool. People will like these initially-frosty acquaintances more than they will like acquaintances who liked them right away.

If you're interested, the ranking goes something like this: you will like the initially-frosty people best, then the people who liked you from the beginning, then the people who never liked you, then the people who initially liked you but then changed their minds and decided that you suck. Because you really don't like that last group of people, they're last on the list, even over people you've never liked. And there's this strange suspicion about the group of people who liked you immediately that maybe they're just a really friendly group of people, so maybe they like everyone right away. They're not a challenge. So you like the people you had to convince that you're a good person more than the uber-friendly people.

It's weird, but it was an actual study. I could tell you the parameters of the study and how they tested this if you'd really like, but I'm pretty sure you don't care that much. *grins*

Anyways. The large black cat is Darth Vader. The orange tabby is Bane. And the small calico is Kitten-Cat. One of these things is not like the other... 

If you'd like to see the backyard cats, I have pictures of them on my Instagram feed.

I definitely am still a dog person {being allergic to cats will do that to you}, but these outdoor felines and I are slowly developing a hesitant friendship. I like them. They're not so sure about me. But we're both happy with keeping our distance. So. Yay, fuzzy creatures!

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