Sunday, February 11, 2018


You may remember the feral cat I mentioned a few months ago. He was hanging around the farm and showing interest in seeing how the other half live.  I wasn't sure at that time if it was male or female. I am still not 100 percent certain, but I believe he's a male. He isn't pregnant and he has a rather large ruff and looks kinda like a male. He still won't let me examine him close up and he is too hairy to see any external indications of his gender, but I am pretty sure.

We have made his life easier and while he is still more comfortable outdoors we have provided food water and shelter for him. He appreciates this and does rub against my legs and likes to have his head scratched, but is still shy about a lot of things. He is pretty sure a camera is a device used to maim and torture small animals. When I go to take his picture he tends to hide. Being a wild cat he is pretty good at that.
You are probably wondering how I came to call him Vinny. If you notice in the pictures his left ear is only about half there. I imagine it froze at some time in the past which lets me also know he is at least a year old. He may be five or ten for that matter, but he is a mature cat who has seen at least one winter. I named him after Vincent Van Gogh because of the ear thing.

I don't know what he does or where he goes all day, but he is here in the morning and evening waiting for food. I have seen him in the morning coming out of the shelter we have for him on the deck. He knows how to stay safe and that's a good thing. I have heard foxes barking nearby and saw one in the pasture yesterday. It is their breeding season. I also saw a large, healthy looking fisher about a mile down the road the other day. They are fierce predators and will eat cats and have been known to eat porcupines. They don't have many, if any, other critters to fear.
I think Vinny will be safe if he stays near us.

Meanwhile it is still cold and every night for the last couple of weeks has been well below zero. The days are starting to warm up a bit with the longer day length and stronger sunlight. Here is a shot from the deck yesterday. The first few miles of the lake is open water, but you can see the ice pack out toward the horizon. The wind is sending it over to Michigan and Wisconsin. They can have it.


  1. My posterior has been thoroughly kicked by this winter, I'm headed for California!

  2. Aww Vinny You are so beautiful. I am so happy you have found a friend in Otto. Keep safe.
    There is a young Bobcat walking through my back and side yard so I have to make sure if iwinston is out I stay with him. Our backyard fence is no deterrent. That is why my east side yard is fenced in to the roof.
    Stay safe little furry one !

    cheers, parsnip and mandibles

  3. Vinney knows a kindred spirit when he sees one. Smart kitty.

  4. How nice that you are helping Vinny! He knows a good soul when he sees one :)

  5. Vinny is a great name for a cat. It has elan, and panache, and also street cred :) I keep thinking about the movie My Cousin Vinny! I have the feeling he may end up moving in with you eventually.

    I learned something new last week from a local feral cat organization (which I didn't even know existed here) about helping outdoor/feral cats in winter. They said straw was the best bedding because blankets or hay will get damp. I did not know that. I wonder how much else I don't know.

  6. Aw, Vinny's a charmer; and what a great name for him! I'm glad he's accepting your friendship - with any luck he'll get to keep the rest of his ears.

  7. Yeah for Vincent! (Americanized Vinny of course!) Could there be a bit of Norsk Skovskat in him or is he just rugged for normal reasons?
    Beautiful area, lovely winter!

  8. The first two photographs reminded me of a Tom Hanks movie "Cast Away" in which he looked weird with beard and long hair

    i appreciate your generosity towards this wild cat who is brilliantly captured by you specially in third pic ,what a wonderful capture!

    glad you are providing him food and shelter
    love and humanity finally rules the world no matter how corrupt people are messing around

  9. Awww! I love Vinny. Good for you for looking out for him and making his life a bit easier!

  10. Professor, It is getting really old. -11F this morning again with a light breeze to punish my eyeballs. They were the only thing exposed. Even Iowa looks good compared to this.

    Debra, I think he has luck on his side just to survive this long. I wonder how many of his 9 lives he has left?

    anne marie, Yes, he is in a rough and tumble kind of way.

    angryparsnip, We have enough wolf bait around here already, but there is an abundance of food this year for everyone living in the forest.

    Linda, Yeah, he knew a pushover when he saw one.

    Martha, I just hope I don't disappoint him.

    jenny_o, I liked that movie, too. He does spend some time snoozing in the hay shed. It is easy to track him most of the time in winter.

    Diane, I am hoping to get him tamed down enough to get a thorough medical exam for him. Also, to make sure he doesn't add to the feral population.

    Onevikinggirl, I have always wanted a Norwegian Forest Cat, but I am already slightly over capacity. They get pretty good money for them over here and they aren't very common, but they sure are attractive!

    baili, Thank you for your kind words. We all must do our part to make this world a better place for all that is here.

    Jennifer, What else could I do?

  11. I'm happy that Vinny has accepted your kind offer of a warm bed at night and some food.. Cats are so independent aren't they? I wonder how he came to be a feral cat living outside all the time. Born outside from a feral mother perhaps? I can see a parallel with some of the homeless street people who populate the downtown of many cities.
    Vinny's a good name for him, the handsome furry devil.

  12. Visits here make me shiver.
    Vinny is very lucky to have found safe caretakers (err, servants).
    Stay warm, or is that unrealistic? Stay alive. Don't be miserably cold. Drink lots of hot cocoa by a nice warm fire.

    Be well, friend.

  13. Vinny is a great name for him, because of the ear but also because he has the look of genius in his eyes. - And a stabile one at that! Thanks for the great pics.

  14. Shammickite, I wonder how we have so many and usually they are relatively young. Life on the street or in the forest tends to drastically shorten a lifespan.

    Robyn, Apparently, I live to serve. And I also live to come out of hibernation into the warm sunshine. In winter I am in a state of torpor which is sometimes called the state of Minnesota.

    Donna, How ya doin'! Actually our mule is our stable genius and much smarter and nicer to be around than the last person I heard calling himself a stable genius.

  15. Vinny looks like a lion in that second picture! Glad you're taking care of him, and even better you're looking to see he won't add to more population.

    I just finished re-watching the movie "St. Vincent" this afternoon, so that popped in my head when I saw your post.

  16. Best of luck to Vinny, the visitor of unknown gender. Baili is right, he does have that Castaway look about him.

    You are a nice man!