CATS OF COLONIA DE LAS ROSAS
In 2002 when I moved into this seniors apartment building, I discovered that there was a colony of stray/feral cats living in the garden. The man who fed them, Jose, got sick at one point and I took care of them for four months. When he came back, he took over again until just recently when he got sick again. He may not be able to come back this time and I am now feeding the cats. This record starts in 2002 when I fed them the first time. This is the roll call at that time.
Eleanor is a tortoise shell cat. She is probably related to Bonita, as sister, mother, aunt, etc. Blackie, Jose's cat, is her son.
Whitey was born to an abandoned mother in the garden. He’s a big favorite of both humans and the other cats because of his beauty and strength. He is quick to chase trespassing male cats out of the fences. He is well-known to gallivant outside his own territory, though. My own cat, Go Go, has the same mother by a later litter.
Although most people see the cats as a random group, all the cats in the garden were born here, and most are related. Norton is the exception. He came to garden, undernourished, dehydrated and hurt. After being fixed up and neutered, he stayed. He’s completely tame and will willingly climb into the lap of anyone who offers him food and friendship. He loves to talk and sounds like he's saying meow-wow. He has a rivalry with Whitey for the title of Handsomest Cat in the Garden.
Bonita has no rival for Great Mother of the Garden. She has six kittens in the garden – all the rest of the cats on this list. She’s a gorgeous calico. She’s been a very good mother, even resorting to having kittens on the roof of the building to keep them safe. It’s been very hard for her raising her kittens in a dangerous atmosphere, and having so many litters so fast. She has been sterilized, like all the other cats, so now she can rest on her laurels.
The first litter was born in early spring 2003 and is Tiger, Rosy and Sneakers. Tiger is one of the two orange males in the garden. He’s a big boy, but very gentle.
Rosy is a sweetie, too, but shyer. She is a tuxedo, with little white feet and a white mark on her face. She has long fur.
Sneakers is also a tuxedo, but unlike her sister has very short glossy black fur. She is very shy and likes to sit on top of the recreation building. Sneakers was pregnant several times but was not fortunate in finding good hiding places for her kittens. Her first litter seems to have been only one tuxedo boy that someone wet with a garden hose causing his death. Then another litter of five, four of them were taken from her and tossed to the bottom of the stairs of my building in a box. I was too stupid to handle the situation well, and gave the kittens to a foster human mother, but only one lived. She raised the fifth one, a tortoise shell and she found a home in Chinatown with the sister of a resident here.
Bootsie and happy-go-lucky Lucky were born in fall 2003. Bootsie is the third tuxedo. You can tell him from his older sisters by the tall boots on his back legs. Also he has white whiskers over his left eye and black ones over his right! He’s a very sweet guy who likes to be petted.
Lucky, his sister is all black although as a kitten she had brown tabby stripes on her sides. She’s a roamer, but always shows up for dinner. Like her brother, she loves to be singled out and petted. She’s also very playful and loves it when someone brings her toys. Lucky was sent to a private shelter to be adopted. She was the perfect cat – cute, sweet, affectionate, adventurous and playful.
There was a third cat in this litter that I called Honey because she was so very sweet. Unfortunately Honey just disappeared when the kittens were about a year old.
The next little was two kittens -- or maybe three. Josesito is orange and has white paws and chest. He was a ferocious kitten, and a little nervous about sharing his food and living space when his mom left him to have another litter. He’s very playful and on occasion allows petting as long as he can keep his four feet on the ground.
He had two siblings, Daisy -- and possibly Growltiger. When the litter was only about 5-6 weeks old, Bonita abandoned Daisy because she was pregnant again. I brought Daisy inside and she was adopted through the internet. I strongly suspect that Growltiger was taken by some children nearby and although he has a family and home, often visits and is still part of the group. Daisy and Growltiger are both dilute orange or buff tabbys with tuxedo markings.
Bonita’s last litter, all with white feet, chest and face, one grey, one black, and one orange were adopted by a private shelter to tame and find homes for them when they were only three months old. I cried to see them go because they were the last kittens. I know that not having kittens was the goal, but I still cried.
That was the end of my involvement until recently when Jose became sick again. In late March I began a journal. I'm making another post in this thread for that.