Smudger cat came to us via the cat protection league, she was delivered by the cat lady along with Tattycat. The cat lady told us they had been given cattery names but they had no idea of their real identity only that one had come to them with a litter of kittens and they seemed to have been domestic cats at some stage so we named them based on what we saw. My justification for getting the cats was to sort out the local mouse population so they would earn their keep.
As the photo shows there is a mark under Smudger’s nose that looks as though she has dipped her mouth in black ink and tried to wipe it off. It looks all smudged, hence her name. Her black and white coat is shiny and sleek, framinga neat athlectic petite frame. Her manner is friendly if very wary. We cannot imaging how she has been treated or mis-treated in the past and she cannot tell us but every day we see and are saddened that something us humans have done has made her so scared now that no matter what we do or how much love we give she still retains a degree of mistrust.
As instructed by the cat lady we left them locked away for two weeks only venturing into their new home to feed and water and clean them. Their home is a shed that the previous owners used as a workshop but we had stuffed the space full of furniture and tools that didn’t quite fit in our cottage.
Among the mix of items in store is our set of dining chairs and a big pine wardrobe taken apart and resting under some drawers The cats soon made their home in the dark corners. The cat lady assured me that dark corners to hide away in would make them feel safer than cavernous open spaces. The many hiding areas did meet with the cats approval particularly the empty drawers as we added a couple of old pillows and they made themselves at home in the drawers. For a long time Smudger would have nothing to do with us while Tattycat started to get to know us then gradually we would get an odd glimpse of her black and white coat hidden well away from us. The day came when we would have to open the doors and see if they stayed or ran. Thankfully they chose to stay.
Smudger immediatly went to work on the mice population of the area, I will just say that she is a very efficient hunter. Tattycat is the opposite preferring to stay home all day so Smudger brings home her prizes, Smudger didn’t stop at mice and hit on the small birds. Trying to help our beautiful feathered friends we took action, we stopped stocking the bird table with nuts and seeds that gave her sitting targets, the wild bird cull eased but hasn’t stopped.
Gradually over the months Smudger has settled in and she trusts us more and more. She now accepts small pieces of meat from our fingers (and takes endless fusses from the Wilf one, much to my annoyance) and wanders into the house if the door is left open. Sometimes she comes to us when called but only to see if we hold out food and not just empty fingers. We persevere with our friendly calls and gentle coaxing and every now and then she surprises us by trusting us just a little more.