Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Bella demonstrating tabby camouflage
The photo above makes it pretty clear why tabby patterning is so prevalent in the cat population: I can see Bella's eye and part of her face here...but only because she happened to be looking up at me at that moment through a gap in the foliage. The spots on her body also seem to mimic the pattern of sunlight streaming through the leaves, which is something I'd not really noticed before looking at this photo. It's very neat.
And as for how things are going...as of yesterday afternoon she was still nesting in the same place, probably because it's a spot that represents a good compromise between cover and convenience. The plants she's hiding in are mainly blackberry, which is both somewhat difficult to walk through if you're any less agile than a small cat and will make enough rustling noises if anything approaches (giving Bella fair warning of potential threats). The blackberries are also located between two garages so there's some protection from the wind -- in addition to escape routes in two opposite directions, which is something I've noticed feral cats place a premium on. And it is near enough to the feeding station such that she can still hear her babies when she gets up to eat.
I don't have any new pictures of the kittens yet but I was at least able to confirm that they're still alive when Bella (much to my amazement) actually approached my hand to accept a piece of chicken I was offering her! Which just goes to show you how energy-intensive nursing must be...she was growling the whole time but she wanted that chicken so much that she was willing to come and practically take it right out of my hand. (Which she has never done before to anyone).