Monday, March 27, 2006


Alika (Hawai’ian for Alex), at about 16 lbs, is our biggest cat by a pretty good margin. Friends of friends trapped him when he was an itty-bitty little feral kitten. He was cute as a button as a kitten, but (as is normal with a feral cat) extremely shy. The photo at right caught him in a favorite perch, on our rocking couch. In the intervening year or so since we got Alika, he has gotten so big that I’m beginning to wonder if he might be some sort of hybrid between a housecat and (say) a Siberian tiger. With Debbie he’s a little shy and stand-offish, but she can approach him, scratch him, and handle him (her “cat magnet” demonstrated again). With me he’s still nearly as shy as when we first got him — if he’s really, really relaxed I can sort of sidle up to him and scratch him a bit. But as soon as he figures out it’s me (and not Debbie), he gets stiff as a board and skedaddles at the first opportunity. The only reliable way I can get close to him is through play — if I whisk a toy about enticingly, he’ll let his instinct to hunt and play overtake his fear, and he’ll come right up to me to get a piece of the toy action.

Click on the photo for a larger view…

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