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By Lori


Rufus has taken centre stage in our lives. At the ripe old age of 6 months he’s enjoying and exploring life. Living in the countryside has it’s perks and it’s problems…the perks are many and include: nice fresh air, clean water and a big territory to call ones own..the downside is it’s huge enough to get lost in and there is plenty of other wildlife around which might like to make a meal of a little gray kitten.
so with the perks and the problems in mind, T. and I, as temporary parents, must escort Rufus out into the wide world of the backyard and try to keep him happy and safe while he’s enjoying himself. Not always easy…the older and bolder he gets.
As his horizons have widened, Rufus has become an expert at many different pursuits. On his first, or was it his second, foray he actually caught an unsuspecting chipmunk, and “mom”, the big meany, had to take it away from him… He wasn’t hungry…just playful and thought he’d found the ideal toy to batter and toss! Just yesterday he found the nest of fieldmice down in the front flower bed and made off with one of the poor creatures. He hides under the back deck, and once again, plays with his food. Uggghhh. He probably hasn’t been really hungry in all his young life and thinks it’s great sport…I finally separated him from his victim and brought him indoors, only to find the little mouse in the middle of the front yard…expired. Poor thing…I just couldn’t come to his aid fast enough.
Bees and dragonflies, sparrows and robins, Rufus watches intently…tip of the tail flicking..eyebrows twitching…someday I’m going to have to intervene for a bird, I’m sure, as Rufus has perfected the coiled spring attack and is just waiting for the chance to use it.

Last autumn, I spotted a large garter snake who had made it’s home under the floorboards of the greenhouse. This spring I’ve seen her progeny in many areas, mostly around the stones I’ve been digging out of the earth…I’m just waiting for Rufus to make her acquaintance! Yesterday was jam packed with excitement, his “adventures” included pouncing on a hornet…and came away with a watery and swollen eye. He looked like he was learing with the heavy eyelid. One more lesson learned.
Reminded me of Mandy’s passion for bumble bees…she would SNAP them in midflight…and chewing like it was a hot morsel…chomp, chomp…gulp…and the bee was history. Theorized that it was some dietary deficiency she was remedying, like eating long grass or dandelion roots?…Rufus has discovered dietary bulk and chomps happily on the long grass…then leaves the leaves and some hairballs on the rug. One of the perks of cat ownership…at least he’s not leaving mouse parts.
His latest passion is tree climbing, his favourite tree is the black walnut, near the backdoor. Digging his back feet in for better traction he whips across the back yard, “full tilt boogie”, and races up the tree trunk like we might climb a flight of stairs.

Once in the tree top he scopes out any insects or birds or bees or whatever…and pursues it along branches that you would think couldn’t hold his weight.
Early this morning I had to relieve my OH on Rufus duty and took my camera with me to record Rufus’ tree exploits. “Dad” just doesn’t have the patience that I have to sit and wait while Rufie does his thing up top.
With the strange freeze-thaw weather early this spring, and the drought conditions of the present time, the walnut has considerably fewer nuts forming than it had last year…and as a result Rufus doesn’t have to compete with squirrels for limb space. Fortunate for the squirrels as he sharpens his claws and his skills on bees, butterflies, dragonflies and mice…
The attached pics record my lovely cat having a great romp (and rest) in his favourite tree.

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Hello Lori, Rufus certainly is a handsome chap,and loves exploring dosen`t he.Enjoyed your blog and pictures of your lovely cat...

16 Jul, 2012


Rufus is a very handsome boy! Isn't it amazing watching them on their first trips out and about.
My boys don't eat what they hunt - only play - it amazes me just how far they can through a mouse!!
I got up one day recently and found them all playing (?) with a mole - I managed to get some pictures and put them in a blog if you are interested Lori :)

16 Jul, 2012


Lori , what a lovely boy , such a joy for you . Thanks for the pics .
All the pleasure that he is getting through leaning about his wonderful world .
I am thinking of getting another kitten , I have two 8yr old girls . OH is not really thinking about it though . We'll see !

16 Jul, 2012


Very entertaining blog Lori and much appreciated on this wet and miserable day.
Rufus is a lovely boy and I know how mischievious they are at that age, I love to watch our cats especially when they are in the trees and yes I do also have to rescue their finds, sometimes not always quickly enough.
Lovely photo`s Lori....

16 Jul, 2012


Rufus is such a lovely cat Lori and he is just being a cat like all our beloved cats, like you its not nice to catch them in the act and also not to get there in time to rescue the victim, but on occassion i have rescued, mice, frogs, birds and a toad, but then i have also had to burry poor little birds to, this year up to date i have had a casulty so gratefull for that one.
even when full from dinner they will always attack smaller creatures its just nature isnt it, even if we dont like it.
Hope Rufus stays safe in his kingdom Lori and dont worry to much.
great photos ;o)))

16 Jul, 2012


He's a handsome chappie! Nice blog Lori

16 Jul, 2012


Well, he has certainly grown since we saw him last! He is clearly enjoying doing what kittens do best - enjoying exploring, getting into scrapes and entertaining the 'parents'. What a great place for him to romp around in.

Great pics, Lori.

16 Jul, 2012


Lovely blog and a beautiful cat.

16 Jul, 2012


thanks Oji and Drc...

16 Jul, 2012


he's become a very handsome cat Lori and looks like a joy to watch.

17 Jul, 2012


Thanks Resi....Our hot spell terminated with very severe thunderstorms and a power is ok for now...but the hot weather and tornado advisories continue...Rufus was happy to watch the lashing rain from indoors...and the thunder made him cringe. He's still a baby after all...and T. and I are enjoying his wonderment.

18 Jul, 2012


He is a lovely cat, and having a great time. I expect in time you will be able to relax and trust he will be able to look out for himself.

21 Jul, 2012


Thanks Mary... we will probably always keep an eye for hawks and eagles as they have taken small animals, ducks and chickens right out of local farmyards.

21 Jul, 2012


Aaaaw he's gorgeous, lovely pictures Lori, can see he likes posing for the camera :-)

21 Aug, 2012


LOL...thanks Kathy..he's a real ham!

22 Aug, 2012


What a lovely blog Lori, I so enjoyed it, Rufus is adorable and such a lucky cat having so much space to explore. The photo's of him in the trees are fabulous.

5 Sep, 2012


Apologies to the first commenters I missed thanking you all for your appreciation of my little buddy, Rufus, I don't know!
Thanks Valadel. Hubby and I are both smitten. Rufus is a dear. With the change of season approaching we are wondering how he will react to snow!

5 Sep, 2012

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