21 December, 2016

Thomas Gray is 2

- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa

When we first saw Thomas at the SPCA in November a year ago, he laid back his ears. Don't TOUCH me!! He hid as best he could in a dark and sheltered corner.

November 2015 at the SPCA
Difficult cat to home as he didn't come and ask for cuddles

Slender young rescue cat, perhaps a year old in December? VERY shy. Flees from shriek of horror A People!! When we opened his travelling cage he shot into the box in the corner. It took us five weeks before he stopped ducking his head away from our hands.

December those early weeks
when he kept his distance

January he is exploring his new territory and meeting the neighbours. We keep that gate closed overnight, and the sound of the gate creaking open or shut, works like a charm to lure him from the depths of the garden.

January's open gate and exploration

February young Thomas Gray does what we missed - helps us in the garden. The Ungardener was working on Froggy Pond. Thomas discovered that he can leap up onto the post of the boundary wall, from where he can chat to little Ginger next door. Hadedas are about his size, but, that beak! He did try very hard to make friends with little old lady Aragon, but she was too old for new friends.

February Thomas and Aragon

In April he is our first cat to enjoy TV with the Ungardener. Shall we watch 50/50 (a nature programme)? Himself enjoys the sun, and that tail needs its own space. Lapping water is hard work. He reclines like a Roman emperor and leaves the kitchen under water when he is done.

April and May sun and TV

August winter ruff. He has exploded into a cat three times the size at least. Soft cashmere fur snags on my gardener's hands.

Thomas with his winter ruff in August

Thomas much appreciates fully glazed doors, where he can gaze in fascination at a pair of sparrows twittering up on the trellis. He doesn't try to walk thru the door.

September at the glazed kitchen door

October a comfortable evening on his matching Jacob rug (bought on a holiday in Yorkshire years ago)

in October

November flowers Scabiosa entertains Thomas, tappy tappy, biff biff, and another one bites the dust. As a focal point on the table I have a potted Streptocarpus. Thomas has decreed there will be NO Streptocarpus on my patch!

Thirsty cat has four watering cans lined up. It is hard work to feed that Shetland pony (when he gallops past the window) The Ungardener's 5 AM Oy you, breakfast!! - is not in my job description. I prefer the midnight snack task.

To my readers - a very happy Christmas!
For us with carols and a beach walk.

November is thirsty and hungry

December Froggy Pond fits all sizes of creature including Thomas who LOVES fishing. I think our Thomas, SPCA special, parents unknown, might be part Turkish Van cat (large, fluffy, LOVES playing with water) We flew over Lake Van.

Been fishing in December

Yesterday Thomas caught the tail. Today I rescued the lizard. Now he is part of the family, he requires regular cuddles or the claws come out. He is a chatty cat - hello I am the Thomas. But not the long stories that Chocolat used to tell us.

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Pictures by Jurg and Diana Studer
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  1. Dear Diana,
    he looks very handsome, like a miniature lion with that big fur collar.
    Have a nice christmas!

  2. So glad Thomas has finally settled in and become a loving cat. Love begets love, you both won him over. He is an oh so handsome cat.

    Happy Christmas and have a wonderful 2017 ~ FlowerLady

  3. Happy Birthday Thomas.....what a gorgeous creature...and such personality. A wonderful family cat! Merry Christmas Diana!

  4. He is a gorgeous boy and so lucky to have found such a good home. Have a lovely Christmas.

  5. Thomas is clearly a very happy cat now! He's a handsome fellow too - that winter ruff is impressive. My Pipig sleeps upside down with her paws in the air too.

    1. Belly up and utterly secure and safe. Heart-warming to see after we wonder what made him so terrified of hands?!

  6. All foster children should be as lucky as Thomas. Merry Christmas to the three of you.

  7. Such a beautiful cat! It looks like he's settled in nicely to your home and garden. You are blessed to have each other. Happy Holidays, Diana!

  8. How wonderful it is to adopt an animal and watch it grow into a confident little life. Thomas sounds like a handful, may you have many more years or joy together x

  9. What a magnificent creature!
    I particularly like that "winter ruff".
    Merry Christmas :)

  10. He is quite a beautiful cat! How lovely to watch him adopt you :-)

  11. It is wonderful to see how Thomas has blossomed into a confident cat with your care and beautiful garden. Hope you have had a good Christmas too. Sarah x

  12. So enjoyed hearing about Thomas lovely year. So good that you rescued him. Such a beautiful cat, glad he's part of the family now. B x

  13. I think Thomas deserves his own blog.

    1. I used to enjoy a Scottish cat's blog ... investicating.

  14. How nice to have an update on Thomas. His white ruff is gorgeous! -Jean