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13 June 2010

Raven's Despised Intruder

On first sight, Raven took an instant dislike to the neighbor's cat. I call the cat Simon, but don't know its name or sex. I don't see "boy parts" so hopefully it's spayed or neutered - we'll just guess its a "he". He lives in the yard behind us and makes daily trips along the back fence to get to the roof of our shed or the roof of our other neighbor's patio cover. When our Golden Retriever Bentley was living, Simon never came into the yard. But now that Bentley is gone, it apparently thinks the yard is part of its territory. I'm not fond of other cats spending a lot of time in our yard because we occasionally take Raven out on a harness and I don't want a surprise encounter with another cat and I don't want it depositing fleas or other cat parasites into the yard. We allow Simon to use the fence as a walkway because this discourages the rats that also use the fence as a highway between the nearby river and all the neighborhood bird & squirrel feeders. But no loitering is allowed and entry into the yard is repelled with shooing, clapping, and in hot weather a gentle squirt from the hose. I admit that's kind-of fun! Don't worry, we don't squirt hard or soak him, just deter him with a steady stream directed as his skedaddling butt.

Simon must give off bad kitty vibes because Raven disliked him from the get go. Every time Raven sees Simon, Raven goes on "high alert" and runs around the house in a highly agitated state trying defend her yard from the intruder. A few weeks ago I went out to shoo Simon away and he approached my ankles side-on as if to get a little petting and be friendly, only to turn his rump up towards my ankles as if to spray, then start hissing at me. Clearly, Raven is a good judge of character.

Today, after seeing Simon take a good roll in the dirt and a little stroll through the yard (the photo above), I shooed it away. He was very unappreciative of me reclaiming my territory, and sat on the fence hissing at me before he went back into his own yard. We'll see how long he stays away. I know the dirt patch is enticing Simon in for a good dust bath, so we need to get that lure eliminated. Either that, or motion sensitive sprinklers!

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