Garden cats showdown

These are the two cats that frequent my garden. On the left is Whitey, and Toe White is on the right. Whitey shows up pretty much every day, but Toe White is not around too often lately. These guys are the reason that Super Whitey has spent the last 6 weeks in my garage -- I don't want more kittens!

They do not like each other, and it appears to be time for a showdown.

I'm pretty sure Toe White is the father of Tiny Toe and Tiny Whitey, but now that I see both of these guys together, I'm not so certain.

They never get this close to each other. Something is going to happen.

Look at Whitey's face -- that is one upset cat!  (It looks like he's mad at me though.)

They're doing that "cat growl" the whole time. It's sort of a howl, but with their mouths closed. It's not a sound a cat makes when it's happy.

Thanks for stopping where the white part of your body is in direct sunlight to ruin my exposure Whitey!

I went about my watering and other simple gardening tasks, and about 30 minutes later they had moved:

It looks like the stalemate may break soon, as Whitey looks like he's going to attack.

It's not something I want to happen, but I know enough not to intervene when it comes to outdoor cat interactions. Many years ago I tried to break up a fight between "bones" (who we later adopted as "Bela") and the neighbor's cat -- whose name I can't remember. That cat was so worked up it threw itself at me and ended up ramming its chest into my knee. Bit me on the knee too (I was wearing heavy jeans so no harm done). Scared me, since this cat was normally quite friendly. Lesson learned: stay away from angry cats.

I like how they never look at each other directly. I don't know if that's a universal "making eye contact means the fight is on" type of rule, or if they're each just pretending to be indifferent to the other.

Something is definitely about to happen...

Well, maybe not:

I think my "look over here" noises distracted them for a little while. Ten or fifteen minutes later (when I had put the camera down and was busy watering in preparation for our 99ºF forecast temp) they got tired of the pretense and started fighting. I don't know who attacked first, but they were rolling around and making a lot of noise. I didn't want either of them to get hurt, so I turned the hose on them.

No effect. I wasn't using the spray attachment so I couldn't form a powerful water jet, but I did the best I could with my thumb to douse them and break up the fight. All I think I did was make them angrier, but a few seconds later they went into the bushes and it was over. I'm not sure which one of them ran away, or which was the winner, but I saw Whitey again later.

Hopefully neither of them was injured again -- I've seen both of them with various injuries over the past 9 months or so.

I really like having cats in the garden, but I'd prefer quiet, happy, friendly cats, not these growly, angry, fighting ones.

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Alan  – (August 4, 2010 at 1:58 PM)  

Sheesh, that's some long grass. I bet you thought those cats were standing in a field somewhere, right? Nope, that was my lawn a few days ago.

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