I assume that most societies establish rules and laws to help maintain order, and based on my observations this morning, it would appear that communities of feral cats function in much the same way.
The ferals that I feed apparently have some very strict rules and codes of conduct. Over the last three years, I’ve determined that one of these rules is that Mama Cat, whenever she chooses to visit, has first dibs on eating. Before I got there this morning to feed them, the trail cam captured these pictures of Mama Cat waiting in the feeding station:
When I arrived (albeit later than usual because it’s a weekend) Mama Cat met me at my car, vocally (and quite loudly) reminding me that cats are starving–I tell you staaaarvvvvving–here, and of course she jumped in the feeding station, first. (I always put a little food on top so that Cali-1 can get something to eat while she’s waiting her turn.)
And for whatever the reason this morning, Mama Cat ate and ate and ate some more. Perhaps she felt she needed to reinforce the fact that she would have simply wasted away–wasted away!–if I’d been a single moment later. I don’t know….
At first she ate quickly, ravenously, but then she slowed down. WAY down…. She’d take a few bites, look around, then slowly eat some more. In other words, she was taking furrEVER!
To his credit (and probably due to my presence), the male sat some distance away, no doubt grumbling about this ridiculous and totally unnecessary delay in breakfast. (He looks pretty ticked, doesn’t he?)
Feeling sorry for the two admirably patient–but hungry–ferals, I went back to the car and put a cup of food in another bowl and set it under a piece of equipment.
What happened next surprised me: Mama Cat jumped out of the feeding station, ran over to the new bowl of food (same food, different location) and started eating. Again.
And even though the feeding station was open, Cali-1 and the male kitty didn’t move! At ALL!
So I guess I’ve got some law-abiding ferals, here. It seems that the “Mama Cat Eats First” rule applies and is respected, no matter what. 😉