Feb 26, 2010

The Politics of Tom Cats - Feral Cat Photos of the Day

A tomcat conflict between feral toms ... the tabby is the one named Suspicious Cat, you've seen him here before, and the other is One-eye Tom, also seen here earlier and featured in the 2010 calendar. ...Someone wants to claim this territory. With this approach, it appears that Suspicious Cat is looking for trouble.
Tomcats looking for a fight, photo

They exchange bad words... saying nasty things to each other. It's the usual trash-talk, with Suspicious Cat taking the lead with his snarky 'yo momma' comments...
Tomcats say bad things to each other, yowling catfight, photo

Suspicious Cat gets right in One-Eye's face about it, yelling cat obscenities. He thinks he's a major tough guy. Or at least, he hopes you'll think so.
Catfight tom cat argument in your face, photo

One-Eye backs up a little, but he's not leaving. He refuses to be bullied.  Really, there's no good can come from giving in to bullies.
Tom Cat Catfight Exchange

No blows or bites are exchanged... Finally, after a couple of minutes (although it seemed longer), Suspicious Cat decides he has better things to do and wanders off.
photo of Suspicious Cat, walking away pleased with himself - no cats were harmed in this exchange

Suspicious Cat is satisfied that he showed One-Eye (and anyone else who might be watching) who is boss, and One-Eye didn't give up anything. No cats were harmed in this exchange.

I was a good distance away with a 300mm lens but had this escalated to actual combat I would have yelled or tossed a wood chip that way and put a stop to it. Perhaps because they are mostly first or second cousins (if not littermates), in my experience there is seldom actual combat going on in this feral colony. Trash talking, yes, but actual fighting is rare. If it happens, it will be with a new male who roams-in from elsewhere.

In other colonies where males are mostly roam-ins and unrelated, there can be dangerous combat and cats can be severely injured or even killed. But in this old, established colony, you won't see much of that - thankfully.


Comments are welcome! I always answer questions if I can.