On January 22, 2015, four days before JAL’s birthday, JAL decided to adopt a cat from the San Isidro de El General farmer’s market to help control a mice infestation we had in our house. The mice ate up many of JAL’s favorite clothes, Ngoc’s favorite towel, and many of our fruits. After watching the How Wolves Change Rivers video we also had a new-found respect for predators and their vital role in an ecosystem. Within three months of living with us, the mice problem disappeared completely and never returned.
Because Crikey and his mother had been raised by humans since birth, he does not go out to hunt much (unlike our previous two feral cats). He mostly hunts critters that are inside the house and he loves to hang out with us inside the house when we are inside and outside with us when we are outside. However, on August 6, 2015, he opportunistically caught a white-crowned parrot and brought it into the house screaming for its life. This parrot became a part of our Tribe that very day. See Crainer Luzardo to learn more about Crainer the parrot.
Crikey was named by the Luzardo kids and is British and Australian for “wow!” or an expression of surprise. He is unusual for a cat in that he likes to follow the Luzardo kids almost everywhere they go around the Motherland as on as he does not get exhausted which could be easy for a cat as they are not known to be able to travel for long distances without resting. Unfortunately, he is very shy with visitors or strangers and hides whenever he sees them. If he sees the visitor regularly (e.g., for 30 days) he will allow you to see him but always keeps his distance and will run away if approached closer. He does not appreciate being held down by force to be petted by visitors. He will not bite or scratch, but he will hiss at you later if you did that to him.
He takes turns sleeping on each of our beds at night but he mostly sleeps with Max since Max feeds him most of the time. He always purrs with gratitude when we feed him and enjoys us petting him before he starts to eat his meal. He is also very vocal and likes to greet us and communicate with us often with his “meows.” He also enjoys standing on his hind legs to get a good stretch with his fore paws on some surface. The only two things that annoys us about Crikey is when he urinates on our bed or sofa when it is raining outside during the night (does not use the cat door to go out at night to urinate like he usually does) and when he catches prey in the middle of the night and decides to toss it around on top of us on our bed.
Not So Good Beginnings, But a Good Ending
When we first got Crikey, he was recently weaned from his mommy and was fed the dry commercial cat food which was giving him diarrhea but the original owner thought it was due to parasites and gave him conventional medicine for the parasites which made him lose his appetite. Crikey was really skinny (had no cheeks) and his fur was thin and did not look and feel healthy. We started feeding him raw chicken organ meats and later switched to raw grass-fed beef organ meats (which we got for free from a butcher in the town of Pejibaye) and he started putting on a healthy weight (grew cheeks) and he grew a very soft, shiny, and luxurious fur coat that feels amazing to touch. He always smells so good and clean and is a very healthy, sweet, purry, and loving cat.