I have been fascinated of late by the Roxster's walking companions. Some of the "outside" cats, mostly JayJay, Jeffery and Basil, but sometimes Shaking Stevens, Kitten, Juliet, Brittney, Basil2, and Nameless 1 and 2 like to accompany us on our walks. Since black(and white)roxyo was diagnosed with OCD (not that OCD, although she has a touch of that as well, but rather Osteochondritis Dissecans - a joint problem that will need surgery, there will be much more on this in the future I am sure) we have been keeping her walks short. Basically through the park and around the block. I am usually accompanied by at least one or two of the cats. This sparks all sorts of comments from various bystanders. From those that panic and move quickly out of the way lest an "unclean" animal touch them (usually religious) to the often repeated comment that if cats and dogs can get on perhaps peace with our cousins is possible.
So I got to thinking, how far do these cats wander on their own. They will not cross the road at the far end of the park, but will walk all around the circular area and follow us behind the house. It seems that someone at the University of Illinois did a two year study for their master thesis. He fitted 42 cats with radio collars and traced their movements. House cats roamed on average over a territory of 4.9 acres (about 20 dunams in Israel) while feral cats covered a whopping average of 388 acres (1570 dunams), with one covering an enormous 1359 acres. Now our cats are neither house nor completely feral, but they seem to feel comfortable following us for at least 500 meters in any direction.
Another interesting fact this study uncovered is that house cats only spend 3% of their time in "high-intensity" activities with 17% of their time spent in "low-intensity" - this means they sleep 80% of their lives away - not really news for any cat owner. Feral cats on the other hand spent 23% of their time in "low-intensity" and 14% of their time highly active. Not that much when you consider they need to track and catch food.
BRXo loves her cats. She is friends with all the outside cats. Inside, Nancy still regards her with a look of disdain as if she was something dragged on the bottom of a shoe, and Syd just has no time for such trivia - he has his quota of 80% sleeping to fill. Here is some youtube video for those who really have nothing to do: Roxy and Basil and Roxy and Jeffery. We are such proud parents.
On another note, the outside cats are just so not interested in the "Cat Motel" I built. So sad.