Warning — this could be a shock for the sensible reader
This article is different than my others and yet I challenge to find similarities
My stray cat life
I always loved to travel as a child and preferably on my own. Wondering and strolling in my neighbourhood and even getting lost so my mother had to search for me in the dark.
Nothing changed since then, I am still on the road with my campervan and preferably alone.
All the travels I made brought me into nature, solitude and happiness.
And where leads this story to?
Let me introduce you my relation with cats.
The house cat on the first picture reflects my friendly side, the wild cat on the second one my strong persistence. And yet they are both outside, in nature and love wandering around. Yes, that’s me in a few sentences.
Please read further if you want to know how the wild cat survives, linked to my persistence in life. I wonder who will find the similarities.
The wild cat, a house cat, but different
The European wild cat may look like a tabby domestic cat, but it really is a different native species. He is usually (much) larger and has a thick tail with a large black tip and only one to five loose rings. A thin black stripe runs down its back, while the tabby has a broad, faint line that continues into the tail.
Unlike the wild cat, the domestic cat has heavy stripes on the flanks. But even more important than the appearance is the difference in use of space.
Wild cats have a strict territory, while domestic cats are more tolerant of each other. The numbers of domestic cats can therefore increase considerably, which can increase the pressure on bird populations, for example. Because wild cats are also territorial towards domestic cats, there is a more natural use of space with more opportunities for the prey animals.
The wildcat is mainly found in forests in Central Europe, but that may also be due to the fact that other types of natural areas are scarce.
In Southern Europe, this cat lives in much more open areas with scattered undergrowth. This patient hunter likes to visit naturally grazed areas with many transitions between trees and fields, the residence of his favorite prey: mice. But birds, hares and insects are also on the menu; sometimes even bait.
The wild cat likes to use badger burrows or abandoned fox dens as shelters. Closed blackberry domes also provide good resting places.
Occasionally the cat is found in the hole that is created when a storm blows over a tree, including root balls . Nearby trees are useful for escaping foxes and wolves.
In recent years, the wild cat in Europe has been on the rise from the south of the continent and wild cats are seen more and more in the north.
This opportunity is certainly present in France and Belgium these days. In his adventure, he encounters the unattractive, increasingly barren agricultural landscape.
The lack of hiding and foraging places makes it difficult for him to reach apparently suitable areas.
Humanity helps out
When young feral cats look for new areas, it is therefore necessary that good hiding and foraging opportunities are available. This means that wide strips are made free, so-called robust corridors. This allows the cat, as well as other animals, to spread. One could think of strips of one hundred meters wide, which are grazed all year round to bring variation in the vegetation.
By working now on better accessibility, sufficient food, shelter, space, peace and wildness, we can ensure that more feral cats will feel at home in Northern Europe.
And what about the similarities now?🤷♀️
The thing is, I love my life and learn so much of the characteristics of the house and wild cat, even I feel very related to them.
Off course, I go to stores for my meals and I sleep in my campervan instead of holes. 😊❤ I don’t eat mice but I am from Belgium and Europe is my continent also…
Thanks again for being here in my writing show 🌹 and I wish you a pleasant trip, wherever you go. I hope you are inspired finding your favourite animal.