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Meet Schlitzohr

black and white cat

The husband of my mother has a garden as I often mentioned on my blog. Ok, it’s basically also her garden but she is more of a good weather gardener while he checks regularly in even in the colder seasons. Basically, because he’s a die-hard gardener, and secondly because he has chickens there that he needs to check for and feed them. During the winter he started to report to me that he saw a little black cat. He knows I like cats and kept me informed. He said the cat looked a little bit slimmed down, thus he started to place food.

The cat was very shy the first weeks but who says no to food? The husband of my mother gradually gained more trust, maybe the cat just realized “This is the guy I need to befriend to get easy meals”. I was busy with other things in my life, otherwise, I would have photographed the cat much earlier. But some weeks ago I had a little bit of time and visited him. The cat was not there yet but he told me to wait a little longer as the cat would usually stop by in the afternoon or evening.

So, he invited me for a drink and we chatted for one or two hours. And out of a sudden, the cat stopped by. I got told that the cat doesn’t trust strangers yet and that I shouldn’t make abrupt movements with my arms or the camera. Of course, as someone who knows cats and who has photographed a ton of outdoor cats, I didn’t expect anything else. Not all, but quite a lot of them are cautious. But as I am good at playing a statue, the cat got so close to our table that I even had to swap lenses from long to shorter focal lengths.

My 50mm lens kinda worked. But the place to take the photos was not perfect as there have been quite a lot of distracting things in the scene like table legs, umbrella holders, and stuff like that. But today I looked at the photos I shot several weeks ago and I found a few where I could crop these things out of the picture. At the top, you see one of them. I might upload the other ones too.

Talking about the cat again, the husband of my mother calls the regular visitor “Schlitzohr”. The name is referring to the cut that you can see on his ear. The cat didn’t always have the cut but one day it stopped by and the husband of my mother noticed it. He assumed that the cat might have gotten into a fight. Maybe with another cat, but since there are foxes and other wild animals around, it could have been something else.

Literally translated, “Schlitzohr” means “cut ear”, “slit ear” or “sly ear”. It’s ambiguous, either referring to someone with a slit in the ear or someone who is clever, sly, or sneaky. I think in English you would say “sly dog”, “rascal” or “shark”. But you see why the cat got the name, it’s perfectly ambiguous. The cat has a slit ear, and apart from that, most cats are sneaky. So, I thought the husband of my mother has chosen a perfect name for the regular visitor.

There is now a second cat stopping by once in a while. Looks like it got around that there is free food. The second cat is larger and appears to be older. I haven’t seen it myself but maybe I get a picture of it too in the future. Let’s see.

9 Comments »

  1. Schlitzohr seems to have got a good thing going with your mother’s husband. In this photo he looks a bit scared. That’s the way Naomi’s black cat Panther looks at me sometimes. Panther is getting a bit better with me though. She will come and sleep on a chair in the same room as me now and I have been able to stroke her and feed her a treat. She still has that wide eyed look when I’m around though.

    • Yes, it was scared of me. The cat is trusting him a lot more. I am glad that you can now get closer to Panther. I think it takes time to gain the trust of cats 🙂

    • Looks like I haven’t been up to date with the cat (shot the photo 1-2 months ago). It might not be a male but a female cat… today my mother told me that her husband said one of the cats has a big belly and might get kittens. I asked her if it’s about the black cat and she thinks it is.

        • True. But I might suggest him to contact animal welfare so that they all get neutered. I’ve heard they do this for free with feral cats but I am not quite sure… the question is if the husband of my mother will ever see the kittens. But my mother told me already that he got requests for the kittens. So, this is probably the other alternative… getting them a home quickly, so that they don’t reproduce outside.

        • Both would be good alternatives. Animal welfare would probably come and trap the whole family, rehome the kittens and neuter mum which would be best. There are always going to be some feral cats but if they are managed by desexing the numbers would reduce in the future.

  2. Pretty cat! In some locations (and I don’t know about Germany, though I lived there for a few years, long ago,) the ears of feral cats are notched when they are caught and neutered or spayed. Looks like that could be one possible explanation for Schlitzohr.

    • I photographed a lot of feral cats here and I haven’t noticed it. I still think that would be an explanation. As a curious creature, I will google that when I have free time, and see if they do it here too 🙂

    • Also, as it later turned out, this cat was female and pregnant. Not sure if they catch and neuter during pregnancy, but maybe they do. I don’t know.

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