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Moggie meets a Deer

Moggiesnewmom

Savannah Super Cat
#1
The deer here are used to me sharing windfalls from the orchard, and even sliced up extra zucchini and we know each other

A pregnant doe has been hanging around my yard the past few days and Moggie was at first terrified of her and bolted for the house. But today he began following her around the yard and they at last met. I have never edited a video before so this isn't very good quality. But it is pretty cute!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qY5kOgLTga7GNHcBmJQ7DxognKgpwm0L/view?usp=sharing

They continued to follow each other around for a while after I stopped filming and in the end the deer left my yard and Moggie looked inclined to follow so I went and scooped him up and brought him back into the house. Which he loudly objected to. He seems to really like that deer!
 
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Moggiesnewmom

Savannah Super Cat
#2
Moggie had another interaction with a deer yesterday... This time I was working by the pond and only got to watch, so no video, but I am almost as fascinated by Moggie and the deer as Moggie is fascinated with the deer!

There was a young 1 year old buck munching leaves 50 feet away and Moggie began slinking towards it, belly on the ground ears back. It continued to browse and move around the yard with Moggie in hot stalking pursuit. After about 10 minutes of Moggie following 20 feet behind the deer, the buck took notice of him. Reading his body language he seemed to be thinking "OK, I see you, I'm curious, why are you following me?"

The buck turned and walked towards Moggie and stopped about 6 feet away ears forward. Moggie's flattened incognito ears back pose contracted like an accordion, but he held his ground. He seemed to be thinking "You are totally cool but also a bit scary"

The young buck moved his head side to side the same way Moggie does when he wants to play and did a startle motion without actually moving his feet. He seemed to be thinking. "You're silly. Would you like to play"

And after a few moments of consideration Moggie made the short coughing noise he makes when he wants to play, puffed up back arched and sprang a foot or so straight up in the air! The buck pivoted and sprang backwards about 10 feet, and then returned ears forward. He seemed to be thinking,"That was fun, what else have you got?"

Moggie looked a bit confused. And then he did this really long exaggerated yawn right in the bucks face that was about 5 feet away. He seemed to be thinking "Well I have really big teeth and I sort of look like a saber tooth tiger when I yawn"

The little buck seemed unsure what to think at that point and after another 5 minutes of curious face to face ears forward looking at each other, the buck went back to browsing, with Moggie continuing to follow him. After another 10 minutes the buck noticed a bag I had left laying in the grass sniffed at it, startled and took off out of the yard like he had stumbled on a wasp nest. But it was just a bag.

I love how mentally engaged Moggie is and how he is so curious about everything. I don't remember any of my other cats being seriously interested in non prey species, just because. And I am also amazed that he actually gets the deer interacting with him, and that the deer seem willing to play with a curious kitten! But I am not sure why he is more fascinated with the deer than he is with my neighbors cat who he mostly ignores. If he keeps it up it looks like he will have a bunch of deer as friends soon.
 

Moggiesnewmom

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Moggie has been continuing to try and make friends with the deer.

He has especially taken a shine to a particular fawn. This was filmed about 10 days ago. I stopped filming the first clip after Moggie retreated, and missed the first part of the second slow motion clip. The doe and fawn had moved to the left, and Moggie seemed to decide he shouldn't be shy and he raced towards the fawn from across the grass. If you watch his little face he is looking at the fawn., before he gets intimidated by the Mom. The fawn runs to Mom and then Mom turns and gently asks Moggie what he is doing. Moggie retreats. The last clip is the next day.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByDQ9QuQRArsUEVOSnhNaUU3NUk/view

And the other video below was filmed last night. Moggie is hanging with the doe while she has dinner.

As you can see in the 2 videos the doe has an injured front leg. It has been like this since before she gave birth, but is steadily improving. When she was not able to use it at all, the wild life rehab center here said there was nothing they could do as deer freak out too much in captivity. So I have been gathering arm loads of browse to make her life easier. And her leg is getting better.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByDQ9QuQRArsc2JzR0hGVXJfTWs/view

But sadly even though the deer are curious about Moggie and tolerate him hanging around, I think he likes them more then they like him, and the sort of playing he wants to do is not something they can reciprocate.
 

Moggiesnewmom

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Patti, the good news is the doe has really improved a lot in the past 2 months. Her front leg was completely useless when she was pregnant. My neighbor, the wild life rehab people and me, were expecting the worst for her and her fawn. I did not think she would survive and we thought the fawn might need to be rescued from a dying Mom. Now I am thinking she may make a full recovery.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#6
That's great to hear! Is the fawn doing well also? Glad to see how well Moggie gets along with the wildlife, clearly the fauna on your island is predator naive!
 

Moggiesnewmom

Savannah Super Cat
#7
The fawn is doing great. Often fawns here look spindly and sickly but this one is stout and robust looking. It may be there are other people in the area who also got the idea to pick armloads of leafy branches that are normally out of reach, wanting to help the injured Mom.

There is a lot of sheep farming on the island, has been for over 100 years and any predator that might harm a lamb has been exterminated long ago. Unfortunately, as a consequence the deer population has gone way beyond what it should be and some plants and local populations of birds that depend on them are now endangered by over browsing. Supposedly there is 1 or more deer for every 2 acres of land. I think their main cause of death is malnutrition. Humans hunt them, and there is also deer culls, but they seem to have gotten good at making friends with people who have orchards, and I have been sharing the overripe and damaged fruit with them for years. They stand there and beg with their eyes like a dog and even stare at me and lick their lips in an exaggerated way. How can I resist? But I have never had a cat that had any interest in them, much less actively tried to hang out with them. But Moggie is an exceptionally friendly and outgoing little cat.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#8
Too bad there isn't a TNR program for the deer! Bless you for helping care for them - I would do the same!!