Meet Adler


Adler, the mackerel tabby cat

For more than 3 months, a stray cat has been living in our neighbourhood. He steals food from pet cats, terrorises my chickens and stalks about looking skittish whenever he sees me. Maybe because I always yell at him and chase him away from my chooks.

The stray’s luck changed sometime in the past few weeks. One of my neighbours has taken to feeding the poor kitty and it turns out that he’s a pretty nice cat. My chickens might not agree, but he is kind of a sweetie. Our neighbour named him Adler, after Irene Adler from the Sherlock Holmes stories. She has 2 pet cats named Holmes and Watson and she thought Adler was a she, so this name choice made sense.


After a bit of discussion with our neighbours, Frank and I decided we needed to do something before Adler was dumped at the RSPCA (he really was a problem since he didn’t have a true home). That something involved us taking Adler to the vet where we discovered: a) he was a he (whew, no kittens then) b) he was desexed (obviously even I could have determined he was a he if he hadn’t been desexed) c) he is a healthy 1-2 year old cat, and d) he wasn’t microchipped – which is mandatory here.

So, Frank & I had a microchip shot into him (ouch) and filled out the paperwork and, before you could say, “Elementary, my dear” Frank and I became the proud owner of Adler.

Since we’re moving in about 3 weeks, the vet agreed with us that Adler’s conditions shouldn’t change until we move. Which means he’ll continue living on our neighbour’s back porch and we’ll pop over for visits to get him used to us. We’ll take him out to Richmond once we’ve moved in and lock him inside for 2 weeks to get settled (he’ll hate that). In Richmond we’ll get him all the necessary injections and hopefully train him to come in at night to spare the wildlife the worst of his destruction (my main beef with cats).

I’m hoping he learns to love us and that he becomes a fat, lazy cat. Happy fat, not unhealthy fat, and just lazy enough to sit on our lap in the evening, watching TV, but with enough energy to play with us.


No, I haven’t told the chickens yet. They will be none too pleased. But I’m confident we can work it out so we all live together in harmony. The cat and chooks have been in our garden together in the past week, more than once, and beyond some suspicious looks, all is well. Long may that state reign!

Alert, but not alarmed

Alert, but not alarmed


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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15 Responses to Meet Adler

  1. Melody says:

    What a great name and a beautiful story! Lucky for Adler and what a gorgeous cat. From another transplanted Yank, I really enjoyed your post.

    • I’m glad you liked it. Aren’t transplants the best!

      He is gorgeous and I’m happy we can help him. My husband keeps telling me it was destiny for the cat to find us. I guess it was, he’s already winning his way into our hearts.

  2. diggingdottes says:

    I love Adler’s name he is one lucky kitty.

  3. vuchickens says:

    Wow! I must say I’m surprised, given your previous comments about cats… but I’m very happy for you, and proud of you for rescuing him! I’m glad he seems to get along with your girls, and I hope you’ll all be able build a happy furrever home together!

    • I’m a bit surprised myself. I certainly would never seek out a cat or pay a breeder but, as my husband says, Adler’s already alive and needs help. And, we’re both softies so the cat lucks out and I’m building up a store of good karma.

  4. pattigail says:

    He is beautiful! It does seem you were destined for each other. Is this the cat terrorized your girls that day? If so I would never have predicted then that you would adopt him. But good on you for doing it. And lucky Adler. Patti

    • It is the same cat that terrorised my girls. And he scared Rosie again today. I’m sure he’s not going to kill or eat them, but we saw him start to run at them as if playing. Chickens do NOT play with cats. Fingers crossed we break him of that habit.

  5. He is one lucky fella. I have always wanted a “barn” cat, but never lived some place where it worked. My husband has a ferral cat who comes in in the am and heads out every night at his place of work. Tom is the largest cat I have ever seen. Good luck with your new one.

    • Cats are the biggest killer of native wildlife in Australia. We didn’t have any natural predators on this continent for millennium and so many of our animal evolved to be ground dwelling. Cats are wiping them out. As a result, it’s recommended/requested to keep cats inside at night when animals are at their most vulnerable. We’ll do our best put Adler on that schedule. I’m torn, I’d like him to keep rats away from the house (there are lots on the farm) but I don’t want him to hunt anything else.

  6. Emily Heath says:

    A happy ending! He’s a stunner.

  7. I’m on the chickens side I hope he will live in peace with them.

    • Oh that’s so nice. The truth is, we are on their side as well. Adler was sitting in the back garden and the chickens wanted to walk past. I stood there and waited for them and the looked a bit distressed but made it past him without too much drama. Of course I was there to keep them safe and they clearly trust me. And I think Adler already realises they are off limits. It’s not easy, but I do think it’s possible for them to learn to get along.

  8. Pingback: We’re Here | Laura Rittenhouse's Gardening Journal

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