This is Dorf. Guess how old Dorf is. If you guessed in the neighborhood of eight months, you are right. And yet, Dorf looks like a kitten half his age, hence the name (remember the Tim Conway character?) The Hermit took this aesthetically pleasing photo of Dorf today, lounging in the woodpile in the sunlight.
Dorf, by all reasonable odds, should not be alive. He is the only surviving progeny of the year (thank goodness), of at least three female cats that had kittens here. He is a thoroughbred, that is to say Whiter Biter and his sister mated, and Dorf is the result. He does not grow, no matter what treats we leave out for the outdoor cats. He has been in the jaws of Togo, my husky, several times. He follows me out to my car in the morning and climbs up on one of the rear wheels, or else hangs out in the path of certain doom.
We have tried to have sympathy for this little waif. We have brought him inside on several occasions, but Puffball, who is roughly the same age as Dorf and four times his size, threatens to shred Dorf to pieces, and perhaps more importantly, Dorf does not understand the concept of a litterbox. When temperatures dipped to ten below (F) in December every night, we tried to bring Dorf in the cookshed, setting up his own food bowl with fresh raw eggs, and a litter box. Nothing ended up in the litter box. Dorf was back outside to fend for himself.
So Dorf survives, assuming his place in the small herd of outdoor cats that hang out here. I don't think Dorf could identify, much less kill, a mouse to save his life. Dorf is just, well, Dorf. He is cuddly and affectionate, but what does that get you in the real world?