Obama the Cat, Not the President

I’ve been reading Rockawayist column “Dogs of Rockaway” and I love it – great idea! But then I got thinkin… what about the cats? I know so many cool cats in Rockaway and feel they should be known to all. So here goes…

Many of you have seen me post pictures of Obama on Instagram but I’ve never formally introduced him.

cat rockaway

Obama the cat is named after Obama the President because he is also black and white. I can’t take creds for the witty name – my former neighbor Naureen came up with it.

Obama started coming around about a year and a half ago. My Italian kicked in and I couldn’t help myself – I started feeding him and now (no surprise) he lives on our porch. He’s the “watch dog” of my house, purrtrolling our property day and night.

There is a difference between feral cats and strays:

Stray cats are socialized to people (you can touch them, they can be vocal, they’re friendly). This means at a young age the cat had positive contact with humans.

Feral cats are not socialized to people. While they are socialized to their colony members and bonded to each other, they do not have that same relationship with people. SourceFerals are elusive, they won’t approach you and may run away if they see you.

Obama is a stray. Rumor on the block is that the people across the street from us left Obama when they moved out (which infuriates me). A few of us on 91st street now care for him – it’s a community effort.


Last April I took a TNR course* at the library on 54th street. I somehow managed to successfully trap Obama. He’s fixed now and has all of his vaccines! Good thing, because Obama likes to sneak in the house sometimes to “play” with Fivey, Cookie and Lil Left. He also has a habit of going straight into the kitchen and stealing food. Obama’s eating (left) while Fivey is investigating the situation.


Here’s some pictures of Obama doing his thing.


Obama snuck inside (again) and decided to chill on the stairs for a while.


Obama very much enjoyed the gigantic litter box we had in the driveway for a while.


Here Obama is letting everyone know who’s boss. Obama has been known to start fights with small dogs. He’s had some beef with Rockie next door and more recently Jodi and Danny’s new pup, Doc. If the dog is small, Obama will try’n tak’em. It’s a territory thing. It’s in his nature, so don’t judge. But mostly Obama is a good cat – He’s generally likes humans. If you see him on 91st, approach slowly and bend down. Let him sniff your hand first before you pet him (rule of thumb with most animals). Having treats or a can of food would secure an immediate friendship with Obama.

There are a few more cool cats of Rockaway I would like you to meet. Until then…

*If you’re interested in caring for the stray and feral cats in your neighborhood, here are two resources to get you started:

NYC Feral Cat Initiative (Take a TNR Class)

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