family life

… on little cat feet

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” Robert A. Heinlein, American sci-fi author

Cats are a mystery to me. Why this is so is less difficult to assess.

Once, in the 1930s, a cat sunk its claws into my grandmother’s hosiery and left a trail of fabric mayhem and bloody scratches down one of her legs. Ever since, family members have fraternized with every sort of dog imaginable. But, cats? No. Family is family. We walk to the other side of the street if need be.

Or, we at least pretend such indifference. In reality, I have been petting cats for decades. One such cat is Peter, who technically eats and seeks shelter from the elements at a neighbor’s house. Perhaps because this neighbor also has a puppy and four small, loud children, Peter spends much of the rest of his time lolling about on our porch.

“I didn’t think you had a cat,” one neighbor commented. Peter was surveying us and the rest of the neighborhood from our ballustrade.

He thinks we have a cat,” I replied.

And, so we do. As much as anyone has a cat. At dawn, he’s at the front door when my husband collects the newspaper. At dinner, he peeks eagerly in through a screen, much to the dog’s annoyance. At twilight, he sometimes wants a pet before it’s time for him to settle into plush pillows on the wicker.

It’s usually me who goes out to sit on the top step and accommodate him. Sometimes, however, I make the mistake of petting him too like a dog. Peter nipped my hand rather painfully on one such occasion and I didn’t pet him for a week. Perhaps my grandmother was right. Cat are not to be trusted.

But, last night, he may have actually pondered jumping into my lap for a moment. As it was, he briefly rested his paws on my knee before moving into a figure-eight loop around a potted fern — as mysterious as ever.

26 thoughts on “… on little cat feet”

      1. I can understand that. I felt that way for several months after our dog Aldo died. He was a family member. We waited almost a year before getting Miles and, even then, it took me about six months to bond with a new dog. Now, Miles is an old dog and fits into our lives as seamlessly as Aldo did even though they have completely different personalities.

        Miles is a surfer dude who loves everybody except dogs (and cats who peer in the windows). Aldo liked dogs. Miles never barks. Aldo barked if someone was at the front door or if he was at the garden gate and wanted a walker to pet him. Miles does whatever and goes where he pleases. Aldo was my shadow. It’s funny how every pet has its ways, just like people!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is interesting. Like humans dogs also have different personalities. Banny used to have sibling rivalry with my children. However, he loved them if I was not home. I am thinking to have another Collie and will name him Banny.

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      3. That’s funny about Banny being jealous of your kids. When ours were little, Miles was always glad when they went to bed. He would sneak up on the couch and snuggle! Banny is a good name. I think Andy Warhol the artist had several dozen cats all named Sam!

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  1. Thank you Nora for sharing such a lovely post. More recently I have found cats quite fascinating and childhood memories of my aunt’s cat when visiting family in Ireland. We used to live next door to a shop when I was small over here in England and Mitzi the black and white cat used to sit in the window. I plan to do a post since my recent experiences with cats in The Gambia.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for visiting Nora, mitzi was only allowed in the home not the shop. Janey the shop owner was a savvy businesswoman and I suppose mitzi saw the world passing by when sat in the window during the day 🙂

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