black cat on patio
My feline nemesis lying on the patio watching me through the patio door

Here kitty, kitty. Go away!

| I'm not a cat person, thus it is only logical that a neighborhood cat has adopted me.

When I say "adopted" I use the term loosely. More properly, Kitty has adopted my backyard as a place to hang out.

Some months ago a very black cat began appearing in the neighborhood, frequently in my backyard! It acts wild, but it is wearing a collar. It's not clear to me if the cat lives somewhere nearby and just spends its time outdoors, or if it was abandoned in the neighborhood and simply fends for itself. I would like to check its collar for clues, but it won't let me get within 20 feet of it.

Kitty seems well-enough fed, which means that it is either a very good hunter or somebody is feeding it.

If I come outdoors it will crouch down behind a plant and lie perfectly still. Silly cat thinks I can't see it if it doesn't move. If I call it in the conventional manner ("Here kitty, kitty), it will sometimes creep a few feet closer, but it always keeps a safe distance between me and itself. If I make any motion toward it at all, it takes off and races around the corner of the house. If I follow, it has always disappeared by the time I get there.

One morning just before sunrise I went out into the backyard to check the sky. It was a perfectly calm morning; not a sound could be heard of any kind. I stepped off the patio onto the crushed rock in the garden and a black blur leaped out of a shrub to the top of the fence, a leap of nearly six feet. Of course it frightened the bejeezus out of me, and after I regained my composure I noted that it was the cat (not the devil incarnate) and it was balancing delicately on top of the fence. What agility and strength to jump so high, land so precisely, and balance unteeteringly in the dawn.

Then I knew how it gets in and out of the yard!

Another morning I got up and walked over to my easy chair to sit down at take my blood pressure. As I looked around, there was the cat on the other side of the screen slider (the door was open) staring at me. It was a pretty cold morning (relatively speaking, of course) and perhaps it was there to catch the heat coming from inside the house. But once it knew I had seen it, it fled as soon as I rose from my chair. It's a canny cat.

But here's the thing: it knows I don't particularly like cats and don't want it here. It also knows that it can torment me by making sure I see it then stretching out languidly to stare at me, just daring me. Smug kitty!

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016

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