Hi, I said to the smiling man who opened the door. My name is Sheila, and I live two houses down from you – the corner house.
Hi, he responded with a wary look, the smile fading a little bit. He didn’t introduce himself so I said, and you are?
John, he said. The smile was replaced by a slight frown.
I know you’ll think I’m crazy, but I wondered if this cat (and I gestured to our cat that was still eating, still ignoring me – the other cat had gone behind the house when I knocked on the door) belongs to you?
That cat? he asked and then began to laugh. Definitely not my cat, John said and laughed like I had just said the funniest thing in the world.
When he could talk he said, that cat belongs to this street. She eats here sometimes, the women across the street feed her sometimes, and last week I noticed she was eating in your driveway. She knows how to pick her people.
Seriously?! I exclaimed in disbelief. So our poor pitiful stray cat that’s eaten twice a day on Fancy Feast isn’t that pitiful after all? Lately we’ve been wondering what we could do to keep her warm in the colder weather.
Don’t worry about that, John continued. I’ve built a little outdoor house for her and have it heated to keep her warm on cold nights. He gestured toward a contraption on his carport which I now understood to be the cat’s winter residence.
Wow, I said with great admiration for his ingenuity. And have you named this cat?
Nah, I just call her Stray Cat. I decided against telling him what Pretty called her. Lilibets now seemed a bit overboard.
Well, I said at last. This certainly explains her behavior, and I can’t thank you enough for clearing things up for me. Just one other thing. Do you ever see the big grey male cat around the neighborhood?
Oh yes, John answered. He’s the neighborhood bully, but I’m not sure who owns him.
Thank you again, I said. It was very nice to meet you.
Likewise he said and smiled again as he closed the door.
I turned to walk away and spoke to “our” cat who continued to never look up at me as she munched on her pellets.
I called Pretty, gave her the report which stunned her as much as it did me, and we wondered whether we would become her summer residence with our sunny carport at the corner house while she wintered in John’s cat condo.
Guess who came to dinner last night?
Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.