No, this blog has nothing to do with the musical “CATS,” although I truly enjoyed the play and its great song, “Memory.” It does have everything to do with my conflicted feelings toward our feline friends.
I have always preferred dogs to cats, especially the dogs who come running towards me with their tails a-wagging as if there were nobody in the world they would rather be with than me. For the life of me, I can’t remember any person running toward me as if I were God’s gift to the world.
A dog’s loyalty has been written about throughout the ages. Thousands of years ago, Homer and Virgil wrote about how Ulysses’ dog Argos was the only one who recognized him after a 20-year absence. Argos looked at his master, simply wagged his tail and died. Ulysses’ disguise fooled his wife Penelope, but not his old trusted Argos.
The cats I have experienced don’t seem to exhibit that kind of loyalty. (Please don’t start writing me letters. I am sure you have a pet cat that thwarted an attack by a mountain lion thereby saving your life, but I am talking about my experience with cats.)
Cats do, at times, show affection by bringing a dead bird or a mouse and dropping the little carcass on its owner’s lap. I had a cat once, and quite frankly I could have done without that kind of affection. But there is something about a cat’s standoffishness that I find strangely appealing.
All of this naturally brings me to my subject—a beautiful black, white-chested cat that has decided to call my yard its favorite playground. Most days it comes around with its four paws looking like white socks, and when it isn’t stalking birds, it comes to my office door and proceeds to stare at me with penetrating eyes. I stare back, and we engage in a staring contest, which the cat often wins.
I have no idea whether this apparently stray cat (it has no collar but looks clean and healthy) is a male or female, and I don’t think I am ever going to get close enough to find out. As soon as I unlock my door to go outside, the cat runs off.
I must confess that when it disappeared for a couple of days, I began to worry about my new hard-to-get friend, but just when I was about to give up hope, the cat reappeared at my door. I welcomed it back with a series of my best “meows,” but it just stared at me as if to say, “You have no idea how stupid you are trying to sound like a cat.” Stupid or not, it’s good to have the “puddy tat” back.