Thoughts for Thursday – Neighborhood Cats

I think just about every neighborhood has a collection of outdoor cats. Don’t you enjoy seeing them doing their cat-like things—going about their days in cat-fashion? I rather miss having my own indoor-outdoor cat. Our current cats stay safe inside all the time. We used to have a cat who insisted on having outside-time. Dinah would have it no other way and since she was in charge, we had to comply. She was always inside overnight, though. Sometimes we’d be summoned to let her out at night, but we’d always wait for her to come back in. She’d even go out for a potty-break when it was raining—very quickly, I might add.

My Himalayan, Katy, yearned to go outside as she got older. I was doing a lot of gardening then, and she wanted to be out there with me. So I started allowing her out while I was in the yard. She would always dart back into the house with me when I motioned for her to do so. Those are good memories.

Now I simply enjoy the neighborhood cats when I’m in the yard and I watch them from the windows chasing butterflies, following ladybugs, checking out snails, rolling in the dirt in a sunny spot, etc.

Not all cats are neighborhood-friendly, though. We had one terrorist cat living next door for about five years. Thankfully, his people moved and took him with them. Rocket, an ornery yellow tiger-striped cat, would attack our indoor cats through the windows, sometimes ripping claw holes in our screens. He killed birds. So I had to quit feeding birds for a good while. And he was not friendly to people, either. He’d pretend to be sweet, then he’d claw the heck out of your arm or hand or leg. One neighbor didn’t have screens on her windows and when she’d open them to let in fresh air, Rocket would sometimes sneak in and eat food left out or, worse, attack her older Abyssinian, Ruby. The cat was a psycho terrorist, I tell you! When you love cats, it’s hard to dislike one, but Rocket made it easy.

I think that Cats lend a warm, charming element to a neighborhood. When I’m out walking and I see a cat on a roof, through a window, on a porch, or playing on a lawn, for example, I can’t help but smile. Maybe some of the photos I’ve taken of neighborhood cats will make you smile, too.


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