This is “Kitty Cat”.
We met some time ago in an open-air setting, when she was Queen of the shed top, and I was Queen of the patio chair. She would sit and survey her domain, content with the quantities of squirrels to contemplate, lizards to chase and butterflies to bat down out of the sky. I’d sit and watch her, as soundless as possible for fear of frightening her away. Sometimes I’d move too soon toward her, and she’d run away, and I’d have to start all over from square one again. With time and patience, she worked up the courage to jump onto my lap. I didn’t touch her yet. After three days, I was pretty sure we were buddies by now. She was clear with a swipe across my face that we were not. Soon, though, we became tentative pals. I didn’t over-handle her, because she didn’t allow much at first. She gradually grew used to coming and going to my little, tiny efficiency. We’ve established that hiding under the bed, or the chair, or in the closet is out. Actually, no…I have to shut the closet door or she’ll otherwise take a tour through my clothing and settle on my slippers. She still hasn’t yet grasped that I don’t want her to claw the luggage where I keep my books (they’re not actually on the shelf I wrote about in my review of Malika Oufkir’s book, but I just didn’t know how to provide this lengthy explanation in that particular narrative — it was more of a generality, at the time…), or tear the chair covering or rug, as the furnishings are not mine and are part of the apartment. She, like me, is a sensitive girl. She is so extremely polite. I used to be so much like this cat, in my youth. Back then, I had rosy optimism and believed the best of everyone. I couldn’t even fathom the disappointments or, worse, the intentional let-downs that would be a part of life, and would often occur so frequently. I used to have the patience of a saint, but not now. The cheeriness and naivete of youth were replaced with the knowledge of age and experience, not necessarily to best effect. I understand her, but am perplexed at her quickness to choose to leave unless she receives immediate gratification. She is like a baby, and those are the needs of one. She doesn’t choose to stay often, but once in a while she’ll do a sleep-over. She’s just learning that it’s okay to also cuddle beside me, rather than on top of me, always in the precarious position of about-to-fall-off, so that muscle strain loses out and she gets disgusted that I can’t maintain that angle all-akimbo, and then has to leave with dignity intact. I live alone and need to find my professional life and I think she could use a place like a farm, with animals around for friends, to keep her engaged and outdoors, where she seems most happy. Her ear is clipped, indicating that she is a feral cat who has been neutered and released back to the outdoors in the TNR (trap, neuter, release) program. I could bring her to a shelter, but I’d be afraid they’d euthanize her, and I know just how utterly miserable she’d be indoors inside a cage with hardly any hope to be adopted. How dejected and sad she would feel to not feel that anyone loved her. No, I love her. But, I can’t afford vet care or alot of the stuff she needs. Timewise, she needs to be able to count on some personal affection by someone, but also be outdoors alot and perhaps social with other creatures. That’s why I hope for a farm home for her. Am I projecting? I might be. I actually hope for some medical care and a farm home, for myself! Both of us together, even better. But, if you’re that person that fills the seeming requirements and can provide a loving home for her in South Florida, then tell me about yourself. We’ll see.