Walking along the path to the driveway the other day, I noticed a curious sight. In the corner of my eye, a shadow zipped across the gated entrance and quickly stopped again. It had been coming toward me, beginning its entry to the property, when, just as suddenly, it had turned and reversed direction upon my approach.
I had seen its black-and-white visage, and the shadow it cast along the driveway pavement held no secrets as to its identity when it literally “turned tail” and ran. Wondering what “Kitty”, the feral cat of the community and of G-d was up to, I peeked under the vehicle she had lodged herself under.
She had first liked to hang around by the driveway and take shade beneath the vehicles on hot days. Cars and cats don’t mix well, but she would elude human capture as soon as you tried to get near. She didn’t seem interested in the three cats across the street — they eventually moved away, anyways. I thought perhaps she was visiting with another cat I once saw in a fenced yard around the corner.
Then, one day I spotted her in the neighbor’s driveway. I also saw her going up the neighbor’s walk to the fence, as if she was choosing the wrong household. Then, I noticed that the neighbors had a cat, sitting in the window. She went up to it, peering at it, seeming to puzzle the perplexity of a cat behind glass.
Apparently, the cat was kept indoors, safe from the vicious dogs they trained to protect their property, slamming themselves uncontrollably against the fence as I passed by on the other side to my apartment. As they say, good fences make good neighbors. Except that they weren’t such good neighbors, keeping the dogs out all night barking, until my repeated calls to the cops finally seemed to cure them of this habit.
The lady next door actually briefly moved into the apartments up from mine. She brought two dogs, and would release them by my apartment to poop where they pleased (without picking up after them) and let them run leashless. Seeing Kitty one day, one dog charged after her. The dogs prevented me from passing as they guarded the lady and her property, now on the walkway up from mine. It was my only access to get out and they were blocking it. It sort of irks me that my landlord had to confirm my story with another of my neighbors (who had luckily also seen the dogs running leashless all the time) before he believed me and took action to ask the woman to leave. I don’t understand the whole thing. She is either the Aunt or the Mother to the guy next door. I don’t know why she moved here when her relative lives next door. She also had a dish installed for wireless service, which I didn’t want put up intercepting my service. Why not put it on the roof next door? Why do they sometimes park their vehicles here and receive important mail here still? She moved out and moved in next door. I guess their ideas of neighborliness perhaps don’t exactly meld with my own concept of the same.
I can definitely tell when Kitty has been around other people; she becomes more wary and apprehensive. It takes patience and a little time to get her back to where she’s more trustful. We’re kind of still working on this. We stepped outside a day or two ago, and she seemed frozen to the earth. The dogs behind the fence caught whiff of an intruder — the cat the neighbors keep indoors away from their own ruthless security dogs. Kitty seemed to implore me to do something to intervene in the sudden cruel sounds of attack by these dogs and the screams of its animal victim. I heard the lady say, “I don’t know how she got out”. Kitty went back inside with me, although it was she who had wanted to leave prior to that, and was eventually placated and back to normal.
Peering under the vehicle to try and coax Kitty out from under, I looked at her, and, ‘Whoa!’ Where was the black heart on her nose? I didn’t get it. Here were the black and white markings. Here was an almost perfect replica of little Kitty. But she got up at my approach, and quickly scampered beneath the truck of the neighbor next door. And here, now, was Kitty, peering through the chain links for a while to look at the other kitty.
I’m not sure how our no longer quite feral cat determined that she belonged to our community and was always in the neighborhood. Perhaps this other cat is a relative who holds a clue. In any case, Kitty turned and walked with me back down the pathway and into the apartment.
Thanks, Kitty, for showing your compassion and caring for others. I hope, one day, that your kindness can be met in the treatment you receive. Thank you, little lovebug, for paying it forward.