Tuesday, December 21, 2010

When the man comes around. . .

We have a beautiful black cat in our alley. During the summer I'll see him darting back and forth in the shadows of night or sitting at the far end of the alley keeping watch over the neighborhood. Occasionally, during the winter months mostly, he'll wander up to our deck and hunker down outside our door staring in with pleading eyes. It seems, he has returned.

Last week, Dan and I were eating dinner at Ted's Bulletin when I blurted out, "I have a confession." Dan sat up and stared me straight in the eyes. Since I have been working from home that day I think he assumed I was about to say, "oh, I bought a new couch by accident" or something. Instead I confessed to feeding the alley cat. While I expected a rant about how you don't feed cats you aren't prepared to take into your home, Dan simply shrugged and went back to devouring his catfish (which was an ironic meal for this conversation).

It was about 15 degrees that day and when I looked up from my laptop, there he was. One small bowl of cat food couldn't hurt, right?

Last night, he returned. As I was lighting a fire in the living room, Dan called over, "that cat's back." I casually opened the back door as it scampered away to drop a bowl of food on the mat. Cautiously, the cat crept back and settled into eating every scrap. Then, it didn't leave. So, I named it Johnny (after Johnny Cash, "The Man in Black").

After a few minutes Dan called back to me, "Are you gonna go out and give it some pats or what? I mean, that's the least you can do."

"Oh, no," I replied. I kept insisting the cat was feral and sprinted from me the moment I came close. But, to prove my point I opened the back door and slowly stepped out. The cat moved a few feet back, stared at me for a while, then bounded over with delight. Shoot. It rubbed against my hands with all its might, flopping and purring and pawing at me with ferver. It started to melt both our hearts.

I came back inside and Dan and I started to talk about what to do. Take it in for the night? What if he already has a home and is an outside cat? Did we have a private space for it? What if it freaked out? By the time we had gone over all these question Johnny was gone. But, I'm sure he'll return soon.

What have we gotten ourselves into?


Anonymous said...

It would be so kind of you totake in a cat in the cold.

Anonymous said...

I think you should call him Julia. Because when you inevitably take him in he will be living the good life a la Pretty Woman. Go ahead and do it. It's a win win situation. :-)

Injuries Obtained

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