Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Anthropomorphizing Cats

Every morning, before I make my own breakfast, I feed the outdoor kitties. If I forget, or am running late, or have to get moving and go out, I feed them later, but they let me know about it - they linger in the driveway, under cars, on the steps, meowing at me. They've become quite vocal.

I watch them out the windows, when they walk about my part of the neighborhood. They make a little parade, sometimes the three young ones following Ginger Tom, sometimes following Little Mother, sometimes all of them together, promenading along. Their tails wave to and fro, they hold their heads up high - it's quite a sight.

I wonder, sometimes, how aware they are of their relationship to each other. Ginger Tom is definitely the papa of the young ones, and he may be the papa of the new batch Little Mother is carrying now. They way he lead them about when they were younger, it certainly looked like he knew they were his. The same with Little Mother - she led her little brood from place to place, and I know she was aware they were hers.

These days, Little Mother is as prone to growl and swat the young ones on the head if they try to eat before her. I think she's telling them "Hey, give me some respect!"

This morning, as soon as I stepped onto the front stoop, Little Bit and Ginger Tom ran up to greet me. Ginger Tom has humans who keep him, and he'll let me pet him. Little Bit is feral, and skittish, but she'll come quite close if I keep still. This morning, I held some bits of food in my hand, and she inched nearer, meowing and...purring! I know they purr when nervous as well as when happy, a sort of placatory sound.

She walked beneath my arm as I was petting Ginger Tom, a ghost of a touch brushing against me. I figured why not and reached out to her, and...she let me pet her! Only the slightest caress, the briefest contact - but I pet her! She ran a few steps away and looked confused, but she came back to me and tolerated another ephemeral touch before she decided she'd had enough, danced away, and sat meowing until I poured food into the bowl. She seems relieved when I came back indoors.

I'm hoping she'll let me pet her again, perhaps one day even sit with her for a while. Hope springs eternal.

1 comment:

RachelW said...

And then you stuff her in a sack and carry her off to the vet to be spayed, and she either follows you around ever after or will never speak with you again! ;)

I do love the wild ones.