The old familiar places

It was an exceptionally long day at the salt mine, and when I pulled into the garage, I found something waiting for me: the newsletter of the neighborhood association, which I deliver to twelve homes on this block. (Well, actually, ten at the moment: we have two vacancies.) I plucked the sack from the Basket Of Incoming Stuff, went back inside, and closed the garage door.

Shortly thereafter, I went back out to the garage, on the basis that as long as I’m walking the block, I may as well start with a downhill stretch, and some semi-infernal mewling arose from the corner, rather quickly traced to a grey cat which had managed to sneak in before the door came down. Kitteh was duly led to the back door, and traversed the threshold of same.

A dozen houses later, I climbed the uphill stretch, and here’s that same grey cat, presumably waiting for me, definitely demanding my attention; not even my best vaudeville-audience hiss would dispatch the creature. One possibility struck me, so I searched the garage, and found no kittens; I’m guessing that this poor soul was just trying to get out of the cold. I am doing my best to overlook the (admittedly small) possibility that this was someone who knew me in a previous life.

Neighborhood cats, as a matter of course, slide through here all the time, especially this time of year, when the sort of birds that would dare give them grief have yet to arrive from their winter homes. Seeing one on the premises, therefore, is nothing unusual; seeing one that acts like it wants to move in, however, is exceedingly rare.



  1. Tatyana »

    11 February 2009 · 7:44 pm

    It heard your interior monologue, I think, from the depths of sleeplessness and pain, and came to be a companion. It happens.

  2. Jeffro »

    11 February 2009 · 9:05 pm

    Supposedly there is no such thing as coincidences.

  3. Andrea Harris »

    11 February 2009 · 9:25 pm

    Uh oh. You may have been chosen by a cat. It’s been my experience that there is no escape from this situation, except to obey.

  4. McGehee »

    11 February 2009 · 9:34 pm

    There’s an old joke that goes, “It’s not true that cats don’t know how you feel. They know — they just don’t care.”

    And yet when I’m cranky or otherwise unwell, the only thing that will keep me from drawing the attention-demanding company of one our three cats is if I direct the full intensity of my crankiness at the cat. They seem convinced that nothing puts a human in a good mood quite like serving the tactile needs of a love-starved feline.

    They obviously know nothing of Scotch.

  5. Aniwarp »

    11 February 2009 · 11:24 pm

    Perhaps it just wanted a cheeseburger?

  6. CGHill »

    11 February 2009 · 11:30 pm

    It’s possible. He had the look.

    Cats being generally better judges of human character than I, I must wonder what this one saw in me.

  7. Charles Pergiel »

    12 February 2009 · 1:05 am

    Neighborhood association boundaries and Google Maps do not agree, especially about N May Avenue and Miller Avenue.

  8. Francis W. Porretto »

    12 February 2009 · 3:50 am

    “Man plans and Cat laughs.” — Unknown.

  9. CGHill »

    12 February 2009 · 7:14 am

    The boundaries of the neighborhood are set by city ordinance; Google doesn’t get to override them. Yet.

  10. fillyjonk »

    12 February 2009 · 7:29 am

    This happens to me a lot – I come home, some random cat is sitting on my front porch, gives me sort of a pleading look before it runs off into the bushes.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that most homeless cats are great con artists. I’ve never been gullible enough to try to pursue one though (they do tend to run off; I suppose behaviorally they are torn between seeking a warm dry place and avoiding humans; I can’t help but think some of them were probably poorly treated at the hands of humans in the past).

    I just wish the damn things wouldn’t mate in my driveway late at night. Cat romance is really pretty much the same as what Twain said about cat fighting.

  11. Old Grouch »

    12 February 2009 · 8:33 pm

    We smooth apes are far more “tactile” than our intellect would predict. One personal favorite remedy for occasional nighttime restlessness is one hand placed on a warm, fuzzy, cat tummy.

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