Friday, September 24, 2004

The cats come back...

All of life’s rich pageant seems to get enacted in our backyard thanks to an ensemble cast of vagrant cats that pad endlessly through the property. At the moment, from the office window, I can see no fewer than three cats…none of which we own.

There’s the long grey stripy one stretched out in a patch of shade. The pale Siamese-ish one sleeping on the rail of the fence. And the brown one with the reddish hindquarters is curled up in an empty planter box.

At the moment, the cast seems to be resting between takes. Earlier this morning however, not a dry eye in the house could be found as the balcony scene from Romero and Juliet took place between a smitten kitten and a big orange Tom with a decidedly dusty air. With elocution worthy of a Victorian preacher, they delivered their lines so piercingly that they drowned out the Latin jazz I had playing on the stereo.

It all takes place out there. Love and death. Alliances and wars. The miracle of birth and the commonplace occurrence of cat poop on the lawn. We’ve had kittens and commandos fighting for supremacy of the most favored spots: under the lounge chair, on top of the fence, in the planter. We’ve had unwelcome midnight serenades that have kept us awake, and indignant mama cats have yelled us at when we’ve dared to water our own yard.

Conversation with our next-door-neighbor has led us to believe these strays are all fed by the neighbor next to them. Neighbors who do not, apparently, believe in spaying or neutering cats. We’ve had at least two and possibly as many as 4 litters of kittens in our yard looking untouchably adorable and causing us much worry. (Two animal lovers who can do nothing to protect little kittens wandering around next to a very busy street…very stressful).

My husband and I would love to have a pet, but we can’t. So until we have our own place, we live with the ironic fact that our yard has the pets we are not allowed to own. And, if nothing else, it keeps things interesting.

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