Monday, October 31, 2005

The Case of the Curious Cat
Friday night, fighting off a cold, I stayed home while my beloved went to a SF Jazz concert up in the City. At about 7:30, I heard a cat meowing in the front yard. Not an unusual occurance around our place, which seems to attract squads of roaming feral kitties. But the meowing kept going, and I became curious. So I turned on the porch light and opened the front door. There, at the bottom of the porch steps, was a cat with a beautiful black and grey coat and light greenish yellow eyes.

I opened the screen door, figuring out that such action would cause it to run away and meow in someone else's yard, the way it usually works, only to find the opposite effect. The cat took it as in invitation.

Without hesitation, she came up the stairs and walked right into the house. I was so stunned, I think I just stood there for a few seconds with the door open and by the time I turned to look into the living room, the cat had jumped up on the sofa and was calmly regarding me from my recently-occupied seat.

The cat, whom I christened Crasher (after "gate crasher") became my companion for the next 3 hours.

She was obviously not a stray -- not skittish at all, too clean, well fed, too accustomed to having her tummy rubbed. So was probably a neighbor's house cat that had gotten out. Not knowing what else to do, I gave it some tuna & a bowl of water, which she appreciated, and then I returned to the sofa and she settled into my lap.

She seemed very young, not long out of kitten stage, and was quite a bite-y cat. Liked to claw things too. But extremely friendkly, very curious, kinda dumb, and apparently not at all afraid of strangers, strange houses, or anything else unfamiliar.

At several points in the night I led her to the front door and opened it so she could leave, but she'd just look outside, and then turn and head for the sofa again. When my sweetie called during the intermission of the concert, he was very surprised to hear I'd been adopted for the evening. For althought we've often had as many as 5 cats in our yard at once, they've never let us get within 5 feet of them before they'd take off. None have ever shown any inclination towards being domesticated, and here was Crasher acting like The Man Who Came to Dinner.

Finally, my date came home and met the cat. And the next time I opened the front door, she left. Just like that. Without even a thank you for the tuna. I have no idea where she came from, or where she went after she left. But I must say that was one of the strangest cat encounters I've ever had.

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