Around the time I adopted Big Foot, a gray cat would come out from under the house to beg for food. I was somewhat alarmed and began babbling aloud, “Where are all these cats coming from?” It had been six years since the last of my two indoor cats went to meet his maker and I decided not to replace them due to bad allergies. During those six years, we had no stray cats show up. Poppie’s black cat, Mimi/Hobo was a stray.
Initially, I ignored the gray cat because I didn’t want to suddenly become the Cat Lady. I even tried to pray him away. Unsuccessful, I began to feed him. He would disappear days at a time and I was always hopeful he had found another mark for his mooching. He came back from a three-day vanishing act with half of his left ear torn off and the appearance of having been neutered. After that, he never left again.
As he became more sure of himself in my eyes, he ran Big Foot off. Both the porch and I were now his territory. Realizing I had been adopted, I named him Gray Whiskers but shortened it to Whiskey.
Whiskey is a needy cat. Among cats, this is not normal but I suppose it’s fittin’ that an abnormal human be saddled with an abnormal cat. He would be a good candidate for psycho-cat-therapy because he sometimes acts like a dog.
- He runs to greet me when I open the door. If he’s not already on the porch, he comes out from under the house and jumps through the porch railings or tears across the yard from some hiding place in the bushes.
- I am not allowed to be independent. I must be followed if I leave the porch and go to the vegetable garden. Followed if I walk over to the gourd garden. Followed waaaaaaaaay across the property to the leaf pile. And he finds it necessary to talk to me during his surveillance of my activities.
- If I go up to Momma’s house, where Big Foot now claims ownership of her porch, he follows me. He and Big Foot then get into it. Big Foot twists himself up like a pretzel and commences yodeling an ugly warning. Intimidating Big Foot is apparently a sport because I’ve seen Whiskey crouch among the flowers and then spring out at Big Foot like a Jack-in-the-Box.
- When I put food in his bowl each morning, Whiskey wants to cuddle in my lap before eating. Even dogs don’t do this, do they?
My most recent attempt to do something outside without feline interference involved me sneaking out the back door and quietly closing it behind me. All I wanted to do was make a quick run to the compost bins for a deposit and run back in the house without Whiskey chattering my ears off. When I turned from the compost bins and looked toward the porch to see if I had gotten away with it, I saw Whiskey’s head poking out between the porch rails. He doesn’t look happy with me, does he?