When I step outside to throw something in the recycling bin, I might be gone for ten minutes. My family doesn’t wonder after me anymore, because, cats.
The neighbors’ four cats want us to adopt them. Or, rather, three of them do. Callie, the oldest and wisest, with whom I’ve had stunning conversations, knows better. She thinks we’re a little unstable. Or knows that I am.
The one we’ve named Caramel now sleeps in our yard. Whenever a door or window opens, she starts meowing. I once found her asleep on a carpet square in our garage.
My youngest daughter was the first to befriend Caramel, so now, when we hear her meowing, one of us will say to her, “Your friend is calling for you.” Now my daughter sighs. Befriending a cat can be exhausting. I suggested she take her book outside so she can read and pet at the same time.
I suspect Caramel was initially so skittish because she lives with three young boys, who perhaps are a little rough with her. Clearly, she doesn’t feel that way with Joe.
I named one of the twins Panther; my daughter named the other Midnight. We play with them and send them home. No feeding or litter box cleaning necessary. It’s like we’re cat grandparents. I just wonder if my cat-loving writer friends will let this count as ownership, thereby improving my writer credentials.
But to all her compatriots frolicking and fraternizing with the neighbor children, The Venerable Callie’s expression remains the same:
Have a wonderful cat-filled rest of the week. Unless you’re allergic. In which case, don’t come to our house.