I love cats, but I’m not in a position to adopt an indoor cat. Our tenants who live across the driveway from us on our rural property usually have cats. I’ve been able to tame some feral ones and befriend most of the others.
Our present neighbors brought five cats with them. Sarah, whom you see above, was one of them. I wanted to befriend her, but she always ran when I approached her. I did manage to snap her photo with my zoom on many occasions. Getting the photo above was one of them. But I wanted more than cat photos. I wanted a relationship. I approached her slowly, speaking calmly, and respected her comfort zone.
I gradually won her friendship with cat treats. I guess the way to a cat’s heart is also through her stomach. It was a slow process, but over time we did form a friendly relationship. She adopted me in the daytime. She began to hang out on an old chair I kept near the door to put grocery sacks or book boxes on while I opened the door. She usually was waiting there when I got home from the post office each day.
Some days she would lie on the porch and sometimes she brought her sidekick, Garfield.
Garfield didn’t want a relationship. I think Sarah must have told him about the cat treats. He did want those. Sarah was the only one that let me pet her. She was the one who purred for me. Sarah was my friend.
It broke my heart when Sarah and all my neighbor’s outdoor cats began to disappear and the chair was empty. We often heard coyotes at night. I believe Sarah and Garfield both were victims. Now the neighbors keep their new cats inside at night. It’s too late for Sarah and Garfield, though. And I’ve lost a friend I’d grown to love.
Have you ever formed a relationship with an animal who was not part of your family?