Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Cat's Whiskers

Although it's been raining a lot, lately, today is a bright, sunny day in southeast England. I decided to take advantage and did a load of laundry, so I could hang it outside on the clothesline. While I was hanging up the wet clothes, a cat wandered over. I had seen this cat laying under some shrub in the garden, many times, over the summer. Whenever I tried to go outside before, it would get startled by the sound of me opening the door and flee into the neighbor's garden. This time, I was already in the garden when he (she?) came sauntering over. It's a red tabby with white lower portions, and a longhair. He (she?) came right up to me and started meowing. I rubbed his (her?) head and scratched behind the ears, like my old cat used to like. This cat also seemed to appreciate the attention and started rubbing itself against my legs and against the laundry basket. At one point, the cat rubbed against a pair of trousers I was taking out of the basket. That's not good! Long cat hairs all over my work trousers.
He (she?) promptly sat down in the grass and began cleaning. I love cats and the one I had, Misty, was the best pet I ever owned. While I was away at university, he was diagnosed with cancer and my folks had him put to sleep. I was very cross with them for not telling me first, so I could have visited Misty one last time. I never got another cat, because as an adult, I like traveling too much. Living on my own, I don't have anybody to care for a cat while I am off on some international journey. If I can ever afford a butler, I will get another cat. This time, I want black one and I will name him "Satan."
Here in England, it doesn't seem like most people bother putting collars on their cats. Back in America, folks did put collars on them, so people would realize it was someone's pet. My visitor this afternoon didn't have a collar. He (she?) must be a neighbor's, because I have often seen him (her?) in my back garden, as I said before. He (she?) kept me company for the entire time I spent hanging out my laundry. Each time I would bend down to get another item from my laundry basket, I would stroke the cat's head. I thought this situation allows me to enjoy a cat's company, without any of the responsibility for feeding it, or caring for it. That suits me, fine. When I finished, kitty started following me, as I walked back to the house. I moved quickly inside and closed the door before it could follow me inside. Best not to get this strange cat used to coming in the house. After I had closed the door, the cat looked up at me, through the window in the door. It almost looked disappointed, but that didn't last long. In a moment, it turned and disappeared.


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