It is said that some animals are our best friends. Most of the time, we are referring to the dog. But then there are others — cats, squirrels, horses, chickens, and on and on.
There are some similarities between us and the lower-form animal. It is believed when we lived in the cave, the wolf was the first lower-form animal we domesticated. We called it the dog. We are all animals on this planet — it’s just that we are the smartest ones, and we have a soul.
There is a bond that exists between us and the lower form of most animals. We see on the news several times that illustrate a good example: A fire station went to great lengths and expense to save an ally cat caught in a storm drain.
Some times, we see a contest between us and the lower-form animals, and we root for the animals. But then, snakes, wharf rats and insects are animals, too. In a contest, who would we root for then? Like our ancestor, the cave man, we, too, are trying to domesticate an animal.
Our whole affair began last summer when, just after breakfast, we looked out the kitchen window of our summer home up North and there were four kittens and a mama playing around. The mama cat would watch her kittens frolic around in the grass. She was probably some ally cat who tapped us as an easy Joe and decided to take up residence under our deck.
A few days later, her sister moved in with her four kittens. Suddenly, we had 10 cats playing in our yard. The neighbors thought they all belonged to us. And so, about a month later, something happened to both families: They all disappeared except one, the one that has a color of midnight with a fleecy white tip on the end of its tail.
I think it is a “he,” and he must have warmed the heart of my wife because she buys a case of cat food from time to time and feeds him every day. When we return home from a trip, he is sitting in the middle of the driveway waiting. The very moment the car door is cracked, he vanishes like a gunshot in a cartoon.
He sits on our deck every morning waiting for breakfast. The irony is that this animal will not let anyone get close to him. We put the food down and get out of the way. If we don’t get out of the way, he will not come out to eat.
Still, he has become a warm part of the household, even though we have not established a link of communication. He’s not like a stray dog that would take up here, wagging his tail, looking for a home and a free meal. At least the stray dog would probably have been far more friendly.
This cat is quite different. It seems to have the attitude that we are fortunate to be allowed to feed him, as well as to have him as a distant, unacquainted visitor. However, when he finishes eating and licking his paws, he looks up at us standing at the window watching him. Maybe, just maybe, he is thanking us.
But then again, maybe we shouldn’t get to close. Even a common squirrel could be dangerous. Just one bite could be fatal. Maybe we should back off from our effort to become friends with this cat, who eats all his food when it is served in his own china bowl but leaves some food when it is served to him in a plastic bowl.
I thought of a name to call him. There is a pop song that tends to define the behavior of the visitor living under our deck. It’s called Wild Thing.
Bond lives in Richmond Hill and can be reached at email@example.com.