Shortly after I moved in, I began to notice a frequent visitor on my property. A lanky gray tiger-striped kitty seems to have made herself quite at home here.
It's the most skittish cat I've ever met, and I assume it to be feral and not some neighbor's pet. Where she came from and why she chose my home is beyond me. I've never fed the cat. I've never let it in the house -- not that it would come in if I tried.
The cat has calmed a little, but it has been impossible to woo its friendship. I often spy it curled up in one of my patio chairs when I come home from work. Early on in this relationship, the moment the cat saw me -- even from across the yard -- it would bolt. Sometimes it would bolt before I even knew it was there -- I'd see nothing but a flash of gray across my yard.
At times when I saw the cat before it bolted, I tried to speak very softly and gently to it while slowly approaching it. It has gradually let me get nearer, but still nowhere near enough to be friendly. Now it lets me walk across the deck and into the house as long as I don't make eye contact with it, without bolting. If I pass the door and head toward the cat, however, it's not long before it's gone.
The other day on my way out to the mailbox, I noticed it hiding in a row of monkey-grass that lines the walk. The arc of the grass made a little parasol of sorts to give it shade from the warm sun. I didn't approach it and it stayed in its comfortable spot.
But today. Today I think the cat has made its first gesture of true friendship toward me.
No, it didn't let me approach it. No, it didn't ask to come in the house.
It left me a present.
A dead mouse is lying on my deck just outside my back door.
I only hope the cat won't be offended if I leave it there in the hopes that it will return and take the mouse elsewhere!!
Anyone want to come over and dispose of a dead mouse for me? :)