FROM MY SUNDAY NEWSPAPER COLUMN OF SEPT. 28:
On Sept. 11, I wrote a little note here mentioning that I’d spotted a very tiny, skinny orange feral kitten hiding in the tomato jungle in my backyard garden.
What to do? I left a bowl of food and another of water for the starving little gal. That was two-and-a-half weeks ago.
The first couple of days whenever I’d slide open the back door to go feed her, POOF! the kitten disappeared in a flash of orange. It didn’t take much to spook her, but hunger is a strong motivator and the cat kept coming back.
On the fourth day I stood absolutely still about 10 feet away from the food and water dishes after filling them. After about five minutes I heard a timid little “mew.” The kitten eased s-l-o-w-l-y out from its hiding place under the lemon tree and s-l-o-w-l-y headed for the food dish, not taking her eyes off me even for a second.
She wolfed down the dish of food with her eyes locked on mine the entire time. I scratched my ear and she was gone in a blink of orange.
That was two weeks ago.
Today the kitten is eating three meals a day from its dish on the back deck in front of our sliding kitchen door.
It appears to understand that glass is a barrier even though it can see through it. As long as the door is closed, I can tap my finger on the glass and the kitten bats at it with a paw. It sits on the picnic table on our back deck and watches us eating dinner through a window — two feet away. But let me slide open the door just an inch … POOF the kitten is gone … to return when the door is closed.
Yesterday our dingbat Maine coon cat, Newman, finally acknowledge the presence of this orange creature from outer space that has landed on our back deck. The kitten was pawing playfully at the back door glass when Newman suddenly charged the door so hard his nose banged into the glass.
The kitten didn’t even flinch. She just reached up and batted the glass in front of Newman’s nose with her paw. Then the kitten turned around and wagged her little butt in front of Newman’s face.
I like a cat with style.
What am I doing here? I don’t need another cat! /Gary