Season of the cat


As I pull into the driveway, like many early evenings before, the stranger is lying peaceful in a spot of sunny turf. The golden orange fur lump stirs not as my car rumbles to a halt.

The cat is back.

My visiting friend hasn’t come around in months, but springtime extends the invitation for me. He (or she — won’t check, don’t care) finds my inevitable return a passing inconvenience.

Does this cat not know he is my enemy? Does he not fear the wrath of briefcase man?

Our encounter is brief but fraught with tension. My hand balls into a fist. The cat snores. My head shakes with contempt. The cat continues to snore. My car door slams shut. The cat stretches languidly.

In seconds, it is over.

Inside, I steal a glance through the window. There he sits, useless. Unwanted. In my yard.

Damn him.

I’m sure he belongs to someone, possibly everyone, maybe no one. He returns every few days on his neighborhood patrol, oblivious to boundaries, property, propriety. The beast comes and goes, not tempted by food, not frightened by barks.

No one believes my cries of feline harassment. Even the kindly gentleman across the way pulls back, ever so slightly, during my patient umpteenth explanation of the stranger’s housecalls. You have won this round, cat.

My foe disappears sometime after sunset, as the shadows creep across the back yard. I look out into the moonlit night, brow furrowed. I sigh dejectedly. How can I fight something I don’t understand?

He is out there somewhere. We shall tangle again.


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