I have a cat.
Well, he’s not really mine. But he does come for a visit everyday, looking for food and attention. Probably the attention more then the food. I suppose he stays in the trees that border the path behind our house. Wherever he sleeps, almost every day he shows up, looking at me with big eyes and meowing a greeting. Sometimes it’s in the morning when I take my wife to work. And other times it’s in the evening after supper while we’re watching television.
I don’t know his name. I just call him Buddy and he looks up and responds so that’s good enough. Names aren’t important. A cat has several anyway. There are the names humans call their pet and then the name by which the cat thinks of themselves. Do you really think that that mighty cat, killer of mouse and bird, the hunter who even chases deer, the guardian of 325 Elm Street thinks of himself as Fluffy?
So I call him Buddy and that is enough. He greets me as I drop a handful of food in a dish, rubbing his face into my hand before starting to eat. Must be starving for attention because he usually only eats half before jumping to the bottom of the stairwell and rolling on his back so I can dig my toes in the soft white fur of his belly, scratch him under the chin and around the ears. Sometimes he jumps in my lap, stretched out with his head laying across my arm. We sit, like two old men puffing their pipes while looking over the water.
Three females live inside with us, one an eight month old kitten who considers me her daddy and sleeps curled at my side. We have a black cat, who acts like an aloof princess yet curls up in my lap , kneading and rubbing and purring like a Mack truck. There’s the oldest, who considers herself the Queen of the household and chases a laser pointer up and down the hallway like a madwoman. And outside…
I have a Buddy.