We are such creatures of habit . . even the semi-feral cat knows my routine. Just about dusk every evening, Cat can be found sitting at the far corner of the shop. She knows that I walk outside at almost the exact time every evening. I doubt she knows I’m going out to lock the chickens up for the night. She believes I’m coming out to see her. The minute the back door opens, she starts her trek across the driveway.
She slowly sashays towards me. I’ll walk towards her but only about halfway. She likes for me to stand and wait . . and make no sudden moves.
Every now and then we throw her a curve ball. Sometimes Vince walks out about the same time and as soon as she sees that it’s Vince and not me coming out, she goes back to her corner and waits . . because whatever I do every single night, she knows I’ll eventually be coming out.
It’s not often Vince puts the chickens up at night. When he goes out there, he just closes the door and they don’t like that! 🙂 When I go out, I spend a few minutes thanking them for the eggs, and telling them chicken stories. Then I’ll tell them all goodnight and close the door. On the rare nights when Vince puts the chickens up (like when I have a thorn in my foot and can’t walk!), I’ll still walk out and spend those few “quality” minutes with Cat . . because she’s expecting to see me and I don’t want to disappoint her.
Right before she gets to me, she stops and stretches! Go ahead, Cat! I have all day to wait for you to make your way over here, and then stop and stretch and then think about whether or not you really want to be petted!
Some evenings she’s more friendly than other evenings. Some times she only wants to rub against my legs and she doesn’t want me touching her. Other times, she really wants to be petted. We’re learning to communicate. If she only wants to rub on my legs, she will keep her head down and make quick trips around and around my legs, rubbing as close as she can get to me. On the evenings she wants to be petted, she will rub on my legs for a few times, then stop, stand still and look up at me like “Aren’t you going to at least pet me?” It’s a good thing I’m pretty astute at mind reading!
She’s come a long way in the almost 18 months she’s been hanging around. She’s still very skittish. She can be letting me pet her and if I cough or clear my throat or shift positions, she’s gone! I pay close attention to be sure I’m not spooking her when my hand is near her. She isn’t a mean kitty but I don’t trust her when she’s afraid.
She has to be the one to come to me . . I cannot go to her. Maybe that’s just the nature of some cats. I’m still hopeful that she’ll be a lap kitty some day. It seems as though she really wants to be close but she just can’t let herself do it. Maybe I’m reading more into her actions because I want her to be friendly.
One funny thing . . that, again, may be just “cat” but one rainy, drizzly days, we don’t see her at all. She doesn’t come to eat her food, she doesn’t come out in the evenings when I go to let the chickens out. I start to worry when I haven’t seen her for several days but have come to learn that we just aren’t going to see her if it’s wet outside.
We have rain predicted for the next three days so I loaded her food bowl up this morning. Maybe she can at least start out with a full belly. We don’t leave her food out at night because too many wild critters will come up at and eat it.
If she’s still hunting, she’s not bring us many trophies. Every now and then we’ll find parts of a mouse or a bunny in the spot where she knows we’ll find them but I think she’s become a fat, lazy addition to our chunky family! 🙂