I’m not particularly fond of cats. Typically, they strike me in one of two ways: standoffish or insane. Many people say that cats take a great investment to generate even an unstable relationship where the cat isn’t terribly nuts or paranoid. Dogs are so much easier, especially my own personal (Schultz-inspired) favorite; beagles. Take a look at my dog Moose. Kudos to Kris who gave him to me when she went into the Navy.
Moose is great. He doesn’t bark (except for that one time he got out into the woods and was literally chasing a deer), he doesn’t whine or beg, he doesn’t growl at anyone… He’s a great dog and walking him is only a hassle when everyone in the neighborhood wants to pet him. It’s very fun, but I don’t have two hours to walk two miles, folks.
I walk Moose every evening. It’s good for the dog and frankly it’s good for me too. In the five months since he showed up here, we’ve only missed two walks due to circumstances. Never once because of an alternative preference.
A few weeks ago, some new neighbors showed up at the house directly across the street from mine. They seem nice enough. But they brought a kitten. Up until one family moved out eight or nine months ago, we had four outdoor cats. None of them were terribly friendly. Skittish is probably the best descriptor for these felines. I didn’t mind them. Occasionally finding muddy paw prints on my windshield was an acceptable price to pay for those little predators taking care of the gophers and mice and chipmunks and keeping the squirrels high up in the branches. Neighborhood pest control.
Then they all moved out and the cul-de-sac was cat-free, at least as far as the outdoors were concerned. About a month ago, Moose and I were preparing to take our evening walk. On the patio, as I locked my front door, a kitten perhaps four or five months old, trotted across the street and up my driveway.
He was a tad nervous about my dog, since Moose was quite a bit larger and was raring to go for a stroll. But the little guy walked right up to me and was purring within seconds of being pet. I’ve never seen a cat so instantly friendly and perhaps it is from his lack of contact with other people and dogs. He’s really quite small, though he has grown noticeably since first approaching us.
Over the weeks, the cat became accustomed to greeting Moose and me when we left for a walk. Usually, on the return, I stop and pet him for a minute or two. Moose will sniff the cat and the cat sniffs back. He’s never taken a swipe at either of us (and Moose has been swiped by a number of kittens recently).
At some point, while the fuzzy little guy was trotting over to our house, some of the neighborhood kids called him Tiger. It’s a tad cliche, but I’m sure it suits the cat perfectly in the eyes of a child. Tiger it is then.
I have taken to leaving the back door cracked open to let Moose go in and out as he likes. If there are few bugs outside, the door stays six-inches wide for about an hour in the evenings, post-walk. While writing on my desktop, I heard Moose eating in the kitchen just after we came home and remembered that he was almost out of food. Here’s what I found when I went into the kitchen.
Tiger is comfortable enough to walk right in the back door and look around. He enjoys Moose’s food and some of the treats Moose gets. Mostly he likes poking around in areas he hasn’t been. After a while, I have to pick him up and put him outside, because he’s not my cat, but I’m okay with him visiting from time to time.
It’s not everyday you come across a cat who’s so easy to love. I’ll let this little guy around so long as he finds us interesting. Moose is happy to have a cat buddy, since Kris had a cat. I’m a tad too allergic to have an indoor feline, and more than happy to borrow the neighbor’s pet from time to time.