Thursday, September 26, 2013
Tale of Two Cats – One Star, One Startled
Bette, who was driven crazy – correction: crazier – by the 1000-mile car trip when we moved from Connecticut to Georgia, has recovered a good bit after some four months. A garden cat, Bette, who lives both indoors and outdoors, roams the property and occasionally stops at my writing-room door to whine that she's been outside long enough.
After watching Bette, a neighbor's cat decided to drop by too, but this cat visited with verve, unlike Bette whose fear and skittishness have always made Lyn and me believe she had a hard life before we adopted her when she was just eight weeks old.
Indeed, Bette still has a hard life, as her nervousness acts as a magnet for bully cats from time to time. On the other hand, the visiting cat bounces in with verve and swagger. And sometimes with disrespect to the scared Bette, forcing her to slink away – and forcing me to protect her from his threats. Her gratitude is, perhaps, expressed in her occasional dribbles of affection.
Like all creatures, the male visitor is a combination of traits. On one hand, he is a bad boy, oozing charm tinged with danger. His insistent, touchy affection recalls humans who are close talkers.
Also, he is like our dear departed Buuud, a consummate garden cat, flitting and lolling, bringing interest, movement and style to the outdoor spaces. That's what (good) garden cats do. Essentially, they are what I call dog-cats, more open and less manipulative than the average cat.
I don't know what his people named him, but I call him Bo.
Bo follows me around the garden, stopping for photo sessions, choosing various spots in the garden, striking poses that show off his talent and physique. The boy's got a workout program that could land him a spot in commercials or in films. He seems oblivious to the camera, a huge asset.
Ladies and gentlemen, from his photo resume, I give you . . . Bo.
Poor Bette, the cat of record at the May Place, has struggled to understand what this Bo brings to the garden. Never having gone out of her way to charm or play, she seems to be considering a personality transplant. Below, two images of Bette thinking:
OK, she's no Bo, bless her heart. She has a long way to go before she loves the camera. Before she stops looking like she's hissing: "No pictures! No pictures!"