Zinger is an only cat. And he likes it that way. Plenty of food. Plenty of kitty rubdowns. No conflict.
Then one day about a year ago a sleek black cat with big green eyes strolled into the house and promptly started eating Zinger’s food.
I stumbled upon him in the act and he skedaddled out lickety split. But not far…just to the deck where he kept a watchful eye on the goings on.
This routine went on for a while…he’d judge his opportunity and weigh the options. This kitty had street smarts.
I love Zinger to absolute *bits* and I can say without reservation that street smarts are not super high on his list of fine qualities. Huggable, loyal, sweet, cuddly, kind. Yes. But he’s led a fairly cushy life so he hasn’t developed the skillz for finding clever ways to get to food.
We named the black cat Darkman. It started as Dark Vader for the way he’d just sort of sweep into a room like he owned it.
Darkman was too thin for my liking and had no collar. So of course I started feeding him. On the deck. In his own bowl. Zinger didn’t mind too much and Darkman started letting me pet him a little.
Bert was skeptical. He pointed out that Darkman would sort of give our hands a hard bump with his head as if to say “ok, so you got your petting in. Can I *eat* now already?” Not really an affectionate kind of cat.
We were heading out of town for 10 days and I was worried. Zinger would be safely ensconced at my mom’s house. But Darkman would be left to fend for himself.
To prepare for this situation I’d finally finagled a collar onto his neck with a note attached: “If this is your cat please call ***-***-****”
Two weeks went by and no call. So I left a bag of food and a bowl with our neighbors who promised to feed Darkman if he came around.
Sitting at the airport waiting to board our plane I picked up a voicemail from home. From Darkman’s owner! (Note: really, had it taken her two weeks to notice the collar?)
Her first question (to my voicemail) was “how did you *ever* get a collar on him? He doesn’t let strangers get within 10 feet.”
Ha, that’s what feeding a cat every day for months will do for loyalty and access.
Then she told us his *ahem* other name…Gibson. No, no, no…that wouldn’t do at all. He’s way too street for Gibson.
And then she said…
“I’m just going to leave this collar on…it’s probably a good idea.”
So there’s a beautiful black cat roaming the neighborhood with at least two families feeding him and wearing a collar with my phone number attached.
I told you he’s smart. 🙂
greeting the new week with optimism and hope,