Becoming a reluctant cat owner

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By Becca Owsley

I’m about to say something I never thought I’d say. I have a cat.

Being a dog person, I’ve never intentionally had a cat. Sure, we had them growing up on the farm and kittens are really cute, but I’ve never had a cat in my adult life.

Cat, as I call her, showed up one week, sleeping on my front porch. When I stepped out to see what she was doing, I expected her to run away. Instead, she came to me and wound herself around my legs. She looked thin so, of course, I fed her. She’s never left.

I really can’t say she’s my cat, rather she picked me to be her person. That was revealed by the variety of gifts she left on the front porch. Several mice and moles, a couple birds, a baby rabbit and a lizard, all decapitated or mangled in some way.

At first, I don’t think she understood I didn’t appreciate these gifts. She’s either gotten the point or is tired of her gifts being unappreciated because there haven’t been as many on my front porch lately. Saying that, I’ll probably find one on the porch when I get home.

Cat’s name came from Audrey Hepburn’s cat in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Since the cat showed up one day and seems to have her own mind about things, I thought the comparison to Cat in the movie was fitting.

After seeing her run out in front of a car, I realized she needed a second name to use when she gets in trouble. Because she has a shiny black coat, she now is Bagheera Cat, after Bagheera in “The Jungle Book.” I have a Baloo, so I might as well have a Bagheera.

As for my dogs, they don’t see her often because she lives on the front porch. But, when she visits the back porch, they watch her from the window.

Baloo basically ignores her. He’s too old for chasing cats these days. Sometimes, he’ll sniff her and she swats his nose and then he moves on.

Duke, however, is completely undone she even exists. If he sees her out the window, he growls and cries. When I go out to feed her, he’s irritated. If he sees her outside, he tries to chase her off. In short, they don’t get along. He might be trying to make sure she knows he is the king of the castle and no cat is going to interfere.

Cat also is fond of tormenting the neighbor’s dog. She knows how far he can go with his underground fence and will stay just on the other side of it. She sits there, flipping her tail and staring at him. For the dog, it’s complete torture to get so close to catching a cat and be barred by the risk of a jolt of electricity.

This feline has gotten me to break from my anti-cat stance. She’s sweet and acts like she’s excited I’m there, which I hear is not typical cat behavior. I guess I like her because she tends to act like a dog, except for that gross gift-giving thing.

For now, I’ll keep feeding and talking to her until she moves on to someone else. Or, until Duke finally breaks from his leash and finds victory in chasing her away.

In the end, she’s probably just tolerating me and the dogs to get a free meal twice a day. You never know with a cat.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270- 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.