My desk is surrounded by windows and a set of patio doors. When sitting here I hear almost everything happening outside. It was only a few moments ago that perusal of my news reader was interrupted by the cacophony of mockingbird war cries. Experience has taught me to recognize that sound. It means there’s a cat nearby. While the birds have extensive verbal repertoires, listening closely to them as often as I am around them allows me to form a robust understanding of what they’re doing based on how they sound. The “there’s a fuckin’ cat in the neighborhood” call is unmistakable.
I rose from my chair with deliberate alacrity driven by no other thought than to go outside. Only my sunglasses were taken.
With eyes cloaked and shaded, I stepped through the door and began scanning the immediate area so as to identify the mockingbirds in question. That would tell me where to look for the cat. As my eyes consumed everything around me and I simultaneously walked toward the other end of the patio, the flash of something light moving about under the bushes caught my attention. It was Chira.
The oppressive weight of my worry for him immediately lifted. Tears welled up in my eyes as I took in the full view of him there just beyond the fence, the white mixed with grey tabby sitting and intently watching me. I was so happy to see him.
Immediately I grabbed the food bowl, kneeling down near him and placing a handful of nourishment outside the fence. He stepped forward and rubbed his nose against my hand for just a brief moment, a glancing blow if you will, and then he stepped backward with a bit of concern showing on his face. He’s not forgotten me by any stretch of the imagination, yet there is a new fear within him.
No matter. I placed a small pile of food where he could easily get to it, then I retreated a step or two so that he might have room. His approach was immediate and his hunger real. I spoke to him continuously.
He was a bit thin. Not emaciated, you see, but thinner than he was just before he disappeared almost three weeks ago. The wounds on his nose were also worse. The major scabs I’d noted before were continuing to heal, yes, but there were new scrapes and bruises surrounding them.
Despite his somewhat worse appearance, he was otherwise in good health and ate some of the cat food. I do wish he’d eaten more.
He was weary of me without significant fear. That I was happy to see. He ate several bites of the food before slowly retreating, a movement I woefully beheld. There is a snapped photo of him in my camera that I grabbed without preparation mostly for the sake of posterity, but it was an overhead shot and not particularly worth mention.
I am so glad to see he’s still alive, and I do so hope that he starts visiting me again. I fear I may have lost a good portion of the progress I’d already made in taming him, but I’ll happily start working on it again if he stays around. I’ll also admit this boosted my spirits a great deal. For reasons I’m not quite sure of, I’ve been a bit down lately and suffered a great deal of anxiety with regards to Chira. I am undeniably better for having seen him.
Now I shall retreat to a bit of family-and-fur time with The Kids. I will identify some form of sustenance for dinner, I shall find some movie to watch in order to lose myself, and I will consume one or two beers (or 10 or 12 😉 ). It’s the perfect time for mindless escape.
Gosh, I wish I could stress how happy I am to see Chira alive and at least in moderately good health.
As a side note, and speaking of movies, I watched Aeon Flux a bit earlier and was pleasantly surprised. I have always loved the cartoon from MTV. It is one of the few animated shows I like. The movie was interesting. No one in their right mind can claim it is prolific in any way, but it was a compelling idea even if the film was pedantically predictable. Shortcomings aside, it certainly lived up to my expectations. As far as I’m concerned, the premise and entertainment are intact. It certainly failed to ruin my enjoyment of the brutally exacting animated series.