We have cats. Seven to be exact. They are all strays and rescues that we have taken in, well, more like they adopted us, and we have loved and fed and cared for and had them all fixed. We often wonder what they would say if they could talk with us; would they tell us from where they came, what they think about each other, what they think about us and our home, why they won’t eat certain brands of cat food, etc?
Millie is one of our cats. When he showed up on our back porch, my daughter and I both said that she looks like a Millie, and the name stuck. Then we found out that she was actually a he, so now Millie is short for Milton. Earlier today I saw Millie on the back porch, looking toward one of our neighbors’ house. I knew that he was watching their little dog running around inside their fence, and imagined the conversation we would have. Before I go into it, let me just add this little disclaimer:
I don’t do drugs, nor do I drink to excess. I have had plenty of sleep and have eaten two good meals today. The following conversation between me and my cat is strictly the workings of a creative geni…uh…mind and nothing else.
Millie asked, “Why do the neighbors keep their dogs inside a fence?”
“So they won’t run away from home and get lost”, I replied. “Their owners would be very heartbroken if their dogs ran away.”
“But, you don’t keep us inside a fence. Do you not care if we run away and get lost?”
“You and the others would be able to jump the fence and run away, if you wanted to, isn’t that right?”
“I guess that’s right.”
“You and the others came to us, remember? We love you and take care of you, so that you wouldn’t want to run away in the first place.”
” I wouldn’t want to leave this place. It’s my home now. I remember when I first came here, through the woods. I didn’t know where I had come from, or how long I had been on my own. There were a lot of others here, just like me. Some not as welcoming, but we all learned how to live together.”
“And we have always tried to let each of you know that you are loved here.”
“Do dogs not realize how good they have it at their homes, that they would want to run away?”
“Some dogs are very active and adventurous”, I said. “They can run and explore so far that they lose all sense of direction and where home is. Cats tend to stay closer to home.”
“What about Sam?” Millie asked. “He never went far from home. He was kind of lazy, too. You didn’t keep him in a fence. No chance of him getting lost.”
“Sam was already up in age when he found us. I think he was tired of running and was just happy to find a forever home.”
“Dogs are kind of stupid, aren’t they? They chase their tails and run in circles and chase squirrels…”
“Much the same way as cats?”
This got me a sideways glare from Millie and, what sounded like a snort, if cats can snort.
“Would you ever get another dog?” Millie asked.
“What would you all think if we did?”
Another sideways glance and snort.
“It might not be so bad, if it wasn’t too hyperactive. It would take a long time for us to warm up to it, though.”
“We’ll see what happens. We’re not talking about it happening any time soon, though.”
“That’s good. Can I have some dry food now?”
“Sure, Buddy. Come on, let’s go inside.”
Photos: by Jim G Black
Second: Charlie, Wicket, YK (gone, but not forgotten)
Third: Boo Boo and Pudge
Fifth: Sam (also gone, but not forgotten)