There are a number of cats that pass through our backyard, which is a kind of Route 66 between our tier of houses and the tier above us on the hill. Most of them simply skulk on through. One hisses at our 9-month-old kitten Bowie. But another cat, a large grey adult male, has started hanging around.
His name is Cato and he’s not skittish around humans, but not particularly friendly to us either. On numerous occasions I’ve watched as he and Bowie lie around in the backyard near each other. Once in a while they approach each other and almost touch noses, but then one raises a paw or they both back off. No licking, no cuddling, no playing, but no fighting either. Is this feline friendship?
On more than one occasion I’ve also found Cato in our dining room eating from Bowie’s food bowl while Bowie rests nearby, watching but seemingly unconcerned.
Clearly Bowie is secure in his identity and a generous soul. Usually I shoo Cato out, since I’m pretty sure his owners wouldn’t want him cadging extra dinners. But is this the right thing to do? Am I being an ungracious hostess? After all, Becca has friends over all the time and I feed them. I make muffins. I buy bagels. I boil pasta. Two of her friends are in fact watching a DVD downstairs as I write this, and I will doubtless give them cereal and fruit salad tomorrow morning. If Cato is Bowie’s friend, doesn’t he deserve the same?
In the past, I’ve had single cats who hissed at or ran from their compatriots. Or I’ve had kittens who grew up together and played and cuddled.
I’ve never had a cat with a friend… if this is what I’m seeing.
So I’ve got a maternal worry. I guess it’s kind of what I will feel when Becca someday has a boyfriend.
Does Cato like Bowie for who he really is? Or is he just using him for his food?