Ray is our timid cat. He could not even be convinced to come into the back yard the first few years he lived with us. Then gradually my son weaned him into the idea that our back yard was a safe place to play and his other black partners in cat-hood made the idea look incredibly intriguing. So he is now the cagiest little guy. He dashes out the door with a determination unrivalled by his predecessors. Andre was determined and sneaky. Ray is just like a bulldozer. If he wants outside he goes for it full throttle. He blasts past and beyond you before you even know he was there.
Jet is more of a thinker. He plays mind games with me. First, he started clawing at the weather stripping at the bottom of our brand new door so I opened up the inside door thinking there was nothing he could wreck on it. I was wrong. He has chewed up the weather stripping along the door casing. BRAND NEW weather stripping. Chewed up by our cat!
I shooed Jet into the kitchen with me and closed the sliding door so he did not have access to the back door at all. He then proceeded to sit in front of and on my computer. When I ignored that, he knocked the Kleenex box beside me, onto the floor. Then the box of eye glass wipes which was under that. Anything to get my attention.
I could have just moved my computer and walked away from his antics but it is absolutely gorgeous outside this morning so here I am.
Jet is contently sitting in a spot of shade he found beside me and Ray is here, there and everywhere. He has recently discovered there is life outside of the confines of our yard and he is bound and determined to check it out. I have had to shoo him back into our yard three times in the brief time we've been sitting out here.
Ray reminds me so much of myself. I too, am very content and happy within the confines of our home. When I do go out and explore new territory, my eyes feel like they are filled with terror in the same way that Ray's eyes look when he is on high alert.
I watch Ray watching Jet and copying what he does in the same way I eye up other people's bravery and outgoing ways. "I want to be more like them" Ray and I think to ourselves as we watch people more adventuresome than ourselves live the good life.
Both Ray and I need to know the door to our home is open and ready for us to dart back into when our fears overcome us. But do you know what? Even our adventuresome Jet-Cat needs to know the same thing.
Even the bravest soul needs a safe place to land when taking on the world. Maybe Ray and I are not so unique after all.
A Few Cat Adventures in our Very Own Back Yard:
The roof on top of our playground structure has provided the perfect cat hammock for bird watching all the birds who play in our neighbor's tree. The only trouble with that vantage point is that they have a "bird's eye view" of our neighbor's yard and they can't help themselves. They must jump in and explore the "cat nesting areas" under their shaded and overgrown trees. It is a cat haven over there.
Checking out the playground
Rain? Who cares?! They just had to go out and watch and experience it first hand.
The boys hanging out on the "cat walk"