Thursday, April 25, 2013
Midnight has been hanging around our house for about a year and a half now, with no signs of ever leaving us completely. Sure, he goes “missing” for a day or two from time to time, but he always manages to make his way back to our front porch and his preferred meal of chunk light tuna fish. His dry food bowl is always full, for those times when he arrives “home” at 3 in the morning, reeling from a night of carousing.
But, most importantly, Midnight has become my friend, at a time when real friends have grown increasingly scarce. I live in a kind of insular world; a way, I suppose, of protecting myself from others. Midnight is much the same as I am in this respect. He has few friends, but the ones that are there for him, really are there for him.
I'm highly allergic to cats; just as Midnight is allergic to most human beings; which makes him the "purr"fect pet. (Forgive the pun – Midnight couldn't resist it.) Occasionally he walks into the house, though never venturing further than the front hallway rug. He seems to sense that there is a boundary there. Well, actually he knows better than to come in at all, but every now and again curiosity gets the better of him, and so in he comes. He hasn't heard about curiosity killing the cat and I’m not going to be the one to tell him!
I like his spirit and even his aloof attitude, which he recently displayed toward my wife Sue when he simply turned his back and walked away from her when she was offering him a treat. Sue has still not gotten completely over the snub, and I’m still laughing.
But even deeper than all the social interaction between us is a darker connection; he was abandoned by the human family where he was born. He just appeared suddenly one day; homeless; with no skills to survive in the “world.” Kind of like me when I was about 17 and my parents threw me out. But, just as I did, he has learned to survive, and in some ways even prosper. In that last respect he may already have overtaken me, as I still pay for my own food. But he earns his keep.
Every time he pokes his face up against the little side window on the front door he makes me smile. No matter what is happening at the time, in that brief flicker of a moment, he can make me smile. We're fiends; he cares; and that’s all he ever has to do to make a living here.