Saturday, March 03, 2007

Meet Spot

You are looking at the only pet we have at the moment, a tomcat named Spot. You can't see it very well, but he has a white spot in the middle of his back, hence the name. You will notice by the picture that Spot is inside the house. This is not the way it is supposed to be, or the way it usually is. However, Spot sneaks in every chance he gets. It's like a game for him, to see if he can make it in the door. It's really easy when we have company, as we did today, but I make it a challenge because I don't want to keep him in the house or have him get used to the cushy surroundings. I keep a ladybug flyswatter by the door that he doesn't even like to look at, and he stays away.
I guess that sounds mean, but Spot has always been just what the name says, a tomcat. He was born to a mother cat that lingered around here longer than most manage to several years ago. I don't even know how long, but it has to be six or more years ago. He hung around here, but he was pretty standoffish. After a few years, he just disappeared, as cats in the country are wont to do. We have cats that wander away or get hit by cars or attacked by unfriendly critters or just die of natural causes, but few last longer than 2 or 3 years. So when Spot disappeared, we just took it in stride, and another cat came along to fill his space. This was a black and white cat who had a friendly disposition. He was our main male cat for a few years, and then he just disappeared, as Spot had. Meanwhile, all our other cats, male and female, had gone off, too. We were catless for the first time in probably 20 years.
As luck would have it, the very next day, Spot magically reappeared. He must have been living with someone else or something, but here he came, just like he owned the place, and set up housekeeping. We think that maybe he chased the other, gentler cat away. This was about 3 years ago. At first, he was distinctly unfriendly to everyone and kept his distance from all people. I put food out for him, and he deigned to eat it, but he wouldn't respond to any other overtures. Gradually, I won him over, and now he sees himself as MY cat. He will tolerate the touch of others when he is in the mood, but he is, like I said, MY cat. When I am outside, he follows my every step and makes sure he gets petted and fussed over. He would sit in my lap, but his claws are so sharp that I can't let him because he starts kneading me with them! He rides in the golf cart to the mailbox and back every day, in spite of his natural dislike for being in moving objects. He just tucks himself up next to me and hunkers down for the ride.
So, you see, Spot is meant to be an outside cat. I have had inside cats that always, after a few years, started avoiding the litter box and having allergy problems, so it is best he stay outside. Also, those claws would be very destructive to my furniture. Sometimes he comes in and hangs out for a while, but he lives outside, and he knows it. I think he just likes to prove that he can get the best of me and get inside! He's the best kind of pet for me, a person who doesn't seem to have a natural affinity for animals. I like them okay, but usually I can do without them fine, too. Spot and I are alike, I guess. He likes people okay, but he can live without us just fine, too! I hope he stays around a long time this time.

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