Moving In

There’s a cat that’s been watching me when I putter in the garden. It wears a worn harness that seems to be made out of an old bandana, but the cat herself is sleek and healthy. She’s unafraid of the dogs next door, so maybe she lives over there.

But on Saturday, she decided it was time to move into our house as well. She accepted a little petting from me as I sat in a lawn chair by the back door, then inspected the door. It’s a heavy screen door with metal bars, and she’s not small enough to slip in at the kitten-sized gap where the concrete doorsill is worn away.

She strolled away, but an hour later I was making lunch and turned around to see her in the kitchen with me. “Hey!” I said. “What are you doing in here?” She had tried the front screen door, and found that only the top was screened. The bars at the bottom were far enough apart that she could stroll right through.

She ignored my protest and went to explore the bathroom. I was busy with my pasta, but I heard her jump into the tub and out again. I went and opened the front door wide, then stood outside the bathroom so I could keep her from continuing to the basement when she came out. “You do NOT live here,” I told her, doing the annoy-the-cat stompy dance with my feet as I walked her toward the door. “No. Hey. No, you don’t get to see the rest of the living room.”

She stopped at the doormat and considered having a lie-down. I accelerated my foot-stomping, at which she got quite indignant. There was even a little hissing. Then she left.

“And STAY out,” I said, closing the wooden door even though it was nice and sunny outside. After awhile I peeked out the door, and she was still on the steps. She gave me an accusing look.

When Sanguinity came home I heard her talking out on the porch. “Well hell-O! Aren’t you just the friendliest kitty!” And then, “Oh, you think so, huh? No, I don’t think so!”

We took the screen off the top part of the door and moved it to the bottom panel. Nobody is telling the kitty that there’s still an open part a few feet up.