The phone rings and it is the neighbour calling. There’s a knock on the door and it’s the neighbour. This happens everyday several times a day. It’s not that we are all that chummy although we are friends. It is all about the cats,all the time.
Archie, large, all black and soft short hair is very well-known and respected on our little street. He goes everywhere and eats at all the little bistros he can find in the neighbourhood. He is fed bologna or toast, depending on what the neighbours have to offer. He has been known to sit in recycling bins and eat up any remains in the tins. Unfortunately he often tosses the cans out of the bins in order to get the best bits. He scoops the stuff out with his paws and then licks his paws. He’s a very friendly and well fed mooch. Believe me he is well fed at home but he seeks out tidbits to round out his diet. He is a foodie. The kids in the day care beside us really like him and so do their parents. People who say they don’t like cats are fond of him. He has even been invited to a child’s birthday party down the street. Archie has often visited a reclusive family two doors down from out house and slept over countless nights at the foot of their beds. When we have a chance meeting with this family they only want to talk about Archie and tell me about his visits with them. He likes to sit on deck chairs or porch swings when neighbours are entertaining outside in good weather. In poor weather he sleeps on a quilt covered pillow in a basket in our bay window and watches the kids get on and off the bus. He walks into everyone’s garage or tries to get into their cars to sleep. Archie doesn’t say much, he doesn’t have to. He just looks cute and gets all the attention he needs. Toddlers at the daycare knock at our door as they leave with the parents to let us know when he wants to come in. In baby talk they tell us..”Arshie iz coldt n he whantz tu cum n”.
Frances, Archie’s sister ( from the same litter) is tiny and sleek tortoise-shell. She is timid but loves to hunt. Rather than stay with the neighbours she hangs out in the doghouse. She will only approach the neighbour when she is cold or wet. She hates to be picked up but will delicately snuggle after a chilly few minutes outside. Frances is however a talker and a crier and let’s you know if she is hungry, lonely or cold. Once she is comforted she shakes her tail and rubs it under the chin of our big old dog Holly. On the whole she mainly keeps to herself and lives a dainty lifestyle. Her main trick to get people to contact us is to huddle on the doorstop and cry piteously. That’s when the phone starts to ring or there is a knock at the door. ” Uh, Frances is crying again….”
Both Archie and Frances come and go as they please at our place as we are lucky to live on a quiet street in a rural village. They have it pretty good. The neighbours call on their behalf or bring them to the door to let us know they want in. Isn’t it nice we can all get along? It gives you pause to think how lucky we are and maybe we should all look out for each other this way, everyday, everywhere.