Since we moved into this house about 10 years ago there have been a succession of feral cats that have come around. Perhaps they are attracted to the indoor cats; most likely it’s because we feed them (stupid, I know, but we’ve tried to catch them and get them neutered – but it isn’t easy).
First there was Mr. Bones – an old, scraggly looking thing that came around briefly. Then there was “Ta-ta”, named by the kid who thought he looked like a tiger but couldn’t say the word properly. Then there was Bullseye, and Chalupa – who I wrote about here.
And amazingly enough, after about 7 years, there’s still Bullseye.
All this time this unneutered male crept around our house, nipping at the food we left out for him but never letting us approach him. Each winter we put out a small shelter for him, a covered litterbox that we’ve lined with old blankets and towels to keep him warm on covered patio. However he would dart out of his “house” if we paid him much attention.
Until this year.
Over the past few months Bullseye has begun allowing us to pet him. We can sit with him outside and he interacts with us, rubbing against our legs and encouraging us to give his ruff a nice scratch.
Why the relatively sudden change after such a long time? Beats me. At first I thought it was because he was sick, but aside from an eye infection that is clearing up on its own, he’s quite heavy and solid when I try to pick him up. Perhaps he senses that the people who provide him daily food and shelter aren’t such a bad lot after all. I really don’t know for sure.
And maybe that’s part of why I keep animals. As predictable and simple as they are, they still manage to surprise me and teach me something. What that something is, as in the case of Chalupa, is not always readily apparent.