The sun beat down on a little cat. She was sitting at the corner waiting for her favorite person to come by. He was there everyday rain or shine with a small treat from his lunch. Some days it was a scrap of fish, other days a chicken or if she was really lucky he brought her ham. She would do her normal dance of turns and nuzzles responding in kind to his hand gliding over her skin. After a few moments, she would meow and in turn he would surrender her reward.
It was not that she was incapable of finding her own sustenance, far from it, but the interaction was also a safe place to relax. It was like the safety zone in a child’s game, a brief respite from the dangers of everywhere else. He had tried to take her home once, but she would have none of that. She had talked to several house cats before and each boasted of the pleasure of a day lying uneventfully in the sun. But this kitty knew that life was not for her.
For her, this kitten needed excitement. The thrill of chasing a rat for a city block, matching wits on who knew their turf better. Little did the rodents know that with each loss, she learned a new trick. Where to evade predators one week or another place to hide form the rain the next.
Lost in her daydreams of an excellent chase she almost missed the man. He was looking for her and she sauntered over to him, from behind a bush to the sidewalk. She started her nuzzles against his leg. He made noises too, she assumed it was whatever the humans made as a sign of affection and submission to her loyalty. After a few moments he reached down, this day with some turkey. She grabbed it form his hand as always and took it over to the bushed to nibble.
She looked up at him between nibbles and tears at the meat. He was smiling, watching the completion of their daily ritual. He turned to walk off as he normally did to wherever it is that humans go. And she trotted happily off to her own agenda of the day. The gray cat had told her where there was a cat nip bush growing and today she was determined to see if that was truly the case.
She pulled up close to the buildings, her dark coat helping her hide from casual observers. To get to the lot where this plant grew she would have to cross several other cats‘ territories and evade a few dogs along the way. The cats were easy as for the most part she wanted nothing to do with them and often the feeling was mutual. The dogs were the hard ones to avoid. They shared their territory and would chase in packs. Sometimes they had their humans with them too. The humans were even less predictable.
For example there was her favorite one that fed her. There were others that would offer up food too. However there were the wee ones that would chase for no reason, with boundless energy it could go on forever. Then there were the ones that just plain did not like cats. Those were the ones that she feared most. They could be mean and lock her up or worse.
But no matter, this was a warm and sunny day and she was off to find something and maybe even toy with a mouse or lizard along the way. The melted into the shadows of an alley and in stealth mode made her way to her destination, a grassy lot with a choice plant to have.
She arrived in the lot through a hole in the fence. It had been a communal garden at one point, there were several plots of land each with their own crops. In one there were peppers and another had beans growing. Some of the plants looked like they were all flowers an no leaves at times. Flowers were good because they brought the insects which brought the small lizards to snack on. There was a small shed which provided shelter in the winter from the cold and rain in the spring. In the summer the place was littered with areas to hide from the sun and the tattered fence provided shelter from the windy days of autumn.
She was uncertain as to whom the nice one had been that brought something as wonderful as nip here. She also knew that she was not the only cat who would come to this place. They had all come to the conclusion fights were not allowed here otherwise you would lose your privileges of the refuge. The garden belonged to no one and though you may spend a night, it was scarce on sustainable food.
She found the plant she had been questing for and gave it a nuzzle, and released a long purr. She imagined it is what it must be like at the places the humans gathered and tasted their fowl smelling drinks. Or maybe it was something similar to when they dined for hours through the brown concoctions they wasted perfectly good milk on. Either way it set her at ease and made her indifferent to the world.