Neighborhood Cat

Eileen Sateriale

Copyright 2002 by Eileen Sateriale 

A cat in the neighborhood is like a security guard; she ambles through everyone’s property as if hired by the neighborhood association. I’ve got one in my neighborhood. She belongs to the neighbor a two houses down and but she thinks the entire neighborhood is hers.

I love to garden and I planted it in front of my house so I could admire its beauty. I’ve planted beautiful daffodils that signal the beginning of spring. A few crocuses that friends have given me adorn the walkway. In summer the bulbs die and I plant some annuals to give the garden color. In the fall, I plant a few chrysanthemums and rearrange some crowded bulbs for next spring’s bloom. This is my hobby, I take offense when anyone but me transverses the garden.

She wanders onto my property like it’s her territory. Like I planted the garden for her benefit. She walks on all fours, purring happily, with her tail standing at attention.

She sniffs the blossoms in the flowerbed. Then, she stops and observes. Maybe she’ll go home, I think to myself.

Through the plants a small creature scurries. She arches her back, studies the scene, realizes it's a mouse and lunges. She chases the creature with all her might.

She's in a race and to the victor goes the spoils. Go cat, go. There she lies, eating a dead mouse, contentedly, under the foundation of my house. I don’t mind. I guess I need her more than I realize.

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