Meeting my neighbors because of a cat

There’s a lot of activity right outside our house.

There are the morning walkers, dogs galore and a group of kids who walk and bike and ride scooters together. I’m guessing they’re told not to leave the neighborhood, but they’re basically left to their own devices.

And on pleasant evenings, the number of people strolling on our street is a veritable passeggiata.

But it’s not just people and their dogs. Chipmunks are everywhere, and the rabbits are coming back, although they don’t seem to be around as much as last year.

There’s a cardinal’s nest in the tree over our deck, and every now and then a woodchuck or groundhog or whatever you call it scurries across the lawn … well, as much as one can scurry.

We get visitors behind the house, too. Deer like to walk through the woods, and a few weeks ago, Suzi noticed that not only was there a turkey walking through the brush, the leaves underneath were also moving.

Those were the eight or so chick that were trailing behind. We called it the “poultrygiata.”

In recent weeks, another animal has started showing up.

A cat.

It wasn’t doing any harm, but it’s weird to see a cat wandering around the neighborhood. We didn’t think it was a stray — it looked healthy and well-fed — but I started to wonder the night after it made itself comfortable in the bush in front of the house.

At first we thought our cat Sasha had gotten out, since the cat in our yard had the same gray-and-white coloring.

But Sasha has stayed safely in the house, and our visitor would wander around the yard, leave and come back a few days later.

It wasn’t doing any harm, but it’s weird to see a cat wandering around the neighborhood. We didn’t think it was a stray — it looked healthy and well-fed — but I started to wonder the night after it made itself comfortable in the bush in front of the house.

For one thing, we knew that if it was a stray, Sasha was about to have a sibling.

I decided I was going to find out.

So I rang the neighbors’ doorbell.

OK, I’m pretty sure I know the names of more dogs than people where I live now.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like people. I’ll always smile and wave when I see them … I just generally keep to myself when I’m at home.

Sure, I never learned the name of the guy who lived across the street at my previous house, even as I was thanking him profusely for cleaning the snowplow drifts in my driveway that my snowblower at the time was too small to handle.

And yes, someone in my former neighborhood who was apparently (according to the person I talked to about it) inclined toward conspiracy theories did believe Suzi and I were in the witness protection program because we didn’t socialize much.

And … OK, I’m pretty sure I know the names of more dogs than people where I live now.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t like people. I’ll always smile and wave when I see them … I just generally keep to myself when I’m at home.

So when my neighbors opened their door, just in case they didn’t recognize me, my first words were “Hi, I’m Bill from next door …” — to let them know I wasn’t trying to pitch solar panels on them, selling absurdly expensive windows, asking them to sign a petition or plotting to murder them — “… do you have a gray-and-white cat who likes to run around outside?”

They didn’t, but they were pretty sure who did, pointing in the direction of a house where the loop in our road comes back around before heading downhill.

So I walked over to her house, where she was sitting out on her deck.

”Hi, I’m Bill from down the street …” — solar panels/windows/petition/murder — “… do you have a gray-and-white cat who likes to run around outside?”

Turns out she does. She adopted him when he was a couple years old, and he hates being indoors to the point of destruction, so she lets him out. She said he always comes home at night, and even if he did get lost and someone found him, he was microchipped.

We talked for roughly 15 minutes about the cat and various other neighborhood matters before I smiled, bid her good night and went home.

It was good to know the cat was safe and had a home, and to remember that the people in my neighborhood are nice if I actually talk to them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Meeting my neighbors because of a cat

  1. I’ve gotten to know my neighbors better because I like to walk outside while writing emails or making phone calls….but yeah, I know the dogs better than the owners.

    However, I love that we both have neighborhood kids who prefer playing outside over in front of a screen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m working on it. My wife knows more than I do, plus we had a chat with one of our neighbors this morning.

      And it’s not just outside vs. a screen, but just getting together on their own as opposed to scheduled and supervised by their parents.

      Like

  2. Pingback: The week gone by — July 4 – A Silly Place

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