Thursday, August 4, 2016

Black Cats Are The Best Even When I Fail At Taking Pictures Of Them

Now Playing: Silversun Pickups - Circadian Rhythm (Last Dance)

There's this black cat that lives in my neighborhood that is notoriously difficult to get close to. Most of the stray cats that I see in my neighborhood are standoffish. Far as I know, they really and truly don't have owners and feel immediately threatened by people who get too close. They don't like being touched and don't like being followed. Any sort of tiny footstep that alerts them of your presence has them breaking into a panic and fleeing.

They don't look malnourished to me so I'm under the assumption that someone's feeding them. Or they're total badasses who find their own food and are totally cool with chilling in the parking lot.

Anyways, I've been trying to befriend most of them but I'm a terrible Cat Person. I didn't know, until my brother told me, that cats--and dogs, and a ton of animals--don't like it when you hold eye contact because they perceive it as a threat. Which explains all the glaring I kept getting whenever I meowed really loudly at them. (I'm sure glaring is their way of saying, "you look like a fucking idiot, stop talking to me, YOU'RE NOT MAKING ANY SENSE.")

That black cat in particular has been the most standoffish, but I also try to approach him most often. As he's not mine and it doesn't feel right to name him, I shall refer to him as Tsundere Cat, because that's what Silvia nicknamed him when I told her about him.

Once, I waited by a car for like twenty minutes--sitting on the burning asphalt cooked by the afternoon sun--because he was hiding beneath said car in the shade. Following my brother's instructions, I learned to lower my eyes when I approach him and stretch my hand out slowly. As you would approach royalty, I'm assuming.

The thing is--I don't know that much about animals. As proven by my inappropriate levels of eye-contact. I don't really know how much they comprehend or how they store memories or whatever else. So I wasn't even sure Tsundere Cat would ever remember me long enough to warm up to me.

Then last Tuesday, when I was coming home from work, I saw him. 

I always get stupidly happy when I see him. I meowed to get his attention, and he turned and stared and meowed back. 

He's done that a few times recently. Usually he breaks into a run as soon as I make my way over to him, but this time he just sat there. So as I walked, eyes cast downward, outstretched hand, I meowed again. And he replied.

I got close. I was afraid to touch him at first, but I held my fingers by his nose to see how he reacted. To my complete surprise (because I really wasn't expecting it after months and months of not being able to get close) he licked the back of my fingers.

I wanted to just throw my arms around him and squeeze him really tightly; might have done so if I'd been sure it wouldn't scare the shit out of him and cause him to maul me. I was just deliriously happy at his reaction. He let me scratch his head too but mostly he seemed to be looking and meowing at me for food--he kept sniffing around my hand as if something edible would materialize. He kept circling around me, which made the subsequent pictures I attempted to take very blurry:

This was when he realized I didn't have any food and was starting to depart. I scratched his head one last time as he was leaving, and he jerked away. I let him go and haven't seen him for a few days now, but while we might not be friends yet, I think I'm getting there. Honestly, just thinking that he's starting to recognize me is enough to make me smile.

I'll have food for him next time.

Later that week, I tagged along with Red to visit his parent's house. Another black kitty awaited, friendlier in the sense that she allowed us to revere her by petting her:

She was also very stealthy. She was one of the last of his cats that I saw, and Red walked around the living room for a good ten minutes calling her name until she decided to show up.

There were other cats, but I only got this incredibly blurry picture of one other one:

And then got a ton of pictures of his dog, who was very easy to adore. She lied at my feet in the middle of the kitchen so I could scratch her belly and neck.Whenever I'd stop, she'd nudge me with her paw, or motion in the air to tell me to keep going. I told her, "You know I can't do this forever," but after she licked my leg and nuzzled me, I thought, nope, lies, I can do this forever.

The black cat extravaganza also reminded me of the rusted kitty Silvia and I once found in front of the library. Miraculously, decent pictures were obtained. Probably because two cameras were involved:

Kinda wish I had pets now.

Or familiars. Familiars would be great too.

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