Of course, what’s not to love about our backyard if you’re a cat? Tall grasses, flowers and shrubs create a mysterious cat-size jungle perfect for prowling – and napping. Well-stocked birdfeeders mean a potentially endless supply of avian hors d’oeuvres. And then there’s Ben, our dog. Kingston has decided he also likes Ben.
I’m afraid Ben does not reciprocate the feeling. He was "raised" by cats as a puppy and, to this day, is chronically suspicious of our feline friends. Toby, the older cat, was a relentless bully well into his later years, bushwhacking Ben whenever he could – whether coming through a door or nosing around the flower beds. And although our other cat, KC, was kinder and gentler, he was also, for lack of a better word, a nut job, treating Ben as a four-legged rubbing post, much to the dog’s consternation – and embarrassment.
Yesterday, Kingston kicked off his daily visit by investigating a limb of the cherry tree we had just cut down. Spotting Ben, he stalked through the branches with great stealth and concentration, popping out from among the leaves like a furry little jack-in-the-box. Ben was not amused.
The little cat then hunkered down companionably (or so he thought) and stared, unblinking, at Ben. Poor Ben. He tried every which way to avoid Kingston’s Sphinx-like scrutiny.