Tuesday, July 26, 2016
The buildings where I lived were all connected, that is, one could walk from one roof to the next. After ten to fifteen buildings, side roads would provide a break in connectivity. My terrace had a low two-foot wall, with a small gap on one side. If the cats went through that gap, they could walk along an overhanging parapet and cross through to the next building, and with a little maneuvering could continue onwards.
When Fluffy called them, the kitties obediently began to follow her as she walked through the gap, onto the parapet. I leaned over the wall to see where they were going. They had crossed about two buildings when little grey kitty looked back and saw me. Turning around, she ran back at top speed to me. I put my hand down to her--did she want me to pick her up? But no--she patted my hand two or three times with her paw, looked intently at me, and then raced back again to join her family. It seemed to me she was saying, Thank you, and also, ‘I’ll see you again.’
For the next two months I did not see any of them. I heard they were living on the roof of a building further on for some time, and then that they had disappeared. Meanwhile Mister continued to visit. Though he never got any friendlier, I felt we shared a bond.
And then, suddenly, the little grey kitty, somewhat bigger now, was back! She was easily identifiable, as her right back leg was brown, something unusual in a grey tabby. At first I thought she was a boy, but after a while realized she was a girl. She was so smart, that I named her Smart Cookie or Cookie for short. Cookie now spent much of her time on my terrace. I fed her everyday, and she and Mister seemed to get on okay. Its not that they sat cuddled together, but he never hissed at her. He began to nap on the terrace at times, while she slept a short distance away.
Cookie was a great hunter. A few days after her return, she proudly showed me a little mouse that she had caught. It is always sad to see a dead creature, but Cookie began to celebrate what was probably her first catch with such exuberant joy, tossing it in the air and catching it again, that I could not help feeling happy for her.