08 October 2012


And so there is only one more stage to occur in my relationship with the black cat. Now, when I step out of the house in the dark, early morning, the cat stands waiting. I don’t know where s/he has been sleeping but I suspect she has set up some domestic arrangements under the porch. It is somewhat shielded there from the cold rain and wind. Greeting me, s/he speaks uttering some form of greeting or concern for its hunger. I wish it a good morning and head out toward Walden. The cat walks before me forward, turning occasionally to ensure that I am still following behind.  As we approach the cabin, the motion light turns on (I do not know to whose motion the light responds) and I enter and turn on the light switch to illuminate the inside. Outside the cat sits immediately in front of the door staring into the now-lit room, declaring its hunger with some urgency and even complaint. Or it is questioning my devotion and dependability. This morning I put my coffee mug on the reading desk, and head to the book shelves under which I store the cat’s supplies. I grab a can of soft food and the bag of hard Purina Cat Chow and head back out into the dark. The motion light goes on. As I open the door the cat scurries away, but soon turns back towards my crouching figure and makes constant exclamation as I fill its bowls with food. It paces close to me now, seemingly unafraid of my presence. This morning the black cat must have been especially hungry (the weather has turned blustery and it needs to build up its levels of fat) because even while I still squatted at the bowls, it began to taste from the bowl of soft food. And as it ate, I reached out to scratch its neck but it did not cease its feasting. Rather, the black cat arched its neck in seeming pleasure with the physical attention I was paying it, and then turned immediately back to the bowl. Soon it grew again suspicious and moved back behind the corner of the cabin, disguised behind the single burning bush; for its comfort I arose and reentered the cabin and the cat returned to the bowls and finished its breakfast. Then it sat down before my door to bathe itself and take a nap.
An hour or so later I headed out for my morning run, shower and breakfast, and when I returned some time later to the cabin the black cat was still sitting lying before the door. It has a sense that every time I open the door to Walden I will give it food, but that is not my intention. Nonetheless, the black cat has begun to set up some kind of residence in the environs of Walden, during the day sleeping in the woods that surround it or sitting by the cabin in the warm sun on those days when it shines. Today is not one of the days, and I think the black cat is considering that one day it may have to enter the cabin door after its morning meal. As it sits in front of the door or outside across from a window, it looks inside with some wonder and curiosity. I wonder does it know that winter approaches? I wonder at what temperature it will throw caution to the wintry winds and venture in. And will it consider itself a resident or a transient visitor?


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