This evening before Kelly and I left the house to take our after dinner walk around the neighborhood I was walking past the door and noticed both of our cats were by the screen in tense poses. I glanced out, expecting to see a raccoon, or even possibly the fox, on the deck, drawn by the aroma of grilled chicken. John had grilled the chicken breasts for dinner tonight out on the deck.
It wasn't any wild beast on the deck, it was Cooper, the huge marmalade cat from across the street and through the backyard to another house on the other side of the loop. He's been here hunting mice and birds before, but has not been particularly friendly. he must have been hungry because he was super friendly this evening, allowing us to pet him. We gave him some tuna Temptation treats to tide him over until his owner got home to feed him. He was very grateful and walked with us to the driveway where he decided to stay for awhile as we continued our walk.
I was surprised by how protective of their home Revere and the more scaredy cat Riley Beans are Revere was really growling and hissing. We had to close the door because I didn't want him going through the screen at Cooper.
A curious story is related to this. Colette had a huge black and white coon cat named Smoky. He was very young the first time he appeared in our yard. We had our huge tom tiger cat Marty at the time, a seasoned veteran of street fights downtown, but really a big mellow fellow t heart. He found the younger kittenish Smoky annoying at first, but as Smoky grew up and got bigger they actually hung out together. Marty would often visit Smoky at his people's home, and Smoky was often at ur house. Smoky was never a very friendly cat, but he'd waltz into the house to partake of a pinch of catnip, eat Marty's food, and even would nap down in the basement on a box with a blanket folded on it in the winter if his people weren't home and he was stuck outside. He spent the entire night of a snowstorm snoozing in our basement. I had to call his owner in the morning to assure her that he was all right and would be heading home as soon as the roads were plowed. She was relieved to know he'd had shelter and food during the storm.
Smoky had a secret life at our house, and I suppose the same could be said of Marty at their house. They were great buddies.
After we had Marty put down when he was very sick with cancer, Smoky would come to the house looking for him. We adopted a tabby kitten and a tuxedo kitten that summer. Smokey wasn't so sure about the kittens but would visit regularly. As the tabby, Jason, grew up and looked more like Marty, he and Smoky were soon great pals. Smoky missed his tiger friend and adopted tabby Jason. He started coming itno the house again and even tolerate the more shy tuxedo Diego.
It was a sad day when Colette informed us that Smoky had died.
So, yes, cats do form friendships and pal around together in the neighborhood. I didn't know that because we always had more than one cat in the house so they hung out together and ignored outsider cats. But...the friendship of Marty and Smoky was an eye opener. (Smoky would even show up on Christmas for turkey! And he got his own bag of catnip that we tucked into Collette's mailbox- nothing like putting a baggie of leafy material in your neighbor's mailbox!!!
Anyway- after our visit from Cooper, Kelly and I walked up the street and there on the corner was another neighbor out doing some yard work and lo and behold he had a marmalade puppy with him! We stopped to chat as the puppy was the same color as Cooper. The puppy is a female and her name is Penny. She was barking and growling at us, reminiscent of Revere hissing and growling at Cooper- very protective of her owner and her yard! Cute as a button, too!
So, that is the story of the marmalade cat and the marmalade puppy!