The Half-Wild Cat

The following is not part of a novel but an independent piece I wrote.

In the morning before twilight began to fill the sky, I would wake up and hear a soft meowing noise at the kitchen door. I knew that our guest, the cat with no name, had arrived.

My family never meant to have a cat. When we first moved into the neighborhood we did not know how many stray cats were wandering about, and within a matter of weeks one had stumbled into our backyard. He was in a desperate state when we saw him, he looked like a victim of famine, there was nothing but a bag of skin draped over a skeleton. My father didn’t want to feed him but my mom couldn’t resist his pitiful face and started giving him table scraps. After a few days the feeding became a habit, and eventually he started arriving the same time each day for his daily meal.

We never knew what the origin of the cat was. My mother suspected he might have been abandoned by a family who lost their home. But after examining the cat closer we noticed that he was never neutered, indicating that he was a feral animal. Considering how he behaves, it makes sense that he was feral.

At first the cat was very leery of human contact. But the more my mother fed him the more he was comfortable being touched by humans. Eventually he became so comfortable being around my mom and I that we could pet him like any regular pet. However there was still a hint of wildness in him, he still resists being picked up off the floor and would attempt to bite me from time to time. Fortunately my reflexes are good enough to avoid having his teeth sink into my skin, but there were a few close calls.

The cat always had an attitude problem. Whenever he encountered another cat he would always try to bully it into submission. There was an orange cat who likes to visit our backyard, and when the two encountered he would always hiss and claw at the other cat until it submitted or ran away in terror.

He didn’t always get his way though. From time to time he would come home battered, bleeding from his forehead or ears. On the one hand I couldn’t help but to pity him, on the other my mom couldn’t keep herself from scalding him for picking fights with other cats and possibly raccoons. However his belligerence eventually caught up with him when he got into a fight with another animal and was beaten so bad he broke one of his legs. Having only three legs to limp on he seemed to be less aggressive than before, but probably only because it was much more difficult for him to attack other cats with one front leg.

Despite being half-wild, he does have charm. Whenever he is hungry he would look up at me with beseeching eyes and then softly meows at me. Sometimes he would stand beside the door for more than an hour waiting to be fed. Though I know that this is a wild animal who would as quickly bite me as accept food from me, I couldn’t refuse his gentle face and soft meows. Age has mellowed his personality and I can easily play with him without the fear of being attacked. I love stroking his head and feel his purrs of satisfaction as he closes his eyes basking in my attention. Despite my misgivings of having adopted a wild animal, I am still glad to have him as my companion.

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