Neighborhood Cats

Toby Likes to Sit in Pots
Toby Likes to Sit in Pots

Things settle down a bit when you get older. You enjoy small, quiet pleasures rather than big parties and find that music in bars is simply too loud. And, if you’re like me and my husband, you structure your walks through the neighborhood by the location of cats.

What? Cats? Why, yes!

When the weather is cool enough to take a walk around the neighborhood, we definitely take advantage of that time to get some exercise and see a bit of our area. As we have explored, we have met some of our feline neighbors and made fast friends among them. They provide us with some companionship along our walks and often liven up our days.

First and foremost is “Toby,” a cat who has adopted us as part of his inner circle. We first began seeing him last spring when he would stalk the birds in our yard. He would enjoy the morning sun and then disappear for several days. It has taken several months of patient coaxing to make friends with Toby, but he has finally come to trust us. Lately he will visit in the morning, excitedly squeaking for breakfast and showing his gratitude for our care. Although he appears to have a family, he has certainly begun spending much of his time with us, becoming a part of our family in the process.

A few blocks down from us, we happened across a gorgeous gray cat with medium hair. As we walked by her house, she ran to the curbside and demanded attention. She is a small kitty but big of heart. Each time we see her, she shows us some love, and we have come to look for her each time we go by.

And finally, there is Charlie, a handsome marmalade cat. Our first meeting with him was a little unusual in that we were simply walking down the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street when he meowed loudly and crossed the street, running directly for us. He is quite friendly and outgoing and almost always gives us a hearty meow when we pass. He seems to be a local favorite among both adults and kids.

Indeed, our circle of family and friends has grown with our walks through the neighborhood. As we have gotten our exercise, we have had the privilege of meeting some of the most gorgeous, friendly, and independent cats. We have enjoyed our visits and appreciated their willingness to trust us. And our friends certainly make our walks more enjoyable.

On Porch Swings and Good Memories

Original Photo by taliesin on Morguefile.com
Original Photo by taliesin on Morguefile.com

Back in the day…yes, I’m going to reminisce a bit.

I am old enough to remember when people would sit on their front porches, enjoying the weather and talking with their neighbors. People knew one another and shared their stories from the day, whether it was work or kids or home. Too, they would offer each other sweet tea and cookies if the need arose.

I know it sounds a bit like a fairy tale at this point. Now, I see people rush by on their daily walks, listening to music or chatting on their phone. No one sits outside any more, and very few of us know our neighbors. We lead hurried, isolated lives while being electronically connected to the world.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have all of those electronic devices for entertainment. We talked, played cards and board games, and did crafts. The fathers in our neighborhood played basketball in the evenings, and the kids enjoyed games of “Red Light, Green Light” and “Red Rover.” The mothers chatted, drinking tea or some other such drink. Cookies and Kool-aid were plentiful for all.

Porch swings were a place to sit a spell. They were outdoors but shaded, allowing you to enjoy that cool breeze that comes by every once in a while. They were a place to prepare freshly picked green beans for the pot or even work on a cross stitch. And for kids, they were a place where you could dangle your legs off the side and swing as hard as you could, at least until your parents caught you.

Yes, for some it might seem a fairytale. But for the rest of us, those porch swings bring back some good memories, and perhaps, a bit of sadness for what we’ve lost.