Let me ask you:
Have you ever had a relative that outstayed their welcome or a friend who doesn’t know the etiquette of visiting and won’t leave? During their visit, you feed them, you give them cushy places to dwell and then you cannot get rid of them. Or…or you treat them well and you don’t hear from them again until they need something? Have you had any experience with this type of visitor?
I confess I don’t know many freeloaders, except for one...just recently. Let me tell you about her.
Years ago she needed me. I gave her a place to stay and she ate my food and slept here. She was well- demanding. One day she decided she didn't like some of my "other" friends and left- as if my feelings didn't matter. That hurt.
But in my heart, I still loved her.
After all, I’ve known her since she was a baby. I even….well… considered her more like family than friend. I’ve always tried to be there for her. And from time to time she would beat a path to my door usually for a...handout. I didn't really mind.
About 6 months ago, I called her. I had to call more than once before she came. In fact, it was evening before she arrived. One of her close (and only) friends had died and I was concerned, so I invited her over again. When she arrived, I met her at the door with a smile on my face and fondness in my heart.
I don’t know if I had said something to offend her, but she didn’t stay long that evening. She just ate and left.
But since that day, I believe she has decided that I am now “worthy” because our visits are no longer awkward. And now...she comes to visit every day.
•As long as I feed her.
•As long as I don’t replaced the rickety door that she can open on her own when she wishes to leave... then we can friends. She likes her freedom.
Kiki Dee was born from a feral cat in my shed a few years ago. She has personality problems. But then what cat doesn’t have issues, I ask you?
She doesn’t like other cats.
She’s not that fond of people, except me of course.
I have fed her since she was old enough to eat on her own. But she has always been a little scared of everything: Other cats, random noises, the wind, people, cars , dogs, floppy clothing, and lawnmowers.
I can pet her, but I can’t pick her up without consequences. (And I can't wipe that muck away from her eye: see first photo.)
When the last of the feral cats (that I felt sorry for and fed) -Ginger- died earlier in 2009, I started feeding Kiki inside my screened in breezeway instead of outside on the deck. She was freaky at first.
But one day, when I forgot to let her back outside, she learned quickly how to push the old screen door open and let herself out.
It got better after that day...our relationship. For months now we have been doing this thing, learning how to trust.
She's always been a very sweet cat. But if I go in the house too soon...you know not on her terms or timing... she has been known to reach out with claws and snag my pant leg.
Now back to freeloaders. December 28, 2009 Kiki Dee decided after eating to... stay and stay and almost wear out her welcome. She stayed inside for hours. She ran through the breezeway over and over again with her tail straight up in happiness! She ran on top of all the tables and over the backs of the wicker chairs. She ran into the garage and atop my car. (NOT so great.)
This made me happy that she was happy so... I fed her again…oh and again. I'm not above buying her love.
Because just like every other pet that has decided to live with me…they pretty much rule.
Besides, what's wrong with buying the love of my pets, family and friends and strangers as long as it's legal. Yes, that includes George Clooney…if he could be bought…and if he needed the money…which he doesn’t.
Sometimes freeloaders are just temperamental cats that come and go as they please. I just hope she doesn't go breaking my heart (again).... (get it, Kiki Dee and Elton John-and a song?) It's playing if you have your speakers on.
Hey, thank you for your nice comments. I needed some down time. Can you believe 2009 is about to end? Are you sad about that? Or are you glad for a new year?
Photo source: learnnc.org