What About Bob?

Posted: Friday, February 15, 2008 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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All my life, I’ve had this thing about cats; I don’t like them all that much.
It’s not that cats are particularly evil or anything it’s just that they seem to have this superiority complex and condescending attitude that I find annoying and, yes, intimidating.
When I was a boy, I remember a stray cat that happened to stray into our front yard. My older brother sort of claimed it as his own..naming him Sylvester.
Sylvester liked to hang out amongst the branches of a big elm tree.
He’d venture down for a bowl of milk or to catch a few rays of sunshine on the front porch but, like most feral cats, Sylvester never quite adjusted to humans or much appreciated being petted by one. He eventually snubbed us all and left in search of a higher tree and a better hand-out.
Or he got run-over..I can’t remember for sure.
I used to joke about the worthlessness of cats saying that to me they really amounted to nothing more than plants with feet. Feed ‘em, set ‘em in the sunshine and watch ‘em grow.
Our friend and neighbor, Alona Masters, absolutely adored her Siamese cat named Heidi. I never understood why.
Heidi lived to annoy and hisss at everyone BUT Alona for 22 long years before the last of its 9 lives finally gave out.
My attitude started changing when most of our kids became cat owners after they left home.
They have found their cats to be wonderful companions and pretty easy to take care of. Cats don’t need to be taken for walks and will instinctively poop in a box of sand.
We got to know our daughter Christy’s black cat, Felix, the best.
He was a fixture in her house on our annual visits to Phoenix.
Like all cats, Felix was aloof  but also pretty friendly as felines go. He would actually seek out a stranger’s lap and seemed to appreciate a little human affection and scratch behind the ears.
Well, we came very close to getting our own version of Felix in Texas.
Linda’s sister and brother-in-law have a beautiful home in the Hill Country north of Austin. They have been feeding several cats that show up at their back door and hang out on the patio.
Among them are a couple of brothers..black as coal..and about 4 months old.
One is your typical feral cat, stand-offish and anti-social. The other, who I named Bob, is friendly..comes when you call..and loves to be petted.Bob..lounging on the wicker. A cat after my own heart.He was ours for the taking but we decided to pass out of concern about the long ride to South Dakota. Plus it seemed a shame to take Bob away from the freedom he now enjoys frolicking around with his feline companions in the friendly neighborhood he now calls home..
Still..if any of you happen to be flying to Sioux Falls from Austin and wouldn’t mind buying an extra ticket for Bob, well……. Bye Bob

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