As my wife and I pull out of our garage in the car, we take a quick look around. Usually, lying in the garage under our second car or in the driveway is one of our feral cats. Usually, based on her behavior, we know it’s Momma Kitty. She rarely strays from our yard. As we look around, we don’t see her in either of those locations.
As we slowly make our way down the driveway, we take another look to see if Momma Kitty or any of the other cats are lying beneath the Leland cypress trees, near the various bushes around the side of the house, or under their favorite cherry tree. On this day, Momma Kitty has chosen to lie near the side of the drive and a little further down than usual. She is not completely blocking the driveway, like is often the case. However, she is taking up just enough room that we have to slowly pass by her, roll down the window, ask her to stay where she is and slowly move past her.
During the series of maneuvering, she lays perfectly still. She hears what we’re saying to her and acknowledges us with a slight turn of her ear in our direction. Other than the ear motion, she is indifferent to our comings and goings. She’s been there and done that many times before. She sees no need to get up or move out of the way or to give us any further acknowledgement. It’s a recurring routine to which we’ve all become accustomed.
I’m a big proponent of communicating verbally with my cats. I know they understand the words I’m saying, the visualization I project, and the positive energy I try to emit. Each morning when I place their food in the dishes, I explain to them what the day holds for the household. I provide them with a weather report and I ask them to stay nearby and to be safe. I also let them know if we anticipate a package being delivered to the house or if any landscapers or repairmen are going to be here during the day.
The cats listen closely to what I have to say and provide me with some sort of acknowledgement. Sometimes it’s a couple of tail flips or a rub against my leg. Other times it’s a turn of the ear or a long stare. It’s a different signal from each cat, but I have learned to trust that they understand. However, listening to what I say and responding in the manner I wish is sometimes two totally different things.
The cats will typically hang around the house and pay little attention to the mail carrier delivering a package. Mostly because she leaves the packages by the mailbox located at the end of the driveway. Sometimes, she’ll place the package on our front porch. However, this doesn’t interrupt the cats’ routines since they rarely visit the front porch unless it’s later at night.
The UPS and FedEx deliveries are a different story. They’ll pull up to the end of the drive, let their diesel engines idle, open and close a series of doors, and walk down the drive. The noise and smell of the trucks is too much for the cats to handle, let alone a strange person walking down the driveway carrying a box or package. They take one last look and hightail it to woods in the back of our house. Once the noise, smell, and strange person have left our property, they’ll cautiously emerge from their hiding places and resume their usual lounging and grooming routines.
Though I’ve informed the cats that the mowing crew will be visiting in a couple of hours, they waste no time in departing. As I turn to walk away, they scurry from the yard. They want no part of the mowers, weed whackers, or grass blowers. The landscape crew is always nice to them on the few times they’ve seen them. But the cats definitely don’t return the sentiment.
Later that evening a couple of friends pull into the driveway to visit and enjoy a nice dinner with us. We remind our friends that the cats may be in the driveway or around the house, so be careful when entering the driveway. Sure enough, as they slowly pull into the driveway we hear the honking of their horn. The horn honking isn’t to let us know they’ve arrived. Instead, it’s a wake-up call to the cats to get out of the path of the vehicle coming into the driveway so our friends can park and get into the house.
This usually does the trick, though the cats are never in too much of a hurry. They’ll look at our friends, slowly get up, stretch and then make their way off the driveway and into the yard. They know the driveway is their safe haven and they know most cars will slowly enter the drive. I believe they also recognize the cars that our friends drive and seem to sense that they love and have cats of their own.
So, for some visitors our cats don’t seem to mind them being at our house. For others, their welcome mat has been removed. Does your cat care about recurring visitors? Do the cats stick around when guests arrive? Share your stories and photos below.
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