Coffee in My Garden – First Day of Vacation, Y’all! With Smokey

It’s cold this morning (55) so we aren’t outside, but I do have the sliding door open – much to the joy of the cats. Even Smokey, our once-feral, now indoor (by choice) kitty is enjoying running in and out of the back garden. It’s supposed to get up to 79 today, but doesn’t feel like it right now. Beanie, the parrot, is not thrilled with the lack of outdoor time, but she has learned to accept having the open door as a substitute.

I may be witnessing a Christmas miracle – Smokey is actually playing with Petey! I want to take a picture or a video of this rare happening, but I don’t want to spoil the moment. Smokey is not the friendliest of cats. We marvel that this little recluse is the same bold kitten who literally attached herself to our son’s pant leg as he was jogging through the park one afternoon. A sudden shower came up and Smokey apparently reasoned that wherever Son was going, it had to be better than where she was, so she climbed up his pant leg and “Hi. I’m coming home with you.” She was a darling that nasty, stormy night, insisting on being passed from one of us to another, perching on our shoulders, nestling on our laps. We figured she was someone’s pet who accidentally got out, but via canvassing the neighborhood, discovered she was not. Our vet suspected that her mother was likely a feral cat that lived in the park. We all remarked on how social Smokey was. That was a ruse. Once she figured she had us sucked in, she became the Invisible Cat, hiding under the couch, waiting for unsuspecting bare feet to pounce on.

When Smokey first came to us

When Smokey first came to us

Personality-wise, Smokey is shy and somewhat cranky. She will swat anything within range. She has the personality of a crotchety old kitty, though she’s only a few years old. By contrast, Petey is an older kitty who still views life as a kitten.

Petey loves to play

Petey loves to play

He delights in hiding behind bushes, trees, and pouncing on whoever happens by. Tigger will play with him. Xena does not. Xena loves people, hates other cats. She would prefer to be an only cat. I’m not entirely sure she has any idea she is a cat. In fact I’m pretty sure does not. When Smokey first appeared, we thought Xena’s motherly instincts would kick in. We discovered that Xena apparently has no motherly instincts. She hated Smokey on sight. By contrast, Tigger was the one who bathed Smokey, who ate with her. He was the only one she would allow to sleep near her (we didn’t have Petey back then). But I’ve never seen her actually play with either one of them until today.

Smokey's Hideaway

Smokey’s Hideaway

I don’t know that Smokey will ever be friendly, but these days she is more willing to be seen, to accept love, to hang out, to let us pet her (if she’s hungry). I have yet to hear her purr, but rumor has it she does. When she’s afraid or doesn’t feel well, she runs to us, so we know we have her trust. That’s something.

She’s not the most lovable cat we’ve ever had, but she is who she is and we love her anyway.

Smokey now

Smokey now

Trying to take a picture of Smokey enjoying the garden, but every time I get up she bolts for the door, terrified I’m going to close it, so I’ll stay put, enjoy my coffee, and let her enjoy the morning sunshine.

For more on this weekly photo challenge go here.

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