Come take a quick tour of my neighborhood. To the immediate north of my house, in a position most commonly referred to as “neighbor” I guess, is a very nice lady who I called Susan for five years. That is not her name. Our southside neighbors are a family we’ve known for longer than I can remember. I do not call them by the wrong name too often anymore.
Across the street we have a family that did not provide the correct address on their People magazine subscription for years. Every week we’d walk the magazine over to the right mailbox. Next to them is a house of waiters and waitresses. They’re never home. Next to them is a house that somehow always has an idling truck in front of it.
Behind us and down the block a way, there’s a neighbor that provides the first sure sign of spring; constant yelling at children. There’s a house with a lawn that is always mowed, but I’ve never seen the occupants. Immediately behind the north part of our house is a family that keeps their dog outside all year. I call these people monsters. The back-south side is owned by a grandpa who teaches Sunday School and smokes ribs from time to time. Next to rib smokin’ grandpa is a house that burns leaves.
There’s not much any of these homes have in common other than location. Our homes are all about 50 years old, our streets are wide enough to turn around a big-rig in without worry, the local university football games happen within earshot; all in all a very typical neighborhood. It is a quiet existence and we all keep to ourselves well enough, going about our routines without really thinking of the neighbors around us.
That all changed today. Today we were all brought together by a tiny creature that found its way into our backyards. This cat we all see every day walking the sidewalks and darting across streets, the cat pictured above, decided to let it be known that spring has arrived and it is “time” to “welcome the season”.
You know what is not fun? Explaining to a group of young boys why the cat is so loud and why it is not meowing like a usual kitty.
I was pretty sure the toddler was going to change his answer for ‘what sound does a cat make?’ from ‘meow’ to “Arrrrrrghghggg hoooooooo rrrrrrreeeeeeeooooowwww”
Of course the cat started on the day rib smokin’ grandpa had the grandkids to himself too. “What’s that grandpa?” the children asked. Uncomfortable laughter followed, then finally “must be some sort of animal making noise.”
Yep. It was an animal. An animal sitting a tree in my backyard making very loud noises the whole neighborhood could hear quite clearly. A few other local cats heard it too. One showed up this afternoon as I was cleaning up the backyard. I left the scene and closed the house’s windows for a bit.