We arrived at the same time and parked in the circular driveway. Then, after a quick greeting, we headed up the wide path to the front door of the vacant home. Sally Castillo, the lovely young lady in charge of the staging company, was there to share her ideas on preparing the house for sale.
The last occupant had only moved out a few days before. The renter had owned a black-and-white tomcat that she doted on. I’d visited once, noticing several plastic crates covered in soft carpeting which she’d positioned by the windows. One of the crates had been placed at the center of the floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing the cat to sit and watch the outside world while his owner was at work.
While Sally walked around making sure we’d covered each room, I lingered by the main living room window, admiring the desert landscape. That was when I noticed something on the walkway, just feet from the front door. Something I was sure hadn’t been there before. Something dead.
“Sally, can you come look at something, please?”
She came over.
I pointed. “Do you see something there? By the front door?”
Sally stepped closer to the window. “That wasn’t there before. What is it?”
“I’m not sure. I guess I’ll go take a look.”
Just then, from the corner of my eye, I caught a quick flash of movement from beneath a large sago palm. A big, fluffy orange tabby had stretched out in the shade and lay staring at us while we stared back at him.
We both rushed out, only to catch a glimpse of orange tail disappearing over the low wall.
There, in full sight by the front door, was half a prairie dog—the bottom half. Fresh kill.
Over the years, I, too, had been the lucky recipient of offerings from many cats. Dead birds, bunnies, even a dead mouse. That’s how a cat lets you know how they feel about you, by sharing their most prized possessions.
I stared at the poor dead rodent on the walkway while drawing my conclusions. The orange tabby had likely been a regular visitor to the residence, socializing with the black-and-white tomcat through the window pane when the owner was at work. The tabby had probably noticed our cars and thought his feline friend had returned.
A loving welcome back offering.
It comforts me to know that Orange Cat must be cherished by his owners—he looked well fed, his coat lustrous.
And I can’t help wondering if the black-and-white tomcat who had lived on the in side of the window misses his free-roaming friend. If only I had the power to let Tomcat know he’s also missed.
#cats #emptynest #pets #realestate