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National Editorials & Columns

Living with an uninvited guest

I think I have a new addition to my family. I’m not sure what to do about it. This unwanted guest just moved in uninvited and so far is pretty insistent on staying.

I first noticed her a couple of weeks ago in my backyard. My mom was over when this black cat made an appearance underneath the trellis that holds up a wisteria vine. I have a feeling it wasn’t the first time she had visited, but it was the first time I had noticed her.

I figured she must belong to a neighbor, but she was pretty skittish, so I thought maybe she was wild. But pretty soon, she came over and rubbed herself against my legs.

Mom said, “Don’t feed her or she will stay.” I don’t have anything to feed her, so I wasn’t worried about that.

I noticed her again a couple of days later, then again a few days after that. This time, she was asleep on my front porch when I checked the mail. I live alone in a big, old house, so I reckon she decided there was enough room for both of us.

Tonight, I was on the back porch eating a pizza with a friend when we heard a mournful noise outside. I opened the door and there was kitty. I offered her a slice of pizza.

I propped the back door open and, sure enough, kitty eventually made her way onto the porch. Before I knew it, she had jumped onto my lap and was purring loudly.

She still has her front claws, which I soon learned the hard way. She was pretty demanding in how she wanted to be petted. She would paw at my hand until I had no choice but to scratch her ears.

When my pal left, she decided she better go, too. Out in the backyard, I saw the gray fur of some other animal in the dim light. Maybe a rabbit or a possum. Kitty saw it at the same time and took off after it like a bullet.

After about 30 minutes, kitty was back.

At first, she just rested on the doormat watching the backyard for any other intruders. I sensed that she believed that this yard now belonged to her.

It’s time for me to go inside for the night, but I don’t know what to do about kitty. Do I turn her out so I can close the door or let her stay there? She looks pretty comfortable.

I’ve been thinking lately that it’s a bit lonely in this big house. I don’t want a dog, though, because dogs require a lot of attention. A cat can take care of itself.

I think the cat is right: This old house is big enough for both of us. And I have to admit that it’s nice having the company.

I will leave the door open enough that the cat can get out if she wants to. If she is still here tomorrow, I’m going to have to name her. I’m not buying any cat food, though. Not yet, anyway.

• David Porter, who can be reached at

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