Ace’s new obsession: A cat named Tom
Ace has a new top obsession — a neighbor named Tom, who has taken over the first place spot previously held by a neighbor named Al.
Ace hit it off immediately with Al, an older man who lives about five doors down. When Al started giving Ace treats, his apartment became the first place Ace looked when he went outside. When Al bought a jumbo bag of chicken jerky treats to hand out when Ace went by, the relationship grew even stronger. He loves Al, but he loved those jerky treats the way an addict loves crack.
Since Christmas, though, Ace’s priorities have changed. My next door neighbor got a kitten.
He is a very cute kitten, and very tiny. Ace — and we should point out here that cats are the only species Ace seems more taken with than humans — has met Tom once, sniffing him while his owner held him.
Ever since then, the first thing Ace does when he goes outside — even before peeing — is to run over to the neighbor’s front window to see if the cat is there. He stares up at the window, then he jumps up, putting his paws on the sill. The first time he did that, the cat jumped down and disappeared.
The next time, the cat wasn’t bothered in the least. And now the cat seems to be waiting for him. He’ll gaze at Ace, paw at the window and press his face against it. After a couple of weeks, they both seem to view the visits as a regular part of the day’s schedule, and Ace seems to think checking on the cat is his new job.
If the cat is not in the window, Ace will jump up, peer in, crane his neck, look side to side and get upset. Eventually, the cat will appear, and then they will stare at each other as long as I allow it.
It takes a lot of urging to pull Ace away.
I am 99.999 percent sure Ace does not want to eat the kitten. He has shacked up with cats before, and been enamored with them, though only one we visited seemed to tolerate his interest.
But because the kitten is so young he would only be one swallow, and because the kitten has had some health issues, they’ve yet to hang out together unrestrained and in person.
As for Al, Ace still bolts off when sees him, even though we’ve dropped the chicken jerky treats. They were made in China, and — though I doubt they were responsible for Ace’s recent health issues — both Al and I had read some warnings about them.
I’m 99.99999 percent positive that Ace isn’t looking at Tom as a treat — even if he does sometimes drool a little while staring in his window.
But Ace’s Tom-excitement and his jerky-excitement appear to be two different things. With the jerky, he gets all drooly and subservient. With Tom, his tail and ears perk up. He seems more intent, more studious, less zombie-like, as if it’s more an intellectual hunger than a physical one.
One of these days, they’ll get to spend some time together. Maybe, with all the anticipation behind him, that will make him less obsessed, or then again it could make him more that way. Until then, they’ll continue to relate, three or four times a day, through glass and screen.
Note to neighbor: You might detect some small holes in your screen; I fully (or at least 99.999999 percent) intend to buy you a new one.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 15th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ace, al, animals, behavior, cat, cats and dogs, chicken, china, dogs, jerky, kitten, neighbors, north carolina, obsessions, pets, relationships, road trip, species, tom, travels with ace, treats, window, winston-salem