Our family now has a “resident” cat that we diligently feed at least thrice a day. It used to be a stray. One of those neighborhood cats that just appear from house to house seemingly out of nowhere. It kept coming back to our place because we always give it food. It has now become a permanent fixture in our yard and acts like a household cat – unabashedly mewling and begging for food anytime it wants.
We are more than happy to feed it though. Apart from being a family of cat lovers, we have also seen how it has been helpful in getting rid of rats that that preys on my dad’s chickens. He raises a few for food so we always have chickens around. And it is pitiful (and gross) how rats sometimes end up killing some of them, especially the chicks.
Useful or not, I love having a cat around. I grew up surrounded by them. My grandmother owned roughly forty of them at one point. Some of them lived inside my grandparents’ house while others stayed outside. But all of them were taken cared of.
Having cats can teach you a lot of things. Recently, I have learned that if you want to get used to dealing with rejection, pretend that you own a cat. Case in point would be our stray-turned-“pet”. It has never allowed any of us to touch him/her. It hissed at me the first time I tried just before I was about to feed it. I thought that after months of hanging around with us it would at least start acting like a pet. But it is still aloof and prickly albeit a lot less than before. I think cats alone can pull it off. They have the gall and power to squeeze every bit of pity, love, and loyalty from their humans while remaining stingy with their affections. And while it stings every time our cat rejects our attempts to coddle it, we still love it.