The Professor and the Cat - A Conversation
The Professor and the Cat
You came in from the night and cuddled warm beside me.
Could it be you chose me because of my scraggly beard or perhaps the odor of my battered clothes? Did someone throw you out at the Freeway? Are you homeless, like me?
You are welcome to stay here among the tents.
You are an affectionate little thing. I’ll tell you something, I’m not the least bit surprised that you cling to me. Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been a magnet for feline attraction.
I used to live in a house down by the lake and one day I found a white cat in my boat. Maybe it was the smell of fish that drew him. For days he hung around keeping his distance. Wasn't long till he trusted me enough to come inside my house where he became a fixture, all white, fluffy and fat. As time went on, he began to develop an attitude, like he was in charge of the territory, like he wore the badge of justice. I named him Mr. Dillon.
Then there was this gray stray, hobbling across my yard with a sticker in his foot. He was sure grateful when I removed it and I was rewarded with happy licks. I fed him. He limped around on that sore foot a couple of days and was perfectly happy to stay outside on my stoop. I named him Chester.
Mr. Dillon and Chester. I never missed an episode of Gun Smoke. It was my favorite TV show. Oh yeah, I know what I’ll do. I’ll name you “Miss Kitty”. Now there was a smart woman. Pretty too. Nobody messed around with Miss Kitty. She was the Sheriff’s girlfriend. Yep, that’s what I’ll do. That'll be your name and you'll grow up to be just like her.
Come on, Miss Kitty. Let’s go down to the shelter. Maybe I’ll luck up today and get a Tuna sandwich. I will ask for a glass of milk. You and me, we’ll come back here and have a feast! Then I’m going to take you to meet my friends. After that, I’ll show you where that mean dog lives.
Stick with me kid, and I’ll show you the ropes. How to survive the streets. Someday you’ll be a wise old cat, like me. They don’t call me professor, for nothing.