watching and waiting

neighbourhood watch

I used to wish I could be a cat, to have nothing more to worry about than whether to sleep, eat or play. I’d watch the family cat saunter from one cosy corner to another, leaping effortlessly to the back of the couch to watch out the window, tail twitching, then on to the floor to stretch luxuriously in a patch of warm sunlight. To our current cat, playtime is as important as sleep. As I write this, I can hear him chasing his foam jingly spool up and down stairs, the floor over my head resounding as he pounces and leaps and races across the room.

One of the things I admire most about cats is their ability to watch and wait, as patient as a rock (except when they think it’s meal time). Outdoors, they will do their watching from a hiding spot — a shaded blind under a bush or the back steps — but indoors they are bold, they know the window protects them and they do not hide their curiosity at the comings and goings of the world outside. Like these cats, I spend a lot of time looking out windows, watching the changing sky, the people walking by, the wind in the trees.

I used to think that a cat looking out the window was longing to be outside, but now I’m not so sure. Like me, they are watchers; they just want to see.

Photo taken on February 21, 2011

11 thoughts on “watching and waiting

  1. First off … what a gorgeous shot! Not only because I’m a cat lover 🙂

    Li’l McDuff here, has quite a view of North End …and pigeons. We sometimes watch him, sitting in the window, and we wonder how he sees it. He’s always been an indoor cat, he’s never really seen cars ‘n stuff. Perhaps he sees them as little ants down there, moving around.

    I don’t think they’re longing to be outside, necessarily. His world consists of a two-bedroom-apartment.

    • Lucky McDuff — he really gets a bird’s eye view up there! I remember how two indoor cats we had were scared silly when we tried to entice them outdoors, unlike our current cat who was born in the wild. Most cats seem quite content to rule the indoor roost!

  2. It would seem that you were the interesting thing those cats were watching. Nice photo.
    Being a cat would be fine so long as you were one of the pampered ones, and not one of the thousands who live short, hungry lives as street cats or shelter residents.

    • Ah yes, good reminder, barefootheart. I’m a firm believer in neutering cats for just that reason. And I’m sure every cat (and a few people, too) would prefer to be a pampered cat!

  3. Those are two beautiful cats. I don’t think that cats miss going outside. Mine don’t look out of the window all that much, and don’t beg to go out. And, except for Becky Cat, they were all either indoor/outdoor cats, or strays, before they came to me. Mine seem to think that sleep and food are the two most wonderful things in their lives.

    • I know how Cuca feels, wanting to find spring waiting outdoors, only to discover winter is still hanging around. Might be time to start looking for a new bell collar, though…

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