Earl is a cat, a feral cat. Born and living outside with no obvious home or human attachment. Average looking with tones and patterns of grey that makes you immediately think OK he’s an “alley cat”. He’s average size but filled out like the hunting has been pretty good in the neighborhood. He kind of showed up one day when he was still a kitten and there was some talk that maybe somebody should haul him off and find him a home but no one could bring themselves to be the one who would “home” him. So it was decided to leave him be and if he could survive living on his own outside then maybe he could help control the mouse and rat population around the place. So now here it is a few months later and Earl has survived and comes and goes doing cat stuff and uses the back patio of the house as his personal headquarters and spa.
Jonah is a kid of about year and a half. He’s a little bit larger and stronger than most his age and has absolutely no fear. If the NFL ever starts looking at talent at this age he would have to be listed in the linebacker column. Oh yeah, he is a bit of a showboat which might actually move him higher in the 2030 draft. Jonah is not feral, he lives as part of a family that conducts business in a purely American manner, sometimes calm but most times leaning towards the chaotic but always loving and it’s fun and beautiful to watch.
Earl and Jonah are buds. I didn’t know that they were even aware that the other existed
until last week. I was on the back patio trying to keep an eye on the kid to keep him semi-corralled while he burned off some excess energy so he might take a nap and yes, the nap part was a joke. Then here comes ‘ol Earl around the corner of the garage doing that cat swagger that says “yeah I see ya’, now step back and gimme some room”. Then Jonah sees Earl and Earl sees Jonah and the mood on the patio goes from casual to shrieks of joy with lots of rubbing and patting between the two. Earl drifts over and sets up his throne underneath a patio chair, then lies down ready to receive his worshipers. Right behind him came Jonah carrying on a conversation in little kid pre-talk babble that Earl seemed to understand.
Then Jonah got a shot of toddler curiosity and started to pat over here, grab a handful of fur there, then a pulled ear and a finger tracing an eye to a nose all the while me saying “No Jonah” while I was moving in their direction hoping that I might be able to minimize and contain the damage when Earl suddenly remembered that he was actually a cat and not a puppy. No need for me to rush, ‘ol Earl seemed to have gone down this track before and accepted the pulls and pushes with a shake of the head and playful pawing while seemingly trying to doze off. So probably they had bonded as two infants while sharing the patio before when Earl was still just a kitten and now that kitty has grown up the relationship continues.
That or there really is a conspiracy between little kids and small animals to try and terrify grandparents whenever possible.