Kenyon is home to a diverse population of cats, many of whom I consider to be good friends of mine. Moxie and I have been very close ever since I rescued her from a tree one snowy night last February. Talulah and I clicked instantly, because real recognizes real. Bam Bam has seen me cry more times than my own father. But however much I try, there are some cats I just haven’t gotten through to.
This brings me to those assholes in the alley behind the bookstore.
There’s the large black cat, who I call Fat Moxie. I know that’s not a nice name, but it’s the one that stuck. Then there’s a tabby who I named Moscato, and a fluffy gray dude who I call D-Cat. All three of them hate me.
I get that they’re strays, and cats, and I shouldn’t take it personally if they run away from me. But I walk through their alley about three times a day. So I get yeeted about three times a day. And it stings. Not even because I’m one of those people who desperately needs everyone to like me (though I am), just because of how demoralizing it is to put myself out there again and again with these cats and have them reject me every time.
I show them kindness, I show them love, I bring them little pieces of chicken from Peirce. And still, they scorn me. I feel like a fool.
Last night, I tried again with Fat Moxie. They were underneath a truck, so I bent down to get a look, and when I stood up, I banged my head into a metal bar. I got a big ‘ole bump from it, but that’s nothing compared to the damage that was done to my pride.
There was a night last year when I really thought I’d done it, I really thought I’d made friends with those cats. I was walking home from a party when I saw two of them hanging around the dumpsters behind the VI. I decided to shoot my shot, and to my delight, they didn’t run away or hiss. One actually let me pet it! I was over the moon!
Then the next night I went back to the dumpsters, sober this time, and I discovered that the ‘cats’ I had made friends with were in fact a couple of raccoons.
C’est la vie, am I right?