Animals: They were here first
Cat Feeds Homeless Cat
Topo had a kitty door, well, really, it was a doggie door because the kitty doors were too small - at 22 lbs., he needed the extra width the doggie door provided. We got Topo at the humane society. My daughter picked him out from dozens of stray kittens. The volunteer on duty that day took all the kittens out so they could run around in the hallway. Zara picked out Topo because she liked the way he played. He was the scrawniest, with a rat-skinny tail, and not much in the way of good looks, but I wanted Zara to make her own decision, after all, this was going to be her cat. She was twelve years old at the time and needed to know that I trusted her judgment.
Topo turned out to be a great cat. He shed his ugly duckling image after a year or so and surprised us as he grew to be quite the handsome feline, with a thickly-furred luxurious tuxedo suit and an enormous fluffy tail that curled at the top. He had legs tall as a jack rabbit with massive white-toed paws. Zara was right about his personality. He loved to play. Topo would lay on his side with his long legs stretched forward while Zara would pitch tennis balls to him which he batted with ease clear across the room and then would wait patiently for Zara to retrieve the ball and pitch again.
The absolute best thing about Topo was his altruistic nature. They say that cats are self-centered. Topo would have something to say about that. He had a generous soul. One night, years after Zara had moved out and gone to college, I was reading in bed and had not noticed that Topo had come in until I heard a strange sound, like the sound of a cat eating out of Topo’s bowl in the hallway, but not like the sound of Topo’s big crunching jaws. There was a distinctive delicate tone to the usual munching of kibble. I got up to see Topo sitting in the doorway looking straight at his bowl. Chewing away on his food was a scruffy gray cat whose hip bones jutted outward as she squatted by the bowl. When I approached, she ran off to the stairs leading to the kitty door. Topo never moved from the doorway. He just looked up at me as if to say, “She had no food and no place to call home, so I invited her over for a little midnight supper.”
“I know, fella, you’re just that kind of guy,” I replied as I hoisted his furry heft across my shoulder and we headed off to bed.