EVERY breakfast and dinner, a black and white cat patiently waits for his meal outside the gate of my house. It's been that way probably for the last three years when it decided I should run a special soup kitchen for him.
I've grown fond of this cat despite the fact that we started off on the wrong foot or paw. I used to frequently chase him away as he would trespass to hassle my cats. But I've always found this stray cat handsome with his big round head, green eyes and sweet face. He was always full of battle scars and skin lesions so I called him “Gnarly”.
We became like mutually beneficial friends – he got food if he left my cats alone. But he did knock up one of my cats. I needed no further proof of his paternity when my last kittens all came out black and white. Interestingly enough, he also made an unscheduled vigil outside the gate the night my cat went into labor.
Unless it's a stormy day, Gnarly doesn't mind waiting in the rain. When it's hot, he uses the plants for shade. He likes meat and doesn't really care for kibbles.
Gnarly now trusts me enough to let me carry him to the spot where I prefer him to eat. For a cat who spends his days under parked cars, he sure is smart to pick up which one is mine. Sometimes, I would pass by him on some street and he would immediately follow my car home.
Here is a cat who is not afraid of dogs, people, cars and bad weather. Winning his trust was quite a feat and I'm glad to help him keep up his stamina with daily rations. Like everyone else, Gnarly is getting old and wrinkly. I know one day he will stop coming and I would miss him. But for now, he is very welcome—for breakfast and dinner.