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John W. Pinkerton


In addition to Linda, there is one other adult living in our home.  Not me, Jack.

Jack showed up at our house about  two years ago.   Linda began to feed him, and one day when Linda opened the front door, Jack walked in,  slowly perused the living room, took a seat, and declared himself home.   He didn't seem particularly grateful: his attitude seemed to say, “I've made my decision.  You're welcome.”

Jack was an adult when he picked us.  He obviously was familiar with both the outdoors and the indoors.  Of course, I've wondered how he had been separated from his previous home.  Linda took him to a vet to see if he had a chip.  No chip, but he had been neutered by his previous family.  He was healthy and had apparently been taken care of well.  Maybe his friend had passed away.  Maybe he had been accidentally left behind by travelers.  Gosh, who knows.  Linda tried to use Facebook to find his previous companion, but no luck.

He has become pretty much the guardian of the property, not an easy job, but he seems to have the perfect temperament for the task.  Being the most intelligent cat I've ever encountered, he employs violence judiciously, and fortunately, he doesn't have to use it much.  His primary weapon is his stare.  

While I'm sitting on my front porch and Jack is lying on one of the concrete steps' raised sides, I've watched stray cats approach our home along the sidewalk.  Jack doesn't bother moving.  He just stares at them a cold warning.   Most strangers, once they meet Jack's stare, turn around immediately and quickly disappear.  Mission accomplished.

Well, the stare doesn't always deter uninvited visitors.  Barney---the name Linda gave a neighborhood cat who frequently visits to get a little extra nourishment from inviting bowls of cat food---is a different story.  I have no idea who he belongs to, but he seems to be healthy, and he's  definitely macho.  As the results of having conflicting agendas,  Jack and Barney have had a couple of pretty good physical clashes.   We took Jack to the vet because of a minor injury received in one of their battles.  If it had been up to Jack, he would have just laughed it off and avoided the visit altogether.

Jack has always been respectful of our other cats.  He seems to respect the fact that they were in our home before him.  He didn't seem to be much interested in them at all.   This changed with the arrival of a very young kitten who showed up one day unannounced.  The cats either ignored her or hissed or slapped her when she approached them.  Jack was indifferent.  One evening as I was lounging in my easy chair and Jack was spread out in the middle of the floor,  Sally, the name Linda presented to the youngster, sprinted across the room and jumped in the middle of Jack.  Naturally, Jack was a little startled by this unasked for interruption in his evening respite.  He looked at Sally as though he were at a loss to know what to think of this young intruder.   Jack arose and moved away from Sally, but Sally was insistent that Jack be her friend.


Jack soon warmed to her.  They regularly chase each other through the house.  They usually sleep with their bodies touching.     They play-slap  or wrestle until Jack tires of the game.  When he's really had too much of her, he moves away to hide.  Jack, obviously, rather likes the idea of having a young friend.  Sally, I think, likes anyone who will pay attention to her.

Jack is both an indoor and outdoor cat coming and going as he pleases.  He discovered early on that if he leaned against the front door,  it would open, and if he clawed the door from beneath, he could exit.  He's smart but he's never mastered closing the door.  Maybe he knows how but is just not interested.

Jack's affection for Linda is obvious.   In the evenings,  Jack climbs into her lap in her easy chair.  He demands attention.  He is a big cat and her paperwork or puzzle or  craft she works on while I dominate the television mean nothing to him.  It is his time.

As for me, he is pretty indifferent.  Did I mention that he was a good judge of character?  I think he looks at me as he does the cats who were here before him.  He allows me to live in peace.  However, he does use me as a doorman.  As I said, he can open the front door unless it is locked, but, apparently it's easier to have me arise from my chair to open the door for him.  I guess this is the least I can do for our guard cat.

Oh yeah, I mentioned that Jack was an adult.  Well…he's certainly more of an adult than I am.