This day is as fresh and crisp as one of those gala apples I bought the other day. Take a bite, and sweet-tart juice squirts out. I went down to the lady garden after lunch with plans to lounge in the swing and savor it all, but I couldn't sit for long. The clean air, the shimmering fall colors, and the song of birds enticed me from my comfortable spot, and I soon was strolling around the garden paths.
I checked out the shrubs I transplanted a couple weeks ago. They are doing well. I was admiring the purple foliage of a loropetalum bush when I heard a familiar mee-ow. A gray kitty, who has determined that I am her best friend, if not her owner, trotted toward me. This cat, always well-fed and taken care of - not a stray, first introduced herself to me last year, a few months after my mother passed away.
I do no believe in re-incarnation, not at all, but if I did, I would be wondering. My mother was an animal lover, and she jokingly had said she was going to come back as a cat. This particular gray cat, the moment she saw me, came running to me like she had known me forever. I was sitting on the swing, and the cat hopped into my lap and began to purr and rub my neck.
"Cat, " I said, "I am a stranger to you. You do not belong to me. Don't you know that?"
She purred all the louder.
Today the gray kitty accompanied me on my rounds, examining plants and helping me pull a few weeds. When we got to the woodland garden, she ran to the bench there and jumped up, expecting me to sit with her a while, which I did; and so the two of us enjoyed the fine day.
When it was time to head for the house, my friend stayed by my side until we reached the walkway leading to the front door. Whereupon she did a strange thing. She leaped in front of me, then turned and batted at my legs. Every time I took a step toward the house, she did this. She was clearly telling me she was not ready for our walk to end.
So I spent a few more minutes with her. I showed her the pumpkins and gourds I have placed in a bed of lemon thyme near the front door, and we discussed what a great time of year it is. Finally, she turned and headed down the road toward her own house. She was holding her tail high, the sign of a happy cat.