Pishi, our neighborhood calico cat, just loves to be outside but her penchant for the great outdoors doesn't extend to the neighboring species she finds there.
“Pishi” (the name means “kitty” or “pussycat” in Farsi) moved into our community about three years ago, along with her family. We first noticed her sitting on the ledge of an open second-story window, serenely but seriously taking in the sight of the birds flying above and the squirrels running around below. It wasn't long before Pishi traded her precarious perch for a field-level view of the action; occasionally becoming part of it as she playfully stalked any wildlife who ventured into her personal space.
Personal space is what Pishi's all about, it seems. It's taken yours truly the better part of three years just to get close enough to touch her, and that only happens when she deigns to approach me for a fleeting brush-by, noisily meowing all the while. Try to push the envelope and – just like that – Pishi's personality changes 180-degrees. An angry hiss followed closely by a cat-punch or two serves as a reminder that not only does NO mean NO, in Pishi's world YES also means NO.
Just what is Pishi up to? If she doesn't care for human affection (or at least, MY affection), why do the whole drive-by brush-up thing, sometimes combined with some luxurious rolling around and stretching one might think is an invitation to a belly rub? Is she consciously luring me in, only to lash out? Nah... regardless of what internet memes want us to believe, cats aren't actually evil.
So there you have it: Pishi remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma sealed inside a cat food can and maybe, just maybe, that's the way she likes it. Won't be the first time a neighborhood cat has accepted me as a sidekick but not as a friend, and I'm looking at you, The White Cat. That said, Pishi and I have made some progress of late so I'm holding out hope for a better relationship... just not holding it TOO close to those cat-punching paws. (images copyright © 2020 by the author)
Check out other entries in our "Community Cats" series: