Usually, it's cats that come visiting my place. I swear every household in the village must have at least two cats. I had no idea there could be so many cats in one small village. Not that I can complain as two cats live with me. There's a third that wants to move in but more about that in a minute. It was a long time since I'd owned a cat when I succumbed to a grand-daughter telling me (quite often) it would be good company for me and I got it into my head that I should give a good life to a rescue kitten. After all those years of waging war on feral cats! I took that g-daughter and my grandson with me when I went to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to choose one and we'd had barely walked into the room when I spotted a kitten that was the image of a street cat I'd photographed in Istanbul a few years ago. The children had other choices but I'd made up my mind, I wanted that Alley Cat. The staff warned me that she might be difficult, that I wasn't obligated to keep her but she seemed friendly to the children and I thought she'd get used to me eventually.
She's still friendly to children. Little Lexis, my g-g-daughter picks her up and lugs her around, strokes her and brushes her and she purrs like heavy machinery. She purrs when she sits at my feet and when she sits on my face when I'm asleep but can I touch her or stroke her? She stands beside my bed and touches me gently on the face when she wants me to wake, usually to attend to her demands. But lift my hand to stroke her and she's gone in a flash.
Two years I've had her and no way does she yet trust me completely. She's a talker and I mean a loud talker. Especially if I'm talking to someone on the phone. I don't know if she thinks I'm talking to her or objecting to me talking to someone else.
She still bolts if I make a sudden movement or if there is a loud noise. She will come to see who is visiting if she hears a woman's voice but disappear if a man appears. I guess bad early life experiences have left her like that.
The other resident cat is a grand-daughter's cat who needed an alternative home when she moved to Wellington to go to university. He couldn't be more different. He's friendly and loves to be brushed and stroked. Korbi's a cool, laid back cat. He never makes a sound and when he does it's a pathetic little squeak, Alley does the talking for them both. Moving from the city to the farm was a bit traumatic for him but he adjusted quickly after his first run-in with a possum. And then moving into the village was like going back home. He knew about traffic and other cats. He's friends with everyone.
It was the opposite for Alley. Thankfully, nothing would entice her to go near the road with all its scary noises. But it was the other cats that affected her the most. She was used to guarding her territory against feral cats and didn't take too kindly to her neighbours coming near her new home. I still occasionally see some of them at a distance but they know better than to come close. All except for one very pretty little black cat. It and Korbi are friends and Alley is OK with that as long as they stay on the lawn. But that little black cat knows no fear, over and over it will come up onto the deck, approach her, and over and over again Alley will fight it off. But it keeps coming back. She a big cat and the poor little thing has copped more than a few hidings.
Alley and Korbi are housemates, I wouldn't say they are friends. They get along OK, have a little play now and then. I tell them not to, that it will end in tears but they don't listen. They play fight until one or the other gets annoyed and they then have a bit of a scrap but it's not serious.
The little black cat is now coming into the house and eats their food. It comes through their cat flap and has the cheek to butt against it if its locked, which I have taken to doing. It's always locked at night and the would-be intruder has woken me up trying to get in. Between it thumping at the cat flap and Alley yeowing in alarm, I can get very cranky. It might be easier to keep it away during the day now winter is approaching and doors are more likely to be closed.
I don't know where its home is, it doesn't belong to any of my close neighbours but it is too sleek and shiny to be a stray. I thought perhaps it is locked outside while its humans go to work during the day. The last two nights around 8 pm before I've locked my two charges inside for the night, it has come inside and on both occasions I've looked up from reading to see it sitting in the doorway to the lounge room, once it was watching me and once it was watching Alley who was sound asleep at my feet. It's getting really cheeky and I have to make a move in its direction before it runs off.
I feel like we are in a battle of wills.
Anyway, back to this morning's visitors. Alley was making her alarmed noises and I looked out thinking the little black cat was there. But, no, it was three goats. They were just on the other side of the fence, beautiful creatures, big and healthy. I thought at first two were wearing coats but they were white with brown heads and necks, the other was all brown and a little more wary than the other two. By the time I got my camera they had lost interest in the cat and moved to the other side of the paddock next door. There they had a short rest before moving on. I believe they were eventually rounded up and returned home. There would have been quite a to-do had they made their way onto the croquet lawns or the golf club greens.