Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cats in the yard


It was forty years ago that the Crosby, Stills and Nash album, Deja Vu came out. Ray and I were planning to be married in November and we had rented an apartment—actually the bottom floor of an old house—and we were spending evenings and weekends there getting it ready. It needed to be painted and cleaned. It was, let's be honest, a dump, but we could afford it and we saw some charm in it and we knew we could make it livable and comfortable. The first thing we moved into the apartment was my stereo and our combined collection of records, so we could have music to work by. One Saturday we stopped on our way to work on the apartment and bought Deja Vu, our first joint music purchase. We played it over and over. It is still one of my favorite all-time albums. So many great songs, including "Carry On", "Almost Cut My Hair", "Woodstock" . . . Really there are no bad songs on that album. My favorite was "Our House." Beautiful song and it was so appropriate to where we were in our lives.

". . . Our house is a very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy
'Cause of you . . ."
In time we had two cats in the yard. I always loved our cats. We have had dogs too, but honestly, and I know you might think less of me for saying this, but I am not so fond of dogs. Maybe I have just never owned a really wonderful dog, but I'll take a cat. When our last cat, Grace, died in March, we decided she would be our last cat. My allergies have gotten worse over the years and I learned that I am allergic to both cats and dogs, so indoor pets are really not a good option. We hope to do more traveling and it is such a hassle to figure out how pets will be taken care of when we leave. It was a good decision and I really haven't missed having cats. But I love having the neighbor cats come into the yard. They seem to be attracted to our yard. I often look out the back to see a beautiful black tuxedo cat laying on our deck. He is a frequent visitor. There is a beautiful gray tabby who likes the front porch and especially likes watching the birds at the feeder, and I don't think he ever does more than just watch.

Today I was standing at the living room window talking on the phone and noticed a little white cat sitting on the sidewalk watching me. We locked eyes and she scurried over to the window and sat, under the bushes, looking up at me. After I ended my phone call I went out to the porch to see if she needed a little affection or would sit by me on the step for awhile, but she ran off. That was a couple hours ago, but she is back, under the bush and seems to be watching for me.

She is welcome here, any time. Maybe we will be friends. Maybe it is because of the song, or not, but I like to think we are destined to always have cats in the yard. Isn't she pretty?


  1. I think she has connected with you. How lovely to have a cat friend come to visit each day. I hope that it continues for you. Just for your information...there is something you can wipe on your cats fur that keeps you from being allergic and it smells nice too!

  2. Deja Vu is one of my favorite albums, too. I was born in 1963, and in my teens was listening to CSNY, James Taylor, Simon and Garfunkel and Carole King more than the contemporary pop stuff of my generation.

    Too bad about your allergies. My parents have stopped having pets because they are older, and because they travel a lot. I've suggested that they share a pet with several other couples, and rotate it when they travel. I think with the right pet – probably a dog – it could work great.

    I love our dog, but I've always been more of a cat person.

  3. Our House is one of “our” songs, Jerry’s and mine, too. Occasionally there’ve been more than two cats in the yard. Now it’s two cats, a dog, and three chickens, but it’d be hard to work that into a song.

  4. I/we loved that album too! Wow: you've brought back some memories! We too were preparing for our upcoming wedding 40 years ago, but also for C's departure to southeast Asia. It was a bittersweet time.
    The kitty is very beautiful. I hope she will visit with you often!


  5. Loved that song - hope the beautiful kitty will adopt you.

  6. What is it about calling up something to consciousness?

    Day before yesterday Jim and I were standing in the front yard talking after taking a walk. Three of the four cats were in various locations in the yard, doing what cats do - sleeping, stalking, eyeballing nothing - and I sang a few snatches of the that song amending it to the current population.

  7. Lovely post, Terry! It's one of the perks of our age that we have great memories that sort of wave over us from time to time. May the neighborbood cats all put your house on their appointed rounds!

  8. Hey, that first apartment of you two had was truly unique. Just mentioning it brought back memories of when you were first married. I still can see that stairway. Were there ever cats up there?

  9. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Oh, what a nice blog today. Very reminiscent, very sweet and loving. With so many blogs having an edge to them, it is wonderful to read a heart warming mesage. Thank you. I enjoyed it, and it made me feel serene.

  10. One of my all time favorite songs. You can always come over here and get a cat fix....have another "outdoor" cat trying to get adopted (that has to be number 5 so far) and of course the raccoons have decided I must be a soft touch...so really if you need a cat I can get you one ;-) Ron probably won't let you keep one of the indoor ones however.

  11. Your writing has such charm. It's such a gift to read your blog.