A cat climbed over the fence and settled in our backyard. A kittenish cat. Orange. Orange fur and orange eyes. We let the dog out to shoo her along. Henrie skipped out into the yard; the cat arched her spine and ruffled her thin fur. Henrie backed up and then lay down in a Hey, everything's cool. This yard is big enough for the both of us position. The cat maintained her offensive stance for a few more minutes and then she, too, relaxed. Henrie is fired.
The Big Guns stepped in, "Go, cat! Shoo!"
"No, Papa! Don't send her away. We like her. We named her!"
"I'm sorry! We don't need one more animal. Shoo! Shoo!"
The cat sauntered away...around to the front of the house.
"Grout's back! She doesn't want to leave. Please can we keep her?"
She slept on the front porch all night and I was awakened in the pitch black by horrific hissing and barking. Our cat had discovered the marmalade intruder and her hissing scared the dog who joined in the cacophony. My heart pounded so hard it shook my whole body.
Today the children have their noses pressed against all of the windows watching Grout wolf down a bowl of cat food and then curl up to sleep in an empty flowerpot.
She's not staying.