Athena, the cat, increasingly known as Precious Mae, or Miss Mae, or Miss kitty, has been with us for almost a year and she has been a definite addition to our home and lives . But, she is not the companion we expected or – in a technical sense -a pet. She is an outside cat who spends time in the house. She is never nasty, often sweet, usually interesting, and always marches to her own drum. Almost any time of the day or night, if we are inside and walk towards a door, she will streak over to get out. And, then, bam! she is gone. Often for the rest of the day or night.
At first, we tried to keep her in at night, Michele more than me because Michele was afraid the coyotes would get her, but getting out became her – her being Precious Mae – main goal and, eventually, we let her live her the life she wanted. Now she is out most nights and comes in to feed and sleep off her nightly escapades. When we are around her – meaning outside – or she is around us – meaning inside, she brushes us against us, walks by, or sits by us watching to make sure we don’t get too close. If one of us is between where she is and where she wants to go, she will walk towards us sizing up the situation, get close, and, then, make a low run past us so we can not touch her.
If we sit or stand still, we can sometimes entice her over; if she is sitting or lying still, we can go over and pet her, pick her up and cuddle and scratch her; but when she is on the move, we can never track her down. We can pet her exactly as long as she wants, then she says Enough! by a gentle bite and a push away with all four feet.
Occasionally, she will come over and stand by me on her own – so I can pick her up and put her in my lap; or, she will jump up on the couch next to Michele to be petted. If one of us is in bed, she will jump up to snuggle. If the other one of us gets in bed, she leaves. Usually to go under the bed – purring – to sleep. And, after she has been out for most of the night, she will jump up on the bedroom counter and go to sleep in her little beddy-bye behind the printer, by a window.