The morning routine around my house is the same every day: wake up, beg God for guidance, scoop out the litter box and walk out back to feed the birds. A friend remarked the other day that I sure have a lot of pigeons at my birdfeeder. I said, “It’s not a birdfeeder. It’s a pigeonfeeder.” I do all of this so that my feline roommates, Sara and Lucy, have live entertainment while I go about the business of my life.
The trouble is, we’ve had an interloper out back the past few weeks: a stray black cat. I’ve named him Ballsy because for as scrawny as he is, he has tremendously large balls. They’re so big that I don’t know how Ballsy walks or runs without tripping. I’ve never seen a cat with such a large package; it’s the first thing you notice when you see Ballsy.
Having Ballsy in my backyard is problematic for several reasons. One, he’s black—and my own black cat, Lucy, has never seen another black cat before. In fact, she doesn’t even know she’s black; she thinks she’s brown, like me and Sara. So when Lucy sees Ballsy, she can’t help but be drawn to him. I pull back the blinds in the morning and Lucy’s nose is immediately stuck to the patio door. I know what she’s thinking: I want to be with my own kind. I want that big-balled black cat. Let me out of here! I haven’t even told her she’s adopted yet, but I’m sure her wheels are turning now. Thanks, Ballsy.
I pull Lucy back with a thwack from the suction she’s created on the patio door and push her towards Sara, who has been racing from window to door to window, crying her Stranger Danger cry. Unlike Lucy, Sara can’t stand the sight of Ballsy, especially the way he’s always sprawled out on his back under my Evergreen Bird of Paradise, cleaning himself in front of God and everybody…like he owns the place. I know what Sara is thinking: Mother! Alert! Alert! Authority threatened! Alert!
With both of my cats upset but temporarily convinced to be still, I open the sliding glass door and step outside, onto the patio. Ballsy shifts on his bed of weeds twenty feet from me, splayed like a porn star with his big furry balls dragging in the dirt. “Good morning,” I say, throwing pigeon seed on the ground and filling my pigeonfeeder. “When are you going to be my friend?”
Ballsy squirms on his back, flopping his big balls around. I take a few steps towards him. He lets me get closer every day.
“Who do you think you are?” I coo to him. A legion of pigeons lined up on my roof coo and rustle too, waiting for Ballsy to leave. I walk a little closer and my skinny black porn kitty with the big black balls rolls into a sprint position. Two more steps and Ballsy is off, running for cover under the oleanders before jumping on top of the cinder block wall. There he sits, looking at me over his shoulder, poised. I don’t know what he’s thinking. Men are so complicated.
I don’t know if I’m chasing him, or if he’s running away from me.
Kate Mohler currently lives in Arizona, where she teaches English at Mesa Community College. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and she is widely published on Internet literary sites. She has a short story forthcoming in the print journal Quiddity, and another short piece forthcoming in the print journal Sol: English Writing in Mexico. She likes to read, write, cook, work out, and travel. Check out her hotdishing website to read more of her writing.