“White Cat On a Rock Wall” by Hugo DeSarro

Every morning, at about the same time, the neighbor's white cat walks along the top of the rock wall in our yard.

She starts at one end and leisurely picks her way on the rough stones to the other end. She often stops on the way to look at something in the tall grass and weeds that grow along the wall. Sometimes, if something catches her attention, she will sit motionless for several minutes and stare. But her favorite resting place is at the very end of the wall where the weeds and shrubbery are thickest. She lies on her side on the flat end rock, motionless, her head held up regally, like a Theban queen, only the tip of her tail moving. She is all white except for gray at the tip of her tail. Her whiteness makes her look larger than she is.

She seems a good-natured cat. She looks down into the grass and weeds with great curiosity, but she's not interested in catching anything. I've never seen her spring from the wall or act as if she were stalking something. She simply enjoys her leisurely walk, picking her footing precisely and with beautiful fluid motion.

My dog Gretchen watches her from the window and barks at her. One morning she slipped past me out the door and rushed at her. The cat wasn't impressed. She scarcely moved. She looked at Gretchen with a cold, hard stare that stopped her in her tracks. But then, it doesn't take too much to discourage Gretchen. She enjoys the chasing and the barking, not the fighting.

I like having the big white cat on my wall. It pleases me to think that she enjoys her morning stroll. I look for her each morning. I haven't tried to make friends with her. It would drive Gretchen bonkers. But there is no need for it. The cat gets pleasure walking on my wall. I get pleasure watching her. That, for me, is friendship enough.