Meet Squirt, the sole feline member of our little household. He is a recycled feral creature, which means he has lots of quirks, issues and attitude. His typical day starts with breakfast on the lanai. Here he allows us the honor of giving him some food, so long as we don't linger to watch him eat it. We might be so bold as to touch him on a good day, but if we do he stays shock-still until the ordeal is over. Later he will mosey over to his nap spot outside the bedroom door and lay down on the doormat after pummelling it into a lumpy wad. While on the lanai he tolerates our presence so long as no petting or prolonged eye contact is involved. If he catches sight of us down in the yard, however, he runs as if from death itself and hides. The same thing happens if he sees us exit the house from the back door instead of the front. Out the back door, we are monsters! From the front, we might feed him. (At least I guess that's his reasoning.)
Then comes bedtime. Around eleven, he scratches at the door and my husband lets him in. He jumps into bed with us, and now is a different animal. He demands touching, cuddling, petting. His purring is so loud it's hard to sleep! Should we ignore him, he launches himself against our bodies and performs a weird somersaulting movement, pulling himself against us to simulate the sensation of stroking. Sometimes he will even wake us with tentative pawing, in the early morning hours, to experience more touch and attention. But come daylight we are again treated with great suspicion and reserve.
"He is so bizarre!" my husband and I declare. "Have you ever seen such behavior?" we ask each other. Well, actually, I must admit that the behavior isn't totally unknown to me. I just realized recently that when I was a single lady (years ago!!) I met, or heard from my girlfriends about, many such males. If I were to believe in karmic reincarnation, then maybe my Squirt was once a commitment phobic Lothario!