Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Cat Who Thinks He Is A Dog

This is the most famous cat in our golf course community of Piedmont. Let me introduce you to Sundae. Sundae is a cat who thinks he is a dog. Not only a dog but the alpha dog in a household that does have two actual dogs who are beautiful border collies. He has become the celebrity in our community. Everybody knows Sundae.

We first met Sundae soon after we moved into Piedmont. Late one night the doorbell rang and I answered it. Soon as I did so this woman throws this big black and white fur ball into my face and says here is your cat that I found on the street so I'm bringing him home to you. What? While I proceeded to tell her that we don't own a cat Sundae proceeded to walk big as you please into my living room and park himself under an end table like he really did belong in my house. So this stranger and I both then proceeded to chase Sundae around and around the living room until we caught him. Then the woman apologized for disturbing the peace and left with Sundae. I soon forgot about this handsome black and white cat until our paths crossed at the end of my pipestem. This time I learned that Sundae had two siblings, an all grey cat and a pretty calico cat.
And at this second encounter I met Sundae's first family which consisted of a plumbing businessman, his wife and their five small children. I soon discovered that this family never allowed any of the three cats to be inside their house. The cats were assigned living quarters in the garage and the cats even had their own kitty door attached to the garage door. Now when the cold winter months would come sometimes one and sometimes two and sometimes all three cats would wonder across the pipestem to what became known as Sundae's second family's home. The second family would feel sorry for all three cats and bring them into their house to warm up a bit. These visits became more and more frequent and longer in duration. Soon the first family and the second family who were on very good terms realized that the cats really wanted two homes so they agreed that joint ownership might be ok. So now the cats had homes on both sides of the pipestem and I had three cats to watch as I did my gardening since both owners still allowed them to be free roaming cats. Cat life went on like this for about a year or two.

Then the pretty calico cat that I liked to feed in nice weather on my patio suddenly disappeared from sight. So I thought the calico probably had been unlucky one day and gotten itself run over by a car. Much later I learned that my very next door neighbor who also lived on the pipestem had decided that she liked that pretty calico so much that she was going to claim exclusive ownership to it. She took the calico inside her house and that calico cat never came outside again until this family moved away to Houston, Texas. I don't know how she worked this out with either the first family or the second family but I guess she did. I do know that she even renamed the cat Peaches. (The first name I don't remember.) Peaches went to Houston, Texas and became a cowboy cat.

A more dramatic development in our neighborhood cat story occured when the first family moved to Florida and left the two remaining cats with the second family. The second family went from on again off again foster parents to the neighbor's cats to full time official adoption parents. And by now these two cats had names. The gray cat who was skitish and shy was called Greyson. The big black and white fur ball who wasn't afraid of anyone or anything was called Sundae. And he has become the most famous cat in Piedmont and I personally think he thinks that he is a dog.

He is not top cat in my opinion. He is top dog. Let me explain. From my breakfast room window I can see this pathway that is in the bottom photo and I can watch everybody walk their dogs. Now when I watch the second family take their two border collies for a walk I also get to see Sundae going for his walk too. Maybe he thinks he is a dog because he sees that he is black and white like the border collie. I don't know. But I do know that he is just as faithful as the postman delivering mail. He comes and goes every day. He never fails to walk. And bless his heart, he goes in all kinds of weather: hot, cold, rainy, snowy, icy, you name it and he is scampering along after the border collies. It is the funniest thing to watch. I've now seen it hundreds of times but it still gives me a chuckle.

Look again at the bottom photo. ( You may need to click on it to see what I'm describing.) On the right are Sundae's second family and my good neighbors, Bob and Maura, and the two border collies. They are waiting for Sundae to catch up to them. (I had detained him by taking his picture with my camera.) Sundae always walks about ten paces behind the big dogs. If they start to go faster, he speeds up. If they start to go slower, he slows down. But he always keeps a distance of ten paces behind the dogs.

You should see this pet parade at different times of the year. In the spring when the birds return you can tell that Sundae would like to chase a bird but he knows that he is a dog so he has got to do what a dog has got to do. Walk. In the summer when it is hot you can tell that everybody is about their business and can't wait to get back to the air conditioned house. In the fall they are all trudging thru the fallen leaves. And in the winter they are all slip sliding away thru the snow and ice.


Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous story and the two photos are priceless, especially the enlarged one. Those two dogs know Sundae is supposed to keep up and the one dog, with ears perked up, is looking back I guess trying to figure out how long they are going to have to wait. It is a super picture to me. I had Patty look at it and we both just grinned.

fishing guy said...

Joann: What a really cute story about Sundae the Alpha cat. He really is the boss of the house. How cute is that. The people are making sure the girls don't bother him.

Melissa said...

What a great story! I love the bottom photo of the cat walking and the dogs looking, so sweet.

Dickie said...

Having personal knowledge of Sundae's walks like you do, there is one thing you have forgotten to mention, the dogs will wait for Sundae if they get too far ahead.Strangest thing to see but we all love Sundae!!

Jenn K said...

What a strange story! What a sweet kitty.

s.a.r. said...

Hey Joann, it's Sarah. Just wanted to post a quick comment, I loved your blog. It made me miss home, my family and I would love to see more stories about Sundae. Oh, and we call him "Un" so when you see him next time, you should call him that!