Sunday, August 10, 2014

Love through the Rear Window

She was sweet, naive and young.
He was older, wiser and twice her size.
It was a match made in Alfred Hitchcock heaven.


Having a pet expands your mind. It puts into action the concept of trans-species communication reminding us that the needs of people--and animals--are simple ones, specifically: To be fed; To be loved; and To play with catnip toys. So when I got the chance to adopt a feline and embrace trans-species communication, I said "yes". What I didn't do was ask questions such as: Was he an outdoor cat? Did he have claws?; and Was he a lover?

Instead Mr. Wonderful and I had to learn about Jackson the hard way: through experience. Once established in our home we saw that Jackson did not venture out of The House, ever. Hence he was an indoor cat. We also noted that Jackson made a shred-fest of my favorite chair. Hence Jackson had %&*# claws. Just last week I noticed Jackson spending even more time than usual in front of the rear windows watching a black female cat visit our backyard. Ah-ha! Jackson was a lover.

The female was thin, her coat was as dark as night and her eyes sparkled like peridots. Jackson also had good taste.

It started innocently enough with Jackson holding uninterrupted sessions peering out the rear windows at the female as she jumped the fence into our backyard, sipped from our swimming pool and lounged under the artichoke plants. He was mesmerized by her and what was happening on the other side of the glass windows. So much so that when I kneeled next to him and stroked his coat, he totally ignored me. It was reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 suspense movie Rear Window where Jackson was the wheelchair-bound Jimmy Stewart character absorbed by the goings-on outside his apartment's rear window. The female cat was the murderous object of his fascination through the binoculars. And I was the Grace Kelly character, stopping by to say hi, give him meals and lounge next to him in gorgeous Edith Head dresses only to be ignored by him completely.

My life had become a movie and my cat had become one of the leading men of classic Hollywood.

If Jackson was so obsessed with the female cat, I thought, he should go meet her. So I opened the door wide obliterating the glass partition between them. Jackson did exactly what I thought he would do: he ran to the spare bedroom and hid.

If he wouldn't get closer to her, then it was up to me to approach her. The next time I saw the female sipping from the pool I snuck outside silently closing the door behind me. As I approached I saw her sinewy body, her sleek coat, those green eyes. Glancing behind me I noticed Jackson at the window staring at me pleading with me to be careful. It was like we were in that scene in Rear Window when Grace Kelly goes exploring in the suspicious neighbor's apartment all while Jimmy Stewart--paralyzed with fear and a broken leg--watches from the safety of his home. I took two steps toward the female before she got spooked and rushed the fence, clearing it in two bounds.

If he would not go to her, it was up to her to come to him. So I left the doors open to the backyard and Jackson sat in the doorway just on the inside watching the trees, herbs and pool. Suddenly the small female leaped into our yard and approached Jackson in the open doors. Something primeval must have awakened inside of Jackson for instead of retreating he stepped toward the female. As he did his massive girth rolled from a seated position onto all fours. He took a second step in her direction and she froze. With his third step an amazing thing happened: she turned and ran. To be blunt it was nothing like that scene in Rear Window when the bad guy comes to Jimmy Stewart's apartment to take him down and Jimmy saves himself with camera flashes. Nothing. Like. It.

But that's okay because he's back to watching out the rear window and I'm back to lounging around in a frothy Edith Head dress. Hollywood is so grand.