“The timetable of a cat is modified to fit into the timetable of man.
The timetable of a cat varies with its needs,
varies with its comfort,
varies with the weather,
varies with the timing of both the day and night.
The timetable of a cat varies with its relaxation and its need for sleep,
varies with its hunger and the proximity of the hunt,
varies with its well-being and the companionship on offer.
The timetable of a cat is timed to satisfy a cat,
is not born of any consideration for man,
is to equip the cat to live and fight in the absence of man.
The timetable of a cat within the wild sparks a nature of independence,
sparks a nature born of wariness,
sparks a nature at home within the dark,
sparks a nature not easily befriended by man.
Man himself should be wary of introducing himself to a cat dwelling in the wild.
For the wilderness of self-preservation speaks volumes to the cat within the wild where all hands are against it,
speaks volumes to the cat where man lingers on the fringe,
speaks volumes to the cat where sanctuary is difficult to find and the weather is both wet and dismal.
For the wilderness of self-preservation may require the cat to scout the outlines of the habitations of man,
may require a presentation of a ghost within the shadows,
may require acceptance of the contents of an attractive bowl,
may require the cat to take and not to give,
may require the cat to posture and to warn of an approach threatening either harm
may require the cat to abandon an objective,
may require the cat to try another approach when night becomes a friend.
The timetable of a cat differs when bred and introduced by man to dwell within an envelope of love and care.
The timetable of a cat at home with man serves both –
as the recipients of shelter which is shared;
as the recipients of differing attributes of the environment in which they live;
as the recipients of what each has on offer to the other;
as the recipients of the respecting of the freedoms that each may live with satisfaction –
the roles in which each is best suited to feel at home and welcome.
The timetable of a cat at home with man makes a pet of man,
gets frustrated when man fails to understand,
offers man a glimmer of instruction in his ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts’,
expects consistency of approach from man in both the method and the sound,
rewards man with a minimum of fuss,
decries man’s fiddling with appendages when the body is at ease,
brings man an offering as encased with an open air of pride when hunting with success.
The timetable of a cat has a playtime where the claws are active,
where the claws can work in unison,
where the claws deserve the close attention of man.
The timetable of a cat has a playtime where ‘the pounce’ can be observed from a distance considered safe,
where the claws can move at lightning speed and leave a drop of blood,
where the teeth can mouth and bite a little harder than intended,
where the ears can flatten to indicate a change of mood,
where the tail can twitch to indicate the focus on ‘the prey’,
where all the paws are active to toss into the air.
The timetable of a cat can change within an instant,
from a game into reality,
from a chase into a catch,
from attention-getting to repelling,
from the boldness of approach to the sneakiness of attack,
from a purring animal at leisure to an animal intent upon a meal.
The timetable of a cat is best understood in wisdom from the cat’s point of view;
the cat’s sense of urgency in claiming a reward when due;
the cat’s enquiries based on previous success;
the cat’s attention to the prey in sight;
the cat’s concentration best not broken when immersed in the cleaning
cycles of the day.
The timetable of a cat suffers the fondness of attention as bestowed by man,
pretends to go to sleep,
is awake within an instant,
knows the pathway to the warmth,
knows where the sunlight streams,
knows the nursing on the lap,
seeks the benefits of cushions,
burrows under the coverings when cold,
knows where to sit in front of an issuer of warmth,
magnifies an ability to benefit from the adoptive familiarity of man.
The timetable of a cat has been preset by God,
can be reset by man.
For man has the opportunity to reset the calibration of the nature of a cat when the cat is in its infancy,
when the kitten has eyes exposed to only a few scenes from life,
when the kitten has not been taught to fear the approach of man,
when the kitten has but witnessed a spirit of kindness and of love –
in the changing of a destiny within the presence of man.”