Life and adventures in The Hedge. Because you NEED an alligator in the backyard


           My cat Edwin is probably the most colorful character in the hedge. Edwin got his name from the Olivia picture books.  According to the vet, Edwin is a male domestic shorthair. According to experience, Edwin is a small puma. Edwin is pretty much the size of a small dog and occasionally acts like one.

            Edwin showed up last summer.  We already had a neighborhood stray cat – Wilma. Wilma is the world’s least friendly cat. Edwin came along – this big friendly creature. Edwin would walk up to me and get on his hind legs to reach my hand and get himself petted. Edwin was the “talkiest” cat I ever met.  We would walk outside and Edwin would come running – meowing his fool head off!

            Edwin is also in love with our dog.Savannahis an 11 year old Sheltie, a mini Lassie.  When Edwin mysteriously appeared last summer, he began walking withSavannah. While I had never seen this pre-hedge, it is common here: The Cat Parade.  In the hedge dogs are escorted on their walks by cats. I would leadSavannah, who would be followed by 1-3 cats. Edwin was not content to simply followSavannah. Instead Edwin finds the need to walk next to the dog, while he rubs his head along the dog and her leash. If the dog attempts to sleep in Edwin’s presence, Edwin will snuggle up to the dog. The dog at times tolerates the indignity, but most of the time moves on to a new spot. Edwin firmly believes the dog is his soul mate. In fact, I have even found the cat inside the dog’s crate.

            Edwin continues to talk. He has a very distinct double meow meaning “let me in NOW.” I am sure the neighbors love it at 5 am on a Sunday as much as I do.  The other cat, Kallie has very little to say. She merely announces her arrival. Edwin tells me he must leave immediately after eating. I am informed if the food dish is empty. If I have been away too long and he’s been waiting for my return, I’ll hear about it.  Edwin surely wants to get himself noticed. 

            He’s been to the vet and checked out. But I wonder if he has some sort of kitty asthma. He has an odd almost out of breath purr. He will run at him speeds and then I will see him panting. Since his first few years are a mystery, I don’t know if he’s always been this way or it was something that developed. It is strange thing, but we’ll take it along with his utter devotion.

            Edwin decided he must show his appreciation for being taken into our home. This morning I was greeted by a dead full grown mole. I have been showered with gifts of dead baby moles, bats,  a mocking bird, lizards, skinks, and oddly enough a leaf bug.  He sits by our tree and guards the house. I am not sure what interlopers he has run off. I only see the wounds, pink scrapes on his grey nose, blood in his coat, fur torn out. Edwin is our fierce protector.

            On the quirky side, he likes to pounce upon the keyboard. He’s posted a few random statuses on Facebook and frozen my computer.  When he first got here he broke into the cat food cabinet, but not for food. Instead he was after the catnip. I have to keep catnip in the freezer now. He’s a dare devil going places no other cat would imagine. He likes to sleep in the bathroom sink – which is a task for a small puma. I found him walking on a shelf I thought was out of the realm of cats. Apparently, nothing is out of Edwin’s realm.  

            I think he likes living with us in the hedge. I’m sure this is a great place to be a cat. Stalk things all night and sleep in a safe home all day. Food is never in short supply. I wonder though about his past life. I suspect he was abandoned. He shows a certain amount of anxiety when we all walk out of the house and take the dog. He must follow us to the bus stop in the morning. It is as if he’s afraid we’ll all walk away and not come back. I can leave in the car, but if the dog leaves with us, Edwin follows or cries. I wonder how bad things have to be for someone to walk away from such a loyal companion.  I pray to never be in a position where I would walk away from the pets that give me unconditional love.


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