Thursday, January 8, 2009
I call it the cat time of day. Early evening. It's a great time for a gentle saunter around the neighbourhood.
It's a guaranteed meet-the-cat hour. And as somebody once said, "I've never met a cat I didn't like."
The cats are all out on their stoops and their stairs, on their porches, by their gates, under their hedges.
They're sniffing the breeze, or waiting for their humans, or relaxing after dinner.
But most of all, they are establishing ownership of their territory.
With every twitch, they are negotiating minor border disputes.
They are placed like chess pieces and they stand their ground. Not much action at this hour. It's all about bluff and show.
It reminds me of the stylised posturing between India and Pakistan border guards (and a similar very tense but more static stand-off, which I've seen in person, takes place on the border between North and South Korea at Panmunjom).
The onlooker may well hope the challenge remains ritualised and bloodless.