Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maine Cats

As anyone who's been there knows, Maine is "The Way Life Should Be."

It's perfectly true, just on the basis of the cats alone. The cats of Southwest Harbor, for example, are much friendlier than some of the cats in our own home.

Here's Ruby, who lives across the street from the inn. She's a regular visitor at breakfast on the porch:


She's just finished lolling in my husband's lap, without an invitation, but of course she was welcome. As I took this photo, she was taking a break from rolling around and showing off on the floor between us, and was soon to jump into my lap for awhile. Ruby behaves like this with scores of guests at the inn every year. She's almost pathologically friendly.

After nearly two years of being adored, our little Wendy won't voluntarily touch us, let alone jump in our laps. 

Walking on the Clark Point Road, I encountered Junkyard Cat, hanging out with his tire collection:


He looked a little surly, but he needed no persuasion at all to come over and be friendly:


He did the classic purring-and-twining-around-my-legs routine, and tried to follow me back to the inn. So thoughtful, despite his junk-pile responsibilities. And we'd never met before.

Will Wendy ever chill out and start acting toward her own family the way a Maine cat behaves around complete strangers? I doubt it — unless we can persuade her go to a cat summer camp up here. I suspect that that's where Maine cats learn to be so personable. (It could also be something in the water up here.) 

Some of our cats have gone to a sleepover camp, which we regard as a character-building experience as well as fun. A few summers ago, we were having some messy work done in our apartment, so our three cats went to stay at Camp Amy, held at a friend's house in the suburbs. Snalbert and Bunny thrived, learning new songs, discovering the joys of running up and down stairs, and exploring a big house. They quickly became good campers, according to the director, even if their lanyard weaving was sloppy. Snicky spent the entire two weeks under the camp director's sofa, emerging only in the dead of night for meals and litter box visits. She won the Least Visible Camper Award that year.

Snicky has scared Wendy to death with horror stories about Camp Amy, so we won't be packing Wendy's rucksack any time soon. I'll just keep lecturing her about Maine cats' ideal deportment instead.

1 comment:

  1. There's a beautiful town garden just at the northernmost edge of Southwest Harbor, near the entrance to the Causeway Club. When my husband and I went to see the flowers last week, we were greeted by a large orange cat who took a shine to my husband and followed him through the garden, then sat next to him on a bench. Obviously the guardian of the place.

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