I sat on my deck.  Smoke from the barbeque drifted into the air. Occasionally, the wind blew it in my direction, causing me to move my chair.  As the steaks cooked, I put my feet up, picked up my book, and quietly read.

It was another peaceful spring evening in Nova Scotia. In the corner of my vision, I sensed movement.  It was a large white cat. His long coat of white was a stark contrast to the green and brown of the awakening world of spring.

I watched the cat.  He approached my flower bed, sniffed at the newly turned soil, and began to dig.

 "Hey!" I jumped from my chair, "Get out of there."  The cat ran so fast, it was nothing but a white blur as it fled.

A couple of days later, I was on my deck again.  The cat appeared.  I chased it away again.  This continued through spring and into summer.  Every time I sat on my deck, the cat would appear and I would chase it away.

One evening, as I sat, I heard a "Meow!"

There was the white cat standing a few feet from me.  It'd come around the house from the other direction.  Its blue eyes showed no fear.  It stood and looked at me.  I looked back at it and admired its courage.

I put my hand down, "Here, Kitty."

The cat rushed to my hand and rubbed its head against it.  A few minutes later it was in my lap, purring softly.  The cat had worn me down.

I couldn't chase him anymore. I saw the direction it went when it left my lap. It was always in the direction of a new neighbour. One evening, I saw my neighbour in his yard.  I walked up the hill and introduced myself.  His name was Ron.  As we talked, the white cat appeared.

"Ron, is that your cat?"

"That's Matey.  I got him a few months ago.  I noticed he goes down the hill to your property almost every evening.  I hope he isn't bothering you."

"Not at all, Ron.  In fact, he has become a friend."

Ron and I became friends too.  For several years we lived as neighbours, sharing Matey's love between us.


Four years and two moves later, we crossed the border to the USA and into Ohio.

My barbeque was on my patio.  I sat, cooked a steak and read a book.  Across the field, I saw a black cat.  It glanced in my direction and continued on.

One night, I went outside for a breath of fresh air.  The black cat appeared.  It walked in my direction, came within 30 feet, stopped, rolled onto its back, and meowed.  I approached it.  It fled.

A few nights later, it was there again.  The routine was repeated and it ran away.  The cat became a challenge.

I would look for it every evening.  It would hear me, wander in my direction, and run away when I got close.

One night, I sat on the curb and talked to it.  It grew brave and came within reach.  I rubbed its head.  A friendship was formed. I would step outside and make a noise.  The cat would hear and come to me, rub against my legs, and allow me to pet it.

My wife thought I was nuts.  I talked about the black cat all the time.  I told her how wonderful it was, but she didn't believe me.  She thought I was just going out to avoid chores.

I knew the cat's home was a house next to our housing complex.  I saw the owner gardening one day and walked over to introduce myself.

"Hi!  I'm Mike.  I live in the townhouse complex.  Do you have a black cat?"

"I'm Don.  It's nice to meet you, Mike.  Yes, I have a black cat.  His name is Bob."  We shook hands.

"Bob and I are friends," I said.


"Yes!  He comes over to my townhouse, whenever I am outside."

"Bob's a friendly fellow.  He likes attention."

 "I've noticed.  He is always coming to me.  He's a wonderful cat."

A week later, I was outside, and Bob came to visit.  He rubbed against my legs.  I took a chance, reached down and picked him up.  I held him to my chest.  He reached out, put a paw on each of my shoulders, and rubbed his face against mine, one cheek after the other.

A love was formed.

My wife came outside, "Mike, what are you doing?"

"Hun, meet Bob."  She fell in love with my friend.

"I thought you were kidding."  She rubbed Bob's head.  Bob pushed his head into her palm.  "He's beautiful," she said.  Bob won another friend.

Don and I became great friends through Bob.  Ron and I became great friends through Matey -- two friends became four.

No matter where I work or live, I make new friends.  Through those new friends, I met more.  Two friends become four.  Four friends became eight.  The chain of friends grows.

Have you heard of pyramid sales?  I have.  I don't like them. This is different.  This is pyramid friendship.

Two persistent cats taught me a new concept -- make friends, meet more through them, and meet even more.  Allow your pyramid of friends to grow.

Michael T. Smith 


Michael lives with his wife and their children and their grandchildren in Idaho.  You can read more of Michael's stories at


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A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.


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