When we first came to this place it was in the dark of night. All I knew was I wasn’t going to be sleeping in a tent. We drove into what you might call a compound, down a hill, then a sharp right. We parked the truck, got out and walked around one house to get to another behind it. Our door was on the ground level and as we approached, a neighbor came down to ask who we were. We explained that Eric, (our now land lord) sent us.
Once inside the door, we were in the kitchenette. An L shaped room, with two sets of glass doors. The bedroom straight ahead with it’s own set of glass doors, which had no curtain at the time, so we settled in the living room, which was surprisingly big. At one time, our living room was a hot tub!
You see, the family that owns this house, owns the whole compound. It was originally entirely for the family. They still have an operational banquet hall across the way from our apartment. They have a family gymnasium and an out door salt water pool. There is an old Koi pond, a tennis court and a little park for the kids. It is like a little village with all the houses and most of the neighbors are somehow related. Or at least that was the impression I had to start with. As time has gone by I realize more people are like John and I, not related.
Right outside our door is a little area where John has planted some plants and built a walk way to make things look nice. We have a chair out there and that is where we smoke our cigarettes, because we don’t smoke in the house. So it is while smoking morning cigarettes that we first met Butch.
Butch seems to be the neighborhood outside cat. He is black and white and very big, much bigger than my cats. One of his ears has been chewed in the past and he looks kind of mean. He walks the same route by our door most days. At times he stops and looks at us, but mostly he ignores us. John talks to him a lot. He named him Butch. We don’t know what his real name is. We do know he is an un-neutered male because he sprays the flowers as he goes by sometimes.
One day soon after John had built the walkway, Butch came by. He came down the stairs and stopped. He looked at the walkway, considering it and then walked around it. Later on he came back by and I asked him “What is the matter, to good for the walkway?” He stopped, looked at me and then went on his way. The next morning, he used the walkway.
On another occasion, Butch was coming back around the house and he stopped short of the walkway when he saw me. He turned to go back the other way, but then changed his mind. It was then that I saw the chipmunk hanging from his mouth. He looked at me as if he thought I might want to take it from him. I did not. Finally, he decided to go on by and up the stairs. Later, I found the chipmunk lying there on the stairs. I hope he doesn’t make a habit of that leaving things hanging around.
There are a lot of dogs in this neighborhood and by the looks of Butch he has been in quite a few scraps. I wonder where he goes after he passes by in the morning. Does he walk the same way every day through out the whole place? Does he leave the compound? What does he do all day? Hmmm…