One of my clients has 6 cats that I care for several days a week while she is working out of town. In addition to her own six we also put out food for several strays that hang around the house. This winter there have been two regulars: a grey tabby and a white female cat with black spots who has been coming around since I started going there in the fall. Lately there has been a white male cat also with black spots that has come by to get some food. I usually arrive around the same time each day and they are almost always on the porch or under the front steps when I arrive.
A few days ago I pulled into the driveway as always, but arriving later than usual. As I turned to get out of my car, I saw the grey tabby and white female making a bee line for the front gate. They had been up the street when I arrived. By the time I walked to the front gate the white female had squeezed under the gate and the grey tabby was about to enter as I opened it. Who said cats aren’t smart! Just like dogs, these cats have been conditioned to expect a meal at about the same time each morning. They know my car, and they know I park in the driveway. They come and patiently wait on the porch by the front door until I return with a plate of food and a container of water. They are the sweetest things. I wish they weren’t afraid to let me pet them.