I recently discovered that a neighbourhood striped grey cat is actually one of two. They look like twins, or at least I can’t tell them apart, which I guess doesn’t say much. Over the last couple of years, I had occasionally seen one grey cat wandering around, a gorgeous silky coat, the same length of hair as Chicken except stripes of light and dark grey. A darker doppelgänger. This grey cat sometimes comes up to say hello, rolling around on the pavement. One day, walking down the laneway, I saw the two of them, lurking around the garages. I felt astounded that I had had this misconception for years. And even more disconcerting was the fact that Chicken probably already knew this.
I’ve always wondered what Chicken does when he wanders the laneway, and I’ve now come to accept that Chicken has entire worlds that I know nothing about and never will. Interactions and relationships with cats and humans and possibly raccoons. Perhaps he goes into other people’s homes, gets fed, gets his ears scratched, and then reappears sometime later. Perhaps he’s batted out of people’s houses with brooms.
It’s not like with the children, where I can interrogate them and try my best to glean what’s happening in their day from their garbling. I highly doubt that even if Chicken could talk he would tell me anything.