My feral friend, King of the Felines and Defender of the Faith, has returned. He had been missing in action for three months and presumed lost
. Cycling down the Rum River Trail, I came to the turn which marks the beginning of the feral cats' territory and sitting there, waiting as if nothing had happened, was my bewhiskered comrade. He strode right up to my bike, and then proceeded down the path to the feeding area, leading the way as it were. He deigned to allow me salutations (a head scratch- one hand only- and some gentle stroking) before we got down to the business at hand: Sardines. The other cats had to wait their turn. He was still the boss. I asked him where he had been on his spring vacation, was it Cancoun, Hawai'í, or perhaps Jamaica? No reply. We're on the third year of our "relationship" and after an absence of three months I had really thought he was a goner. He must have another life- or maybe 8 more! For all I know he could be living in one of the apartments across the tracks, or perhaps he has a pad in one of the service buildings on the hospital grounds. Or he might be "slumming" with the other cats, and just hangs out there because foolish humans bring him savory delights. Whatever the case, he has the best of all possible worlds. I may have to start calling him "Candide."