I managed to accomplish #91 on my list, pet one of the barn cats that I can’t currently touch, this morning entirely by accident.
Two of my barn cats are beautiful long haired grey females. They are totally identical when viewed from above. Mama has 4 white feet and a white chest while Grey Kitten doesn’t. (Yes, I spare no creativity when it comes to barn cat names.) Mama lets me touch her as long as I don’t get too familiar. No kissing and no picking up. Grey Kitten doesn’t. She’s flighty. She’s famous at work because when released from the live trap I used to catch her to bring her in and spay her, she managed to climb straight up a smooth glass picture window and then hang on it like SpiderMan for a moment. This led to stories about the crazed mutant barn cats that must inhabit my property.
She seems like she wants to be human-friendly but she loses her nerve. She runs out to meet me when I go to the barn. She throws herself on the ground and rolls around on her back. She’s the absolutely picture of divinely happy cat until I get about 3 feet from her and then she bolts. But lately she’s been picking up one of Mama’s annoying habits. Mama likes to wind between my feet while I’m going to put the food out. Given my precarious relations with these cats I don’t want to kick her. This was made even harder while I was on crutches and had lowered powers of cat evasion. Grey Kitten has taken up with this game and manages to be both underfoot and not being touched at the same time.
This morning I was evading a cat and not really paying attention. I reached down and petted the cat’s tail from base to tip because Mama takes that as her appropriate amount petting and then will stop bugging me. As I finished petting I looked forward and saw Mama sitting at the food place looking at me. I looked down and saw that I just petted Grey Kitten and she was still standing there. She wasn’t freaked out. She calmly ran over to the food place to wait for me. I don’t know if I’ll be allowed to repeat this ever but it was cool to see her overcome all her natural fears and trust me just a little.