The girls are positively gleeful when they see him in our yard. At first, they were all "Poor Baby! We must hug him and pet him and call him George!" about him...and then they decided that the cat was a she and they'd call her 'White Whiskers'.
And then they added 'Whitey' for short.
It's taken some convincing, but I think they're finally coming around to my notion that he looks well-fed, so NO, we don't need to feed him every time he's here. Oh, I'm sure they don't AGREE with me, but at least they've stopped pestering me every day. Because that's how often Whitey comes over - every day after school, or any time he hears the girls, or any time he hears the garage doors open, or Any Time...and sometimes he just camps out on the welcome mat. Sunday morning he was up on the front windowsill (it's low), peering in at Rob and the girls.
E3 loves cats.
We have no pets of our own, so the girls are thrilled by our new visitor. I can only guess this is what being a grandparent is like - we play with the cat, snuggle it, pet it while it purrrs...and then send it home and leave the pesky details (food, vet bills, etc...) to his owners.
One night at dinner E1 asked how you can tell if a cat is a boy or a girl and I said, "By looking at it's...butt." Last Saturday my parents dropped the girls off after an overnight visit and my Dad declared Whitey to be a boy.
E2 suggested we change his name to Lucky.
Whitey is a very frisky cat. He enjoys batting sidewalk chalk around the back porch, and last night E2 and E3 discovered that if they ran through the back yard while dragging a jump rope Whitey would chase and pounce on trailing end.
He's also very snugly, and doesn't mind being toted around the yard and garage by little hands. Many evenings, as the sun is going down, the girls (particularly E2) can be found outside in the 20-degree weather, sitting with the cat in her lap.
Tonight, E2 suggested yet another name-change for this cat who isn't even ours and probably already has a perfectly nice name. I threatened to change HER name...to Gertrude.
(Ever since they announced the nickname 'Whitey' I haven't been able to stop thinking of the story of Whitey McBrother. )