My sweet Sven and I took in Hunter when he was four.
He had no place to go.
The next six years flew by here in the black hole outside of Harmony Grove, with the loudest barking dog on earth, swimming in his own murky pond. And an old married couple hosing him down and wiping him off.
And then two years ago a cat showed up in a tuxedo.
"He has no place to live," we explained.
Hunter was mortified.
Tuna was just a baby and he could not imagine that his cuteness would not win the old guy over.
But it wasn't Tuna's face or his fancy outfit that did it.
It was the fact that he would not go away.
Over time a precarious bond has formed between them.
By day they barely tolerate each other.
Hunter is a big tattle tale.
He lets us know if Tuna is messing with Grandma Meow Moses, the little old lady cat with her own story who lives downstairs, if he is picking the lock on the clothes chute, or if he is hanging from the screen.
Tuna smacks Hunter daily for sticking his nose into his business and or his butt.
Hunter shows his teeth if Tuna dares to walk too close to one of his abandoned flip chips.
Tuna zips right underneath the old geezer when he is trying to navigate his way up the two carpeted for easier traction, porch steps.
Hunter has an absolute conniption when Tuna peers into the office to see if he can come in and hang out with us.
This means that I have to airplane a cat over the head of a griping dog in order to set him inside the box to curl up in on my desk, all the while being careful not to trip over the beast complaining at my feet.
When the sun goes down and the paisley moon porch light comes on they are the best of friends.
And they could give a shit about me.
Because they are too busy ruling the world out there together.
"Boys!" I will call.
They don't look my way.
They look at each other.
Hunter gives Tuna a nod.
And Tuna saunters in the door.
Tuna never makes an entrance into the house without receiving treats. He can usually use a little sustenance since he only eats his God forsaken cat food when all other options are void.
"Come on Hunter," I will say. "Time for you to come in too."
This is when Hunter either, A) continues to ignore me or, B) gets up and walks the other away.
"Hey!" I yell after him. "Where are you going?"
And then he lays down in the front yard.
"Well at least we have one of them inside," Sven will say.
But you see.
As soon as his highness, also known to the critters around here as the king of the jungle, barks at the door, I go to let him in.
And Tuna shoots out.
Because Hunter sees that his best friend just shot past him, he either, A) lays back down on the deck or, B) turns around and walks the other way.
After a time Sven calls for them.
Tuna saunters in for a little sustenance.
And Hunter will either, A) ignore Sven or, B) get up and walk the other way.
"Well at least we have one of them inside," Sven will say sitting back down on the couch.
A half an hour later his highness barks at the door.
Tuna slips out.
Hunter turns around and lays back down.
The two best friends by night, rule the world out there under the paisley moon porch light, until they are done.
Come morning they will barely tolerate each other.