Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ruby and Lucy at the Prickly Pear

If you ever walk past the Prickly Pear before it opens, you may see a mostly-black cat sitting in the window.

I spotted Ruby early one Saturday morning and was immediately smitten by her white bib and patch around her nose. On the other side of the glass, she stretched to her full height and started to rub furiously against a dried branch. Ah, such a Kodak moment, if there ever was one.

I whipped out my camera and tried all sort of settings but getting a good shot of a moving target, especially when partially obscured by the reflective glass was just about impossible. At least for an amateur photographer like me.

When I returned the following weekend, Brian the Prickly Pear owner gave me permission to take as many photos of Ruby and her sister Lucy as I liked - if I could find them.

Even as he spoke, Ruby dove under a display stand and took refuge behind the curtain of lush tropical plants. It was difficult to imagine this shy retiring creature as my avid window greeter just a week before.

The four-year old siblings have the run of the store, as well as the expansive outdoor nursery that opened out to the grassy area bordering Bayview Street. But regardless of where they venture out during the day, they always return home at the end of day. After all, they like to keep each other company when the store's gates and doors are closed for the night.

From what limited photo ops the cats gave me, I couldn't tell the sisters apart. A helpful staff told me that Ruby was the one with a little bit of grey on her back. I was also informed that Ruby was the braver of the two, or was it the other around? In any case, at least while I was there, they were both in hiding - one in a box behind the cash register and the other sandwiched between tall display stands. And who could blame them, when the shop was abuzz with shoppers, baby buggies, and dogs on leash.

Someday I wish to meet both Ruby and Lucy out in the open. With no cacti, glass window, or service counter between us.

Till then, I'll just take the occasional peek into the store window - before the "open" sign is hung on the door - when the cats feel comfortable enough to just be their mellow selves.

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