How Not to Meet the New Neighbors


One day last week, my ordinarily uneventful walk to the mailbox and back turned into an embarrassing ordeal. Max, who many of you have heard from before, apparently decided it was time to create some mischief and make the walk a little more exciting. I took the mail out of the box and then looked down where he's usually sitting at my feet looking up at me. Only this time, he wasn't there. Or anywhere that I could see.

As I looked around in a panic, I spotted his black behind slinking into a neighbor's garage.

Max, I yelled. Max! Max! Max!

He was having none of it.

This reminded me of the disaster which occurred when we first moved to Florida. Max got out one day and we couldn't find him anywhere. Several hours later, he appeared at the back door and was greeted with a lecture about how he scared his parents to death. He just looked at me, rolled his eyes and went back to sleep. A couple of days later, I met my new neighbor out front and we struck up a conversation.

Have you seen a black and white cat in the neighborhood? He's the cutest thing I've ever seen. James, my next door neighbor, told me he came home from work and the cat was asleep on his bed.
There I was, feeling the red creep up from my neck until it stung my cheeks. I didn't know this lady, or James for that matter. For all I know, they weren't animal lovers. How do I tell my brand new neighbor that it was my cat who waltzed into a stranger's home and took a nap on his bed?
Oh, um, wow. Um, that must have been our cat, Max. He's black and white. He was missing the other day and uh, um, well.... I am so embarrassed. I'll apologize to James.
She roared with laughter and said there was no need to apologize. James got a good laugh out of it and referred to Max as "very friendly." Yeah, you could say that! As it happened, James has a cat who Max made fast friends with. We figured that Max must have followed him home and in through the cat door. Probably helped himself to some food while he was there, too...

Despite the rocky first encounter, my neighbor and I became very close friends and we still laugh about our initial meeting.

As for Max's latest attempt at wooing the neighbors and embarrassing his parents to death, we caught a break this time. The neighbors weren't in the garage when I finally got Max to come out. But knowing my luck, they were looking out the window and have me on the neighborhood watch list. That new lady just wanders into garages and stuff. Keep your doors locked and keep an eye on her.

Max will no longer be allowed to walk to the mailbox with me.

For once, I'd like a meeting with the new neighbors to talk place with me bringing over a plate of cookies or something.....

Have you had embarrassing first encounters with new neighbors?

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