Today has been the hottest day yet this year, and after I watered the plants in the back yard this evening I sat on the porch for a while, watching the feral cats and enjoying the first tentative perfume released by the jasmine. Jarhead did something unexpected. She hopped onto my lap and let me pet her for about three minutes before jumping down. That's the first time any of the feral cats has shown any sign of wanting to be a lap cat.
Meanwhile, Timmy has become more and more skittish. When she was living in the back yard and bossing the other cats around she didn't mind being petted, though she'd allow it only briefly, and only while she was standing on the ground. Jarhead would shy away from any petting then. But since Timmy has been cast out of the back yard by the other cats and is living on her own she has gotten less confident, while Jarhead, having freed herself of her nemesis, has grown very confident.
If I didn't have Portia living in the house I'd let Jarhead move in. But while Portia and Timmy will tolerate each other, just barely, Jarhead and Portia utterly despise each other. If they even see each other through a window they hiss and growl and then try to fight. Letting Jarhead into the house would never work out. It's unfortunate, because she is a sweet little cat, but Portia has a prior right of occupancy. She decided to be my lap cat years ago, before Jarhead was even born, and she's here to stay. Jarhead will just have to be content with whatever attention I can give her during the brief times I spend in the back yard.
I think it's going to cool off enough tonight that I'll be able to get most of the heat out of the house. There are three more hot days coming, though not as scorchy as today was. Surprisingly, Monday and Tuesday are expected to be quite cool, and there could even be some rain. Then there will be several balmy days with cool nights— perfect jasmine-sniffing weather. Early June could turn out to be most pleasant, as long as that storm brings enough rain to keep the plants green a few more days and doesn't bring any lighting-induced wildfires.