We finally have a cat. Well, for all appearances when one visits our home we don't, because there are no telltale signs a feline occupies the property. This cat comes and goes when it pleases - like a thief in the night.

The cat, which I have dubbed Bandit, has only been spotted about a dozen times and has been a tenant of our acreage for at least four months. The gray tabby is a stealthy one. It generally keeps to the woods and never shies too far away from the safe haven of trees.

He is a smart one, I will give him that - he has to be to have resided at a home with Pugsley in residence. She despises cats, ergo she is the reason we are unable to have cats.

I named the visitor Bandit because he likes to come up to our house like a thief in the night. Often times I have set garbage outside to be taken to the Dumpster and sure enough, in the morning there is a large hole chewed in the bottom of the bag. I know he is out scavenging. Over the last month I have taken pity on our late-night intruder and before I go to bed, I toss out a piece of dried duck or chicken that I usually give to the pups. Sure enough, it is gone by morning. I hope he enjoys it.

Bandit has kept up his vigilant haunt of the woods and never, ever gets too close during the daytime. Even though I agree this is likely best for him, I found myself taking pity on the drifter in the woods even more and could not avoid interaction. Last week I set food out for him close to our barn. He must have been pretty hungry because he came right out and ate the dog food - the only pet food I keep in the house.

Bandit remains pretty leery of us and I hope it stays that way, because there is no way he can stay on at our place on a long-term basis and have a promising future.

The only encounter he has had with the dogs so far (although Pugsley always smells him when he has paid a visit) is with Maizy. I let her out one morning when it was still dark. Bandit must have been out there because Maizy took chase and not long after I heard her whine. The feline must have let her have it. Lucky for him, it was the smaller variety of dog that gave chase, and lucky for Maizy, she came back in no worse for the wear. But, she may think twice next time when it comes to chasing cats.

We shall see how much longer Bandit chooses to call our place home. I do worry about him come winter time, but maybe by then the leery traveler will have moved on to parts unknown.