I have been to visit the Kyudo (Japanese traditional archery) club a few times now, each time for multiple hours. Today, at long last, the students in the club related to and interacted with me with a sense of ease. It was as if they suddenly knew me and trusted me, knew me as a friend instead of foe. They are – along with most of Japanese culture that I have encountered – just like cats.
The first several hours and visits, they were truly skittish, and utterly nervous whenever they had to pass near to me. It was like they were terrified that I might, dear goodness, speak to them or something. And today, from the moment I arrived, they were warm and welcoming to me – I could almost feel the cats rubbing a quick greeting on my leg. No, they weren’t entirely comfortable with me, – they weren’t ready to play and hang about with me constantly – but they were comfortable enough to go about their business without having caution around me; though I was not yet a good friend, I was no longer a potential threat, and the alteration was palpable and delicious.