I was thinking about our neighbor's cat the other morning as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard. I had spotted the cat over on Veda Street nearly three blocks from its home.

I was thinking about our neighbor’s cat the other morning as I walked along Wildcat Boulevard. I had spotted the cat over on Veda Street nearly three blocks from its home.
I see this cat everywhere and at any time of the day or night. I spot it in the headlights when I put the car away at night. I spot it on my neighbor’s driveway when I step out in the middle of the night to check the weather. I see it in our backyard trees trying to catch a squirrel or bird. I see it in other people’s yards checking out things.
Our neighbor has two cats. One stays in the house and the other, “the patrol cat,” roams. Our neighbor says that the cat is good, even in the house, “Its name is Snoopy. Even in the house has its nose in everything.”
Our neighbor did not intend to have cats; they just came to his door. He does everything right. He has them "fixed" gets all their shots. He feeds them more than they need. Yet their personality comes out, and the patrol cat stays outside as much as possible and watches over the neighborhood.
Another neighbor smokes, but never smokes in the house. He smokes on his front porch. Of course, the patrol cat comes and visits him when he is smoking. He now has a bowl of water and food for the patrol cat.
I do not think the patrol cat does anything wrong, but it is present everywhere. I like having it around.
I recently read that Bradford pear trees have become nuisance in nature. At first, scientists did not think Bradford pear trees would have seeds that grow because the trees are a hybrid. The scientists were wrong, and now the little pears the Bradford produces each summer have active seeds that sprout and grow easily in Missouri soils.
In some places conservationists are working to eliminate this tree from surrounding forests, as they have become a nuisance plant.   
If you want an early flowering tree in your yard, it is suggested that you chose a serviceberry tree. It is native and blooms beautiful white flowers early each spring like a Bradford pear tree does. Other suggestions to replace Bradford pears are wild plum bushes, redbud trees, and dogwoods.
We have one Bradford pear tree. As we also have the other suggested trees, perhaps I will replace our Bradford pear with some plum bushes.
My brother uses plum bushes as part of his wind break in North Dakota. He and his wife pick plums each fall and make delicious plum jelly.
Plum bushes were native where I was raised. They liked to grow in fence lines alongside of small country roads. I helped my mother pick them many times. She made wonderful plum jam.
Take a walk, remember to turn on headlights when windshield wipers are needed, use those signal lights, watch for pedestrians, eat plenty of plum jelly, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.    

 Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.