The Cat and I

Is that cat staring at me? He seems to have appeared from nowhere. Like other cats I’ve encountered, he is likely protecting his turf and will leave me alone. No, I think he’s walking toward me. Yes, yes, he is, walking directly to me. A beautiful gray cat, coming to greet me, swirling around my legs and caressing my outstretched hand. I am beyond understanding at this unexpected greeting, yet enjoying his touch. Two species, sharing a spring morning.

It had been a Saturday, shortly after sunrise, enjoying a neighborhood walk to start my day. The cat approached me as I turned onto a different street. Mesmerized as I was, I sat down in the road to experience the cat’s gentle nature, quiet yet seeking my attention. To my surprise, as I resumed my walk, I discovered he stayed beside me, sometimes touching my leg and always ready to brush my legs when I stopped. I knew I had a friend when he rolled onto his back and let me stroke his tummy while he waved his paws in what appeared to be delight. I was in love.

Who was this cat? Did it have a home? Why so generous in its affection toward me? Would it follow me home? What would I do? Keep it? Call the SPCA? No, I could not do that. The cat had won my affection, such that I wanted him to have a home, but that decision was not mine to make. After walking a distance, our little affair ended. He followed me just so far and then watched me continue farther down the road alone. I had left his turf. We had enjoyed each other’s company, but a lasting relationship was not to be.

On following days, I repeated the same walk, but the cat was not to be found. But each day I look for him. I miss him.