Today I let the neighbor’s cat come into our house. He’s been wanting to pay us a visit for some time.
Every morning at 5:30 a.m. my husband hears his distinctive meow outside our back door and promptly goes out to pet him. Creamy, (as we’ve been calling him) is a large white cat with soft orange markings. He’s a bit overweight, which makes him all the more cute. He has unusually light baby blue eyes and will eagerly roll over for a tummy rub. Our neighbors, who also have three dogs and another resident cat, have told us that they are interested in finding a new home for Creamy and his brother and admittedly I’ve fallen in love. He has captured my heart... hook, line and sinker.
For several months now, whenever I go outside and see him perched on the wall beside their driveway and we make eye contact, he runs at top speed down the driveway and up ours until we meet. I don’t even have to call him. Just a glancing look and he runs. How could I not love this guy? He then follows me to the back yard and flops and rolls over, wanting a belly rub. When I touch his fur, his purr motor immediately begins running at full speed. I like to think it’s me, but for some reason, this creature is just so sweet and trusting. For many mornings over the past few weeks, we’ve enjoyed our morning coffee outside with Creamy. Eventually, he’ll wander off to look for a cozy spot in our garden to nap.
Yesterday afternoon, distracted by thoughts of him, I went outside and walked down the driveway looking for him. I pretended I was doing something else in front of our house, but I was really looking for him. I don’t want to be too conspicuous, as if to appear that all I’m doing all day is looking for the cat. Unable to locate him, I then walked back up the driveway and there he was waiting for me right in front of my back door. When a creature purrs, head-butts and makes you feel so special, how can you just walk away?
Last night I was awakened suddenly by a loud meow cry. Was I dreaming or was it real? Sometimes I think I hear him, only to find out it’s something on TV or a baby crying from far down the street. I’ve been putting him in my art lately..as if he’s already mine. During the day, I try not to look outside the windows too often as I go from room to room, but honestly, I’m obsessed. I constantly worry about him, as there have been several cats hit by cars on our street over the years. Fortunately, he seems to stay very close to our houses, but the feeling is unsettling, like letting your baby out. But wait, he’s not even my baby... at least not yet.
Today I took a big step and let him into the house and onto our back porch. He’d been sitting outside on the step and peering in through the back door screen, as if to say, "I want to come in please." He sniffed around and then made himself comfortable on the rug. I kept expecting him to get nervous and want to go back outside, but he flopped and played with a cat scratcher I’d bought (for him!) the other day. He had absolutely no desire to leave.
I’ve had a huge hole in my heart since February when our last cat Sammy died. I keep thinking I’m not over it. I recently made a drawing as a tribute to him called “Sammy’s last Winter”. When a pet is part of your family, it takes a long time to recover, Actually, maybe you never really do. They always live on, a collective family of pets in our lives, each one so unique and different. Like different colors of pixie dust that make life that much sweeter.
I’ve always thought that a cat would walk into my life when I’m ready. I think Creamy may be the one. I’ve only met his brother once briefly and I know they are a bonded pair so I don’t want to separate them. My husband is open to adopting them but he and others have said it will restrict traveling. Honestly, at this point I’d rather have the unconditional love of a cat who needs a forever home than all the traveling in the world. With a good pet sitter though, I think both can be accomplished. There are so many needy animals and I know my neighbors will most likely be putting them up for adoption, and I would miss that “adorable meatloaf head’, as we’ve called him.
If the two cats do come to live here, or any other for that matter, they’ll be “spoiled rotten” as my friend Laura says. And she’s totally right.