She appeared in our neighborhood two springs ago, a mysterious tortoise-shell/tabby gray cat who pranced up to greet me from a yard when I was walking my dog one day near the park. For a cat, she was friendly. I stopped to pet her, then went on my way. She followed me a few steps, meowing, but turned back to her place on the grass.
This lawn, her apparent home, spread out in front of a house I’d always wondered about. There were often two cars in the driveway, matching silver sedans, but I’d never seen anyone through the house’s windows or outside during my many walks in the 8 years since I’d moved to town.
Not long after my introduction to the cat, I saw a man out in the driveway of this house. His face brightened when I asked him if he had a cat. Why, yes, he did. He said her name was Miss Smith and that she’d recently shown up on his back door step, sitting politely and meowing as if to be let in. He’d never owned a cat, he said. He had no pets. He lived with his mother. But he let her in and fed her a can of tuna. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, more than a year later, I see this man, previously a recluse, walking around the block, often followed by Miss Smith. I love that this unique cat chose him — and that she has brought him out of his house and into the neighborhood.
When I see them walking by, this man and his cat, I sometimes cross the street to talk to them. We’ll chat about his cat and mine, sharing observations, noting changes in their cat routines. Miss Smith will roll around below us as we admire her.