The long-haired male ginger cat I called my buddy saw me sitting on the bottom step by the back door and hurried toward me. Soon, as always, he was in my lap and purring vigorously. The goofy look on his face told me he was enjoying it as I scratched the top of his head and behind his ears. He stretched out, and soon the purring slowed, and he knew he was asleep. I knew I had to leave soon, but how do you bring yourself to disturb a cat at peace with the world? I was glad that my cat whispering was all it took to get his attention.

My allergies keep me from having a cat of my own, but I’m always glad to welcome a cat friend. My buddy actually belongs to my neighbor. I think he’d gladly change families if I could survive it. When he’s on my lap, there’s nothing his cat mom or dad owner can say to get him to go to them. Perhaps it’s a bit malicious on my part, but I never encourage him to leave to go home.

I heard cat mom calling. “Rusty! Here, Kitty!” Only a few seconds passed before she repeated her call. No response from “Rusty” told me he wanted to stay. When I looked toward their house, I saw the muzzle of a black and white dog poking through a hole in the board fence. In his eyes, I thought I detected longing…or maybe it was jealousy. He whined.

“Sorry, Killer. I know you’d like me to pet you too,” I said quietly, then finished my sentence, “…but I’m a cat lover.” My buddy just stirred briefly, then put his head down and fell back asleep. When there’s a cat sleeping in your lap, all is good in the world. Isn’t it?

© 2017 Robert Mihaly
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