The occasional visitor, almost always a woman, will ask me what the cat’s name is. I tell her the cat hasn’t  told me. I say that names are for humans and a cat is a cat. So I just call him Cat, even though he doesn’t pay any attention to the name. He pays attention to food, and to warm places to sleep, like my chest when I’m sitting in the recliner or on my legs when I‘m in bed. He lets me know when he wants to be scratched without having to call my name, which he doesn’t know anyway.

Cat is pretty good company. He doesn’t make unnecessary noise and he’s good to look at. I like the way he moves. I think he hears things that I can’t hear. Every once in a while I find him staring at a wall with his ears tucked flat against his head. He can stay that way for quite a while. Possibly he hears mice. He presents me with a mouse every once in a while. I stroke him and feed him when he does his duty like this. Otherwise, his job is just to be himself, which he is good at.

The woman will ask “where did you get him?” I say “he got me.” He just showed up one day, through some passages I was unaware of at the time. He was in the kitchen when I arrived one day, and he seemed to expect I would feed him. I did, and that seemed to settle it.

He’s a bigger than average short-haired tabby, with wide shoulders and one half-an-ear that I guess got torn in a fight. I’ve known adult male cats before, so I worried at first that  he’d put his musk marks all over the place. He hasn’t, so far. I guess he doesn’t feel the need since he reckons he owns it already, or maybe he reckons it’s mine and I’m the boss? Anyway, who can figure out how an animal thinks?

I guess I’ve gotten pretty fond of Cat. He’s a good companion. If he isn’t around for a few days I wonder if he’ll be back. So far, he’s always come back, but he’s made no promises.

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