And then there is Martin. Martin and I love each other. He is a long haired black cat, also with green eyes, and a lot bigger than Stella. My husband accuses me of feeding him tuna. Well, maybe I did once or twice, but I haven't in at least six months, and Martin still loves me. Each morning, as soon as he is out of his own house, he heads for my front door. He meows until I open up and give him what he wants, which is generally speaking some serious cuddling. I will sit in the chair on my front porch and he will jump onto my lap. Once he gets settled and I start stroking his fur he purrs like a well-tuned car. He'll change position, put his paws around my neck and park his head on my shoulder. Occasionally he will go over my shoulder, climb over my back and land on my head. I'm not sure how or why he does this. Himself says it is so he can spot mice better, but I prefer to think it is a token of affection. When he's had enough he will jump down, look back for a quick second, then walk off to catch whatever mice might dare venture within a hundred feet of my front door. I don't know where he spends the rest of his days. Maybe he has another lady who does feed him tuna and he's two-timing me. I don't care. I love this silly cat.
In the bad weather Martin will make a bee-line for my porch and sit under the chair. He will meow pathetically until I open the door and if my husband isn't working from home and the weather is really nasty, I've been known to let him in. I'll dry him off with a towel, and after casing the joint he will trot up the stairs and perch in the window in the hallway outside the bathroom so he can "Nyah, nyah" at Fiona next door. But Martin is moving. His owner is the daughter of the lady next door and she has just (wisely) opted to buy herself a house in the next town. I'm sad, but also happy for her. Her mom broke this news to me as though she were expecting me to be crushed. When you start not making big life choices because the nut next door has a crush on your cat it is time for serious counseling. I'll miss him like crazy, but I'm happy for her.
Thinking about what is so special about our relationship, I realized how affirming it is to have a creature select me for a friend. His instincts are good, so I must be doing something right. Either he senses that I really am as kind as I'd like to think I am, or maybe I just give great ear scratches. Either way, I shall miss my furry friend and have every intention of visiting. Maybe I'll bring tuna.