One warm afternoon in November I came into the house after pulling weeds for an
hour. A big tabby jumped down from the living room sofa and ran to me meowing.
Surprised, I bent down to stroke it and was met with a fierce show of affection. She
most probably a she – rubbed against my hand, all the while meowing in a sweet, high voice.She wound herself between my ankles, following me out to the patio, jumping upon the railing to rub against me, and purred and meowed without end. I didn’t know what todo with her and retreated to my husband’s den and lay down on the couch to read. The cat jumped up on my chest, at least twenty pounds of her. She rubbed against my face,my hand holding the book, my neck, my chin. I stroked and scratched. She kept up the attack.
I thought Help! but really was enjoying myself.After what seemed an hour, I put her outside and shut the door and fled back to the couch to think about what had happened. We had seen each other once or twice in my yard, nothing more.
She came almost every day after that, since the weather allowed me to leave the patio door open. I bought cat treats. Whenever I was not at the computer, fruitlessly trying to work on a book I had put aside for too long, then giving up, she joined me on the couch as I read or napped. If I awoke with a frightened start, she crept up to my chest and kneaded her paws as if to comfort me. I kept much to myself in those days.
She came in the evenings also and curled up on my lap as I watched television. Sometimes, following some internal timetable, she refused to nap and held my hand down with her paws so thatI couldn’t stroke her to sleep. I experimented with my other hand, which she also imprisoned. Her eyes glazed over and she actually nodded off twice before jerking awake. Apparently, she had something else to do than sleep, perhaps a rendezvous out in the woods across the road, a hunt laid on with other cats, or a visit on one of her rounds of homes.