I do not own this cat.
Should I be under surveillance, anyone observing me in my natural habitat would notice a weird habit developing over the past few weeks: several times a day, I make a small pilgrimage betwixt the windows on the first floor of my house. I start with the front porch door, then the actual front door (on the side of the house). Then, I move to side kitchen window, the back kitchen window, and finally, the back deck sliding glass door. Sometimes I may press a hand or my forehead to the glass. Always, I crane my neck to see as far as I can.
The casual observer would wonder: “Is she paranoid?”
She is not. She, that is to say me, is obsessed. Not with the goings on of the neighborhood around her, or the anticipation of a package from the Amazon truck, but with a cat that is not her own.
Her name is Portia. Well, it is probably not actually Portia. But that’s what we call her—this pretty kitty that has been visiting us a couple times a week for about six weeks or so now. My kids and I adore her. She is so sweet, and well-cared for—she is front declawed and has a collar, and clearly has a home and an owner. But she has chosen us to be her buddies, and we feel so honored. And we all check for her multiple times a day.
We are pet-starved in this household, on account of my husband’s severe allergies. (Asthma for days, trust me, we cannot have pets.) Now that my kids have gone back to school, I look forward even more to Portia’s visits (we named her Portia as a play on “porch cat” since she always hops up on our front porch to look for us.) I grew up with cats and I love, love, love them. And her sweet affection has soothed my anxious soul in these pandemic times. It really is the little things, I guess.
Last Friday, she was already on our porch at 7:10 a.m. when my kids left for school. They were sad that they didn’t get to stay and play with her so of course I texted my daughter like 6,000 pictures of her to brighten her day. I have taken so many pictures of this cat who isn’t mine over the past few weeks that my Google photos app made me a photo book of all cat photos the other day (no, I did not buy it.)
So yeah. I’m obsessed with someone else’s cat. I am not sure where she lives or whose she is, but dang it I wish she could be mine! And I hope she never stops visiting me. When she’s here, I drop everything and sit with her til she leaves unless I absolutely cannot. That’s totally normal, right? I love this cat so much I’m like three seconds away from getting a baby carrier and putting her in it so I can get stuff done and snuggle her at the same time.
Yeah, I have problems.
But I’m trying to survive a pandemic, and I’ll take all the emotional support I can get! Even if it’s from someone else’s cat.