She flops down under his chin and begs to be licked, to be cleansed of the day’s dust and skin mites. He complies. He is called Lorenzo, The Magnificent and he is infinitely tolerant. She leaps on him as he passes by, or even when he has just stopped for a moment to contemplate the nature of wall-to-wall carpeting. Sometimes he bares his teeth, but most times he just stares at her until she disengages.
She is called “Stickers” for how twisted and tangled her fur was. When we heard her name I could not imagine why anyone would put little happy faces and gold stars all over a cat. (Teachers think in such terms.) They just blinked at me, until I understood they meant ‘stickers’, not ‘stickers’. The name stuck.
Her mottled grey and brown fur blends into the rocky border of the meadow – you will never see her, unless she moves. She was found under a dumpster, half-starved, soggy, shivering, filthy and scared half to death. They took her in and spent months calming her nerves, but she still startles at the sound of a door slamming. Have you ever heard a cat gallop?
She sleeps curled against the back of my bent knees, but she will leap from my bed at the slightest movement. She sleeps in her box, head and paws hanging out, dead to the world. She will bite you, gripping your hand with her sharp little teeth, if you pet her too long. Her definition of ‘too long’ is a moving target. She is predictably unpredictable. Her fur is so soft and silky that it is almost intangible.
Her green eyes see everything.
And she speaks to the birds that roost for a moment on the eaves of the porch, her little voice crackling and stuttering in excitement.
We love her.