Only a couple of weeks in our new neighborhood and already I’m making friends.
Patch was my first neighborhood buddy. I met him outside his apartment building, where he was relaxing on the steps. He made the first move, leaping up from his roost to snuggle himself against my legs. Purr, purr, purr. Nuzzle, nuzzle, nuzzle. I call him Patch ’cause he only got one eye, like a pirate. Every time I pass his house, he ambles over to say meow do you do? Sometimes, he walks home with me to give us a little more time to catch up. We always part ways happily, knowing that we will soon see each other again.
Sean does not like Patch.
“Don’t you go getting attached to these dirty street cats!” he warns. “They’ll bite you.”
“Not Patch! He never would. We’re friends. And he’s not dirty; he lives at Number 15.”
“How do you know that?”
“He’s always there and he has a collar with a bell on it.”
“He could still bite you.”
Personally, I think Sean’s just jealous that there’s a new man in my life. He also happens to be jealous of Patch’s friends who haven’t quite accepted me yet. I see them convening on the steps of Patch’s house with him, Jellicle Cats come out tonight. Every once in a while one of them eyes me with interest, only to streak into a backyard as I approach. I am, however, making some good headway with a beautiful gray kitten I see lounging outside of Number 25. She sniffs my hand and appears playful. Just the other day, she crossed her yard to say hello to me, just as Patch does. I call her Cleo.
Sean and I walk down our street and I wave to my friends.
“Hey, Patch,” I say. “Hi there, Cleo. What’s going on?”
“Stop getting attached to these cats,” says Sean. “It’ll only make it harder on you when you leave.”
He just doesn’t understand.