I was always a dog person. As for cats, well, early on their species lost their chances for my affection when one of them ATE my pet bird. Not a good PR move for the feline species, in my book.
When I moved to an apartment with floor-to-ceilng sliding glass windows, I noticed a cat walking along the ledge, looking in at me. Daily over the next few months, it would beg to be let in. It wasn’t a stray–it belonged to a nice family that lived next door. But for some reason, it wanted in badly. Every day after hours of looking pathetic, with no result, its little body would visibly deflate in disappointment. But it would be back the next day, full of hope.
One Thanksgiving, I had my family over for dinner. Throughout the meal, this cat had all fours plastered against the screen window right next to the table, like some Garfield stuffed toy with suction cup feet. It meowed and cried something fierce, to the point that we could barely hear one another talk.
Then one day a friend who loves cats let her in. The cat made a bee line to my lap, much to my horror. It then exposed its belly; my friend said that was a submission sign: “I’m all yours!” Well what was I to do?
After that, the cat would finagle its way into my apartment every day. At first I would only let her on one piece of furniture. But soon she had the run of the house. The neighbors would have to come and get her every night before bed, and she would protest every time.
Eventually the neighbors suggested a sleep over. Later, I talked to the 12 year old boy whose cat she was to find out how he felt about this. He told me that his father had explained “When you love someone, you want them to be happy.”
That’s how Whiskers came into my life.