I guess it’s time I came clean on this: I’ve been living with someone, and we have shared a bed for over half a year now. She’s much younger than me — less than half my age, in fact — though far older in some ways, and I care for her like a daughter, providing her with the food and shelter she’d otherwise be unable to provide for herself. Her name’s Pandora.
She was one of two cats in Patrick’s care in Baltimore (same housemate who gave me the Admiral), Jasper and Pandora, who had formerly belonged to a neighbor in Little Italy. You’d never guess these two cats were from the same litter: Jasper is a short-haired gray and white tabby with golden eyes, while Pandora is a long-haired all-white Persian with one green and one blue eye. Mixed breed, yes, but pure cuddly snuggly affectionate ones, the two of them.
When I moved to DC, I told my housemate that if two cats ever became too much to handle, I’d gladly take Pandora off his hands, since my apartment allowed a cat per tenant. He kept me to that promise two months later. It was a Sunday morning, and as I was about to leave for choir practice and worship service, the phone rang.
“Do you still want the cat?”
“Okay, I’m coming over.”
“Wait … now?”
“Yeah, I’ll be there in an hour.”
“Ack! I’m going to church! Meet me this afternoon.”
And so, that afternoon, I had a new roommate. Her Friskies are by the microwave, her litter’s in the bathroom, she sleeps beside me at night (and in my reading chair in the daytime), and if I had collected her sheddings from the time she came in till now, the resulting hairball would have its own zip code.