We were complete strangers, Whiskers and I. I volunteered to share my living space with Himself when his "mother", Martha, had to go to the hospital. He is a large, bowling ball of a cat, but shy and as unsure of me as I was of him.
Day to day, I was attuned to his needs. I did not know his schedule but tried to create one that suited his lethargic lifestyle. I lured him up onto my lazyboy chair which seemed to be in his repetoire of familiar activity. Then, of course, I had to disturb him whenever I needed to get up. Oy!
Each day could be our last. I reminded myself of this often. But I grew very fond of him and his constant, quiet presence. He put up with being brushed and accepted treats, if only to be sociable. I cut one nail a day which was not to his liking but he never fussed, whined, complained, scratched or bit.
He took to stretching out full length on my freshly made bed and it seemed to me he was aware of his elegant appearance. I spoke to him often in an upbeat tone congratulating him on excellent behavior and good looks. He nibbled on the tips of hanging plants but did no harm.
Just as I came to love him, his dear mother came home and collected him joyfully. I picked up his dishes, packed up his catnip mouse, brush, his cans of cat food, his litterbox..all the kitty accoutrement. And he was gone.