After I waved off the spouse and daughter this morning, I turned to find Olivier, Neighborhood Cat About Town, lying on the sisal mat before my front door. He looked over at me, let out his harsh miaou, stood and wrapped his tail around the front post, his mien expectant. I walked over and briefly stroked him with one finger between the ears--he can be unpredictable and mean--and he lifted his head and blinked at me in the way that cats tell you that they love you.
Or that they will love you if you feed them.
It never fails to amaze me that somewhere in his silly cat brain, he recalls that I took care of him a long, long time ago. That the onset of cold and rain reminds him that he found safe haven, food and a warm bed in the same place he was curled this morning. That even though he has a devoted family of his own with whom he lives quite happily, he returns to me when winter threatens.
And expects that I will feed him.
Go listen to some good music: "Mr. Mistoffelees" from the album Cats (Original Broadway Cast Recording).