Appreciation, admiration, adu- lation, adoration, attachment, amatory, all words of love. What
is a greater perfect gift than love? All a perfect gift from my feral tabby cat. He is a stray, street cat who has fallen in love with me and the feeling is totally mutual. Sure, you say, “Why shouldn’t he love you? You feed him.” Wrong!!! My husband feeds him. But I’m the one who pets him, fondles him, and cuddles him. The romance I have with Tabby Boy (I named him) is recent and amazing. I have already written 3 negative complaining, critical essays about this “nasty, ferocious, terrible tabby.” This, my fourth, is a whole turnaround, about my delicious, adorable, lovable pussycat.

In the past, I had always felt mournful to have this pet that I couldn’t pet. Instead with his extended sharp claws, he would swat anyone who came too close causing torn hems and bleeding ankles. He appeared in my backyard one spring day, last year as a fully formed adult feral tabby cat. He looked healthy, with his white bib and white shoes and stockings, totally well groomed. Where had he come from? Did someone feed this outdoor cat? Did he ever belong to someone? Where does he go when it rains, when it snows, when it is freezing cold? His clipped ear tells me that he was neutered. How did anyone get near this rascal?

What changed this feral feline into his gentle, delightful lovable perfect gift? It all was a slow development, with all the action initiated by Tabby Boy. With the advent of summer weather, I spent much of the day in my backyard. Tabby always chose to be present and slowly he began rubbing up against my ankles. He set the pace and his curiosity led him to explore the effect of his rubbing against a human. Shortly, he allowed me to rub his head, his neck, his back. When I sat down on a step close to the ground, he then rubbed my arm, my hand. The rest is history. Now he felt trust and totally allowed cuddling. This apprecia- tion, admiration, adulation, adoration, and attachment are a mutual perfect gift.