This is Persimmon, a stray cat who adopted us about a year ago. It took us many months to be able to touch him. We won his trust by bribing him with food we left on the porch. Over time he not only let us pet him, he allowed us to feed him regularly. Now he stops by during the day and eats and sleeps on our front porch. Outside he is a regular fixture on most days. This week our weather has been warmer, so we have left the doors open for our cats to freely go in and out. My husband turned around while watching tv to find Persimmon laying down and napping on our coffe table. We have no doubt that he feels comfortable with us, both inside and outside.
He is beginning to remind me of the annoying or obnoxious friend on a sitcom. You know, the one who plays the part of the lingering neighbor who serves as a friend and yet annoys you at the same time. The one who always hangs around, never leaves, and shows up at the oddest times. The one who provides a different perspective on your world because no one really knows much about their world. They come and go at the oddest times, show up when you are in the middle of something improtant and interrupt, then they leave before you have a chance to finish interacting with them. They are demanding, disruptive, yet funny, kind and special all rolled into one.
This cat provides us the ability to show kindness. He has taught us patience and persistence. This cat provides us the opportunity to step out of our own overly abundant world. He has reminded us that not everyone has all their basic needs met, so be thankful for your many blessings. This cat provides us the challenge of giving unconditionally. He has taught us that generosity requires you give even when it is not convenient. He has taught us to step outside of ourselves and be consistent even at the cost of our own cats. His lingering nature has changed our home and our world, for the better.
I will keep you posted on the adventures of Persimmon and the valuable lessons he is teaching us. I hope our insights help you better understand your own lingering neighbor.