In case you're newer to this blog (and my cats), that would be Eva. (Hint: She's the "dark menace" from yesterday's loo post.)
We (I) rescued Eva a few years ago from a life on the lam. She showed up on my front porch out of the blue one day, covered in ticks and half starved. She was far from reciprocal of my attempts at friendship, but grateful for a meal.
For weeks after taking her in (because being the cat-person I am, I thought her crotchety 'tude would fade after she had a few meals in her) I agonized that I'd made a HUGE mistake in keeping her. She never came out of the basement except to eat, and she distrusted (and therefore, treated with disdain) every human in my house. It was awful.
But then slowly, after - I presume - she began to view us (especially me because I'm the one who was with her most of the day) as not threats so much, but colony members, she made more and more appearances and even allowed some limited handling (meaning one's hand had to approach her face from the front and was not allowed to touch anything but her head and neck).
It wasn't much, but it was enough to give me hope.
Weeks and months passed, and so did Eva's penchant for lonely basement living. And while she still preferred to see the human's hand before it made contact with her fur, once it did, she clearly enjoyed it, slitting her eyes and belting out choruses of idling lawn mower engines in the distance.
Then one day she followed me.
Not to her empty bowl. Not to the pantry where the cat treats are dispensed. Not to the couch, where the bowl of ice cream I'd just finished would be placed on the floor for her licking pleasure (yes, I do).
But simply to the place where I was going.
Because on that day, at that time, all she (this borderline domestic, emotionally scarred animal) wanted was to be with me.
On a typical morning around here, the cats curl up in their favorite out-of-the-dogs'-reach place and nap for a good two-to-three hours.
Eva's preferred napping place is in my bedroom, even though I have to shut the door behind her to keep the dogs from running in and wreaking havoc.
When I opened that door this morning, Eva lifted her groggy head in typical fashion, and emerged with a stretch, ready to participate in the day (which usually means getting a bite to eat, visiting the cat box and then taking a bath in a sunbeam in front of the kitchen window).
So today, just like most days, she made her way to the kitchen - where the dogs eagerly awaited their mid-day snack. However, unlike most days, she didn't keep to the rest of her routine.
You see, while the dogs were still frolicking together in the kitchen, I quickly made my way back down the hall to my bedroom. I almost got there, too, without an animal on my tail, shoving its way past me in a desperate attempt to keep me within eye-shot.
The first sound I heard was the jingle bell on the cat's collar, then the galloping feet, and just as I was about to cross the threshold of my bedroom door, she blew past me in a blur of black fur. Then she stopped, turned around and gave me a look of adoration that beckoned like a magnet to steel.
And it hit me like a ton of bricks.
Eva had just enthusiastically returned to the room that she'd so readily just left.
Not for food or water. Not for a bath. Not to satisfy a bodily need of any kind.
But simply because it was where I was going.
Because today, at that moment, all she (my borderline domestic, cherished family pet) wanted was to be with me.
So I shut the door behind us and relished the chorus of idling lawn mower engines in the distance.
For more about Eva, read her story at Richmond Pet Lovers (dot) com.