Blue was a skinny young cat when he started coming around. (Although Margaret thought Blue was a she--and thanks to surgery, there was no easy way to tell--I always felt he was he.) He tried to get inside the house, tried to cozy up to Pema, with little success. He liked me, though.
Because of Pema, Blue couldn't come inside but we spend time together on the back porch. When I sat in the chair he would come up my chest, nuzzle my neck, and make an entire transit from one shoulder to behind my head to the other shoulder. Other times he would just sit in my lap, occasionally falling asleep. (Once he fell asleep lying on his back--I've never seen a cat do that.) And in an odd coincidence, one night we both saw a shooting star, just as the first Blue and I had watched the sky during a purported meteor shower (but didn't see any that time.)
I began seeing Blue so often that I worried he was homeless. Students leaving cats behind is not unknown in this neighborhood. So I gave him some dry food in a plastic cup. He devoured it. (That was very different from the first Blue, who was indifferent to food.)
But time passed, and Blue was filling out more than in the belly. So that panic passed.
Still, I left a permanent bowl out on the porch for him, and put food in it when he came around. I would see him on the back porch at all hours, so I left one of the cat beds Pema doesn't use anymore in a protected place. But during the night he preferred to sleep on the chair. Still, on many sunny afternoons I saw him asleep in the cat bed.
We spent this past Thanksgiving with Margaret's daughter, son in law and grandson Beckett in Menlo Park, six or so hours down the coast. Monika, who works at Northtown Books and also does cat-sitting, lives nearby and came around twice a day to feed Pema. To our usual feeding instructions, I added a note that this neighborhood cat with the blue eyes was apt to come around when he saw her, and if he did, please drop some dry food in his bowl on the porch.
When we came home and I opened the car door, Blue was right there looking up at me.
Since then Margaret met our new neighbors across the street--a young family. They told her that Blue was theirs, and that cats of his breed often adopt another household, and are generally very friendly. And yes, Blue is male. Only they didn't call him Blue. They named him Robert.