I began my love affair with cats of all types when I moved out of my parents dog filled house into an apartment complex with my friends for my first year of college. I was attending a state university in my local city, but I wanted to get out of the house and start the full college experience by experiencing the real world for myself. I moved in with a couple of my friends from high school and we soon began to meet a couple of the local residents in the apartment complex. This was my first time living in an apartment and was used to the suburban lifestyle of individual housing where I could ignore my neighbors at my choosing. Once I began getting used to living in the apartment, I realized that I was in the presence of more than just people.
The first few weeks of school, I had decided to ride back to my apartment on a bicycle. Leaving and arriving at the complex, I had started to become more personal and familiar with the people and the animals that roamed the property. I would occasionally say hello to the people hanging out outside with their dogs and walk up and pet the cats and the canines around. After making my greeting with some of the more friendly cats around the complex, there was one small cat in particular that seemed to be the friendliest of them all. Her name was Mermaid, and it seemed like everyday I would arrive home from school, she would be perched up somewhere near the garden of my apartment, and as soon as she would catch sight of me, she would prance toward me and rub her body up against my leg. She was the cutest cat that I have ever seen, with hazel eyes, an orange coat , and a white belly, she was truly a beautiful kitty. So, whenever she approached me with love, I returned the affection to her.
After the first few weeks of this, she would continue to follow me all the way up to my door. Initially, I had roommates without pets, and I thought t wouldn’t be a good idea to bring her inside. So, I would give her affection for just a few more minutes before releasing her.
One day, I come home from school and as I walk into the house, I see my two roommates Chaz and Jason playing with mermaid together on the couch. She was trotting on the top of the couch with a bunch of admirers, and I jumped right into the action. After talking it over, we decided that whenever Mermaid wanted to come, she was allowed.
Over time, Mermaid got more and more comfortable being inside the house with us. She would essentially come walk right up to our door at some point in the day and start purring and meowing right outside. That was her letting us know she is here and wants to hang out with us. So of course, we would open the door, allow her in, and she would hang out for however long she felt like before she walk to the door and purr letting us know she wants to go back outside.
Mermaid was never afraid of a ruckus or company at our house. On many occasions, our house would be filled with 5-12 people all hanging out chit chatting. To her, it seemed like she loved the mass attention she would receive from so many people when she came inside the house. Many of our friends, who were known to have a historical disdain for cats never once said anything negative about Mermaid, she was truly the sweetest cat! She turned cat haters into kitty lovers and would show affection to anyone who would even look at her. She didn’t mind being picked up, and she would lick you, which is something cats in my experience don’t commonly do. She would even like people the first time she met them. It may have been because we have created an environment for her where she was always welcome and treated with kindness, and she just simply knew that she would be safe in our presence.
Our apartment at the time often would partake in smoking the ganja on occasion, but unlike many animals, Mermaid didn’t mind one bit. In fact, although I never did it and I asked them to stop once I saw it happen, some of my friends would blow smoke into Mermaid’s face. You know what she did? She would open her mouth and appear to smile and would act excited, and perhaps, a little high. Although we were not frequent daily smokers, it seemed as though whenever we began toking, I would hear a purr at the door, and would open the entrance to an excited Mermaid who would rush and jump into the lap of whoever had the bowl of green in their hand at the moment.
Mermaid wasn’t afraid of crowds of people, but even more surprisingly, she wasn’t afraid to party either. Although we had a small apartment (it was only a two room, 900 square foot apartment) we still treated it like a party house and would occasionally invite a ton of people over to rage with us. There were nights where we would jam pack 50-70 people inside our little apartment, and to my surprise, Mermaid would occasionally show up at our house. I would see her in the arms of one of our guests with a crowd of people shouting “aww’s” and asking for their turn to hold her. Although I would never say this to Mermaid’s face, she may have been a bit of attention whore. It seemed like she just got cuter the more onlookers and admirers that she had, but I could never blame them.
I never had the chance to meet Mermaid’s owners, and could never figure out even which area of the apartments did she belong. But if I did, I would sincerely thank them for sharing their cat with my apartment during the period we were there. I had many days where it would just be me and mermaid hanging it, and I really needed the affection at the time. Having broken up from a long term relationship, it was nice to be shown love from a friendly little kitty that became one of my best friends at the time. It seems that there are just some animals that make a huge impact on the lives of the people that they are around, and I think Mermaid knew just how special she was to many of us who encountered her. I hope one day I will get the chance to return to the apartment complex where Mermaid hung out and hopefully she will show me the same affection that she showed me the day I met her. Whoever gets the luxury of hanging out with Mermaid now, I hope you know just how special that cat is!