Our cat Hermes has been a bachelor for years. He used to wander far and wide, but after a run-in with a car, he stays closer to home now.
About a year ago, he made the acquaintance of a local stray/feral kitty whom we eventually named Lavinia. They had a courtship. She started occasionally being seen sort of inquisitively hanging around our yard. She would meow softly at night from downstairs (we’re on the 2nd floor) and he’d slip out and be gone for an hour or two.
She began to appear briefly at my window (which is always open) looking for Hermes. He’d jump up and join her on the windowsill or on the roof. Sometimes I’d see her peering in the bathroom window, in that mystified way cats do.
One day, amid much tentative pawing, apprehensive glances & false starts, Miss Lavinia finally decided to take the tremendous risk of coming in my window to lay on the bed immediately beneath, and be next to Hermes. She would start at the slightest sound or motion & run back out. Slowly over time she got a little more relaxed. I finally broke
down and started feeding her. Only kibble! Well… and maybe a little meat scrap sometimes. You know, cause I’d be throwing it away anyway, right?
It is amazing to watch them together. They lay in the easy poses of longtime partners. Sometimes they will very tenderly reach out a paw and touch each others’ faces. They murmur and chirp; they squabble sometimes. They put their arms around each other and look for all the world like a devoted couple. Because they are. It’s kind of humbling.
Hermes is the subordinate cat in the house, because my big orange tom Julius was here first. Hermes didn’t used to have very good manners, and Julius had to assert himself a few times. Hermes has always been kind of wistful because he knows that Julius is My Cat. (Hermes was originally my roommate’s cat, but she, sadly, lost interest.) Then into his life comes Lavinia, beautiful, proud, but without a home, and guarded because of her life on the street. They are very good to each other.