Portrait of a Cat

A few weeks ago, a friend told us her fiance’s sister was looking for a temporary home for her cat while her family’s home underwent re-modeling this fall.

We’d talked about the possibility of getting a cat, or at least fostering one to see if it could work out, so we took the chance to help a friend’s family while testing the waters.

Mango was brought to the apartment last Wednesday. She is one of the most chill, nonplussed cats I’ve ever met. When her owner opened the door of her cat carrier for the first time in her new surroundings, I was sure she would dart out the door and head for underneath the nearest immovable piece of furniture. Instead, she crawled out, milled around the apartment for a half hour or so, before slowing squeezing below our loveseat. The endings of both scenarios were the same, but at least the way she went about it allowed me to get the first of many cat Instagrams before she disappeared for the next several hours.

Enter the cat.

Enter the cat.

After a while I pulled up the skirt of the couch and peered in at her; she blinked back passively. I threw a thread of string under there after her, but she ignored it. She stayed there until around 11 that night, when she crept out and allowed Kevin and I to pet her for a while before we went to sleep.

Over the next few days, she’s gotten gradually got more and more relaxed around us. After about 36 hours, she consented to eating again, to our relief, as her hunger strike was causing us a lot of anxiety. Watching someone else’s beloved pet will do that to you. She still chose to stay under the couch for the first few days, before discovering the window sills in our reading nook front room. She doesn’t try to eat food off of our plates and she pees in her litterbox. As a person who grew up with a family dog, these concepts are foreign to me.

Last night she felt comfortable enough to jump onto our bed at 4 a.m. and meow at us, over and over, for no clear reason. Also, everything in the apartment has developed a thin layer of orange cat hair.

Other than that, having this cat is awesome.

I can’t stop watching her. When she slips out of sight, I get up to find her. I must be annoying the bejeezus out of her by now. I bought her a cat toy this afternoon, but she was clearly worn out from last night’s meowing session because I found her curled up on Kevin’s lap, completely asleep. She stayed there a good while even after she woke up.



I’m glad she’s feeling better about her unexpected stay with us. I wish there was a way to let her know it’s just temporary and her family is coming back for her before Christmas.

4 thoughts on “Portrait of a Cat

  1. Adorable. She’s so pretty. I was hoping when I first read the name that maybe she was a boy and named after the Chris Katan character on SNL. I hope she inspires you to get one of your own! Join the world of cat lovers, Meryl. JOIN US.

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