I managed to pass through college owning no cats, thanks in part to dormitory rules and frequent changes of address, but it wasn’t long after I got my first apartment in New York, a fifth floor walk-up on First Street and First Avenue directly across from Russ and Daughters Appetizing store, with a bathtub in the kitchen, and a spectacular view of the Williamsburg Bridge, that I acquired PussPuss.
She was a longhaired, white Angora cat whom I agreed to cat-sit while her owners vacationed in Europe. PussPuss was a purebred show cat, used to a lifestyle of frequent brushing and fine dining. She had a remarkably loud purr and enjoyed sitting on the fire escape surveying all of the bustling activity of the Lower East Side, New York.
Her owners never came to claim her, which was fine with me, as I had quickly grown attached to her. And this, despite her not insignificant annoying habits of drooling, placing her roaring purr-motor engine next to my head too early in the morning, and proceeding to do her strong pawpaws on any soft surface of my body she could find. Also, even with diligent brushing she shed long hair everywhere, leaving the apartment with a perceptible coating of downy white fur.