10 years ago I was helping a friend shop for a coat in my hometown mall. I’ve admittedly always been more of a dog person, but as we passed by the ASPCA store front, something caught my eye. Sprawled out on a shelf in the window was a little fox-like, orange creature with bright green eyes. He had super long whiskers that touched the floor as he slept, and tufted cheeks with red eyeliner markings. Was it a little fox? A fluffy alien? I had to find out.
We made eye contact, and the next thing I knew, the staff were giving me the scoop about this new friend.
“We call him Ogre because he’s so mean…”
“He just attacked a little boy who touched his tail…”
“We’ve had a lot of issues with him, we just have to warn you…”
“We think he’s the runt of the litter because he’s so tiny and scrawny…”
“He’s been a stray for a while so he has ear mites and is on medication…”
So, I signed the paperwork, named him Edgar after Edgar Degas (there was something quite French about his style) and took him home with me. Within a month or two, he grew to the size he is now to my utter surprise. He must be part Maine Coon because he weighs over 20lbs and is quite large.
Edgar and I have lived in 7 different apartments, he’s moved across the state with me, and has been there during the best and worst of times. He’s my most reliable friend, and I call him my spirit twin because I believe we understand each other on a deep level. Edgar doesn’t seek out affection, hates other cats, and is extremely aloof and shy (and mean at times) toward other people. However, he is always at my side, we have our daily routine, and he has chosen me as his person. I love him for it, even when he’s waking me up at 5am for no reason, speaking German and Norwegian with my partner or crying because he saw a bug.
Catherine Willett is an illustrator living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, and she also works in Marketing at Squarespace. You can see more of her work on www.catherinewillett.com.