I was traveling for work in Mexico when I got a text from my boyfriend – he sent me a picture of a black cat and wrote “uh oh.” My boyfriend, Marty, had grown up with cats, and he always told me stories about his beloved little black cat Bison who passed before I could ever meet her. I never had a pet before, apart from a fish I accidentally froze one winter by leaving the window open, so when I received the photo, I may have been a little apprehensive.
This cat had had enough of the harsh winter conditions, so during a memorable snowstorm, a neighbor let him into our building in Bushwick. He hung out in the hallway until Marty came home and felt bad for the little bugger. Marty offered him some warmth and food (we later discovered, he’s a big fan of cheese and ice cream). After that, Rabbit seemed to drop his suitcase, it was an upgrade from the street, and he was home.When I came back a week later and met him (not yet named Rabbit) I was intimidated by his size, he was a little larger than the photo suggested, and sometimes he’d run around the house like a mad man, jump in the bath and roll around on his back, or attack our feet as we walked by. But also, I was charmed. He was incredibly friendly, always greeted me at the door and wasn’t afraid to cuddle.
To be good people, and since he was such a charm, Marty and I decided to plaster signs around the neighborhood asking “ANYONE MISSING BLACK FRIENDLY CAT?” Luckily, nobody called. I guess that was it – we had a new roommate, and haven’t regretted one moment of it since.
He’s been with us three years now, and I honestly can’t remember what we’d talk about before. He’s the light of our lives – right now, even as I write this, he’s on my lap purring. Every morning we wake up to more of his purrs, his puffy cheek next to ours. During summer weekends, he loves to take a supervised walk on our roof and spy on other street cats, and in the winter, he hibernates and watches movies, or lies under the oven which is his personal sauna. In the evening, after we play tag, and he has his daily crazy hour (11pm) he comes back to bed with us and nestles in between our legs. He’s an incredibly quiet, dignified, little man who loves to have some fun.
Marty always tells me his behavior is not usual for a cat. But besides, he’s not just any ol’ cat, he’s a 14lb, all black, tall, puffy Bushwick street cat with no sharp edges and nothing but love to give – he’s Rabbit.
PS: We think he’s a bombay cat which are bred to look like panthers. I think he misplaced his papers though.
Sophie is a photographer and photo editor at The New York Times.