Pet Diaries: The Cat Who Taught Me About Companionship

White cat

Introducing  Pet Diaries: Life lessons we learned from our pets. This five-part series explores the ways pets have a positive impact on our lives. It's brought to you in partnership with Check out more stories at  GOOD Pets.

The apartment was perfect-soaring ceilings and a full-sized kitchen on a tree-lined Brooklyn block six stories up, with elevator. The current tenant was moving in with his fiancé in a few weeks and needed to sublet his enormous 12-by-14 foot bedroom instantly. When I arrived to check out the place, he even offered some of the furniture that wouldn't fit in his new East Village apartment. I was ready to cut the check. Then the cat walked in.

Orion was a Persian with a smushed-in face and an excess of snowy white fur. He sneaked slowly around the half-open door, eyed Paul's boxes, looked up at me with his wide bulging eyes, and cried out-not so much a meow as a high-pitched whine. I imagined all of my clothes coated in a layer of white hair, my comforter wet with hairballs. But what was I going to do, turn down the apartment because of this creature? I wasn't allergic, and I knew enough from being inside three of my friends' places-no one else in New York had an apartment big enough to entertain-that this was a deal. I met Laura, Orion's owner and my prospective roommate, and signed the check. I could live with the cat. He'd mind his own beeswax, and I'd mind mine…

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