Coming home from a run the first contact between key and door would, without fail, elicit one plaintive, welcoming meow on the other side. My first words would be ‘hi, Ulle’. She would smell the adventures on my hands and sneakers. I would sometimes tell her about my run as I stretched on the floor, petting her right cheek. She would occasionally attack a shoe lace for a brief, fierce fight ending in a stalemate.
Having this sweet cat with F. in our Brooklyn home, I learned to appreciate and enjoy and ultimately love her constant company. Ulle could be fussy, moody, angry and jealous. Most of all, she really just wanted everyone close by, petting her, loving her. Which she always managed to arrange. I watched her quietly seductive powers with amazement; even dog people fell for her.
Today it is strangely quiet here. Ulle is gone. It will take some time to get used to the empty hallway, coming home from a run.
(Here is a Dutch column, unrelated.)