Another 2003 drawing of Rita the Cat. Rita was very affectionate with those she liked, and actively ignored or avoided those she did not. She also suffered from separation anxiety. Rita would only eat if you sat and watched her. She hated being left home alone and if she could hear someone in the hallway outside the apartment, she would come to the door and meow. So, whenever I stayed away from home, I always tried to drive to where I was going and take Rita with me. When I couldn’t, my roommates or my next-door neighbors would feed and spend time with Rita.

I was approached by a woman that lived upstairs. It seems that she had heard Rita meowing one day and wanted to meet my cat. I talked to her about Rita, but didn’t feel inclined to invite the woman into my home.

Months passed and my roommates and I were going away for the weekend. I had to leave Rita at home and my neighbor agreed to take care of her. Upon my return, I found that someone had tried to push wet cat food under the door to my apartment. Very little made it through and the rest was crusted to the outside of the door. I asked my neighbor about it and she said that she came home the night before to find the woman from upstairs pushing the cat food under my door. The woman said she heard Rita meowing and thought she might be starving. My neighbor explained that she was taking care of Rita and that the cat was fine.

On my answering machine, I found an angry message from another upstairs neighbor threatening to call animal control. I went up and spoke to him, explaining that my cat was quirky, but fine. He seemed unimpressed, but also uninvested.

More months passed and my roommates and I had a party. We posted a note in the lobby, inviting everyone in the building to join us. An hour or two before the party was scheduled to start, the woman from upstairs arrived with a bottle of champagne. She wanted to meet my cat. As we spoke, Rita sauntered into the room, took a look at the woman and walked back out. The woman stayed for another few minutes and then left. We drank her champagne and I never saw or heard from her again.