A new member

of the household.

Last week I answered the neighborhood list-serve about a cat who needed a new home; then I forgot.
I got a call two days ago from the woman with the cat, and yesterday packed up the cat-carrier and went to meet her.
They lived right next door to our veterinarian.
She is a long-haired dark calico (the cat, not the woman)---that russet-and-black that looks like tweed.
By the time I entered the car, she had escaped the carrier and was settled onto the floor in back.
She behaved beautifully all the way home, exploring the floor front and back, and avoiding the driver's side.

We settled into the small guest room for the night. I brought in her litter, food and water, and my laptop and phone.  I slept there too, and she joined me to snuggle and purr now and then.  In the morning, she was right at the door asking to explore the rest of the house.  She wandered, she hid, she visited with us when a friend came over.
Perhaps it was all a bit much for her:  tonight she found her way into the closet, and is now curled up in a very snug cubby.  I've decided to sleep down here one more night so she won't feel all alone.
It's very strange; it's like hosting a student from a foreign country when we each speak only three words of the other's language.  

I know very little of this cat's history, except that she belonged to the woman's late husband, lived with him in his room at the long-term care facility when he was ill, and came back to the communal house when he died.  Perhaps her presence reminds the woman of her late husband, and of death, and makes her too sad.  Perhaps she wants to lighten her responsibilities.

And of course I am reminded of Mazal and Bracha, and of Zalman, and of the fact that I too am closer to the exit than to the entrance.  
That's an apt thought to take to bed, in this time so close to the High Holy Days.
Good night.