We've had Bertie the black cat for more than a year now. He seems to have established himself as a presence in the neighborhood. Not everybody is happy about that presence, but tant pis, I guess. At least Bertie doesn't come home all scratched up and dazed any more.
Just a couple of days ago, the neighbor across the street was driving by and saw me out on the edge of the road, by our front gate. She stopped her car and backed up to talk to me. "Bertie is taking enormous liberties at our house," she announced. "He comes in through open windows, wanders the hallways and explores open rooms, and then he goes and eats our cats' kibble in the kitchen."
I was glad to be able to report on one of her cat's activities. She has a cat that is pure white — as white as Bertie is black. Our other neighbor, just a few days earlier, had come by to talk. The subject of cats came up. "Is yours the chat noir or the chat blanc?" she wanted to know. The chat noir, I said.
We don't see the black cat much anymore, but that white cat is in our house all the time. We have to be careful not to lock him in when we go out during the day, or when we go to stay overnight in Blois, M. said. The cat-owning neighbor was taken aback at this news. "What will I do if the white cat does get locked in over there?" she said. Don't worry, I told her — I have the keys to the house.