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Lonely Man With Fat Cat Seeks Suitable Girlfriend

Gus’s strategy this early September morning was the same he used every day ─ focus on the sidewalk about ten feet in front of him. This allowed him to avoid eye contact and follow Max to the park. Only when getting to the large intersection before the park’s entrance would he stoop, pick up Max, and look to see where they were going.

Three people waited for the light to change. Gus sensed one of them looking at him and his cat. Max yowled in a friendly way and climbed his shoulder, or rather clawed upward to better assess their neighbor.

“What’s his name?” a friendly female voice asked.

To his right and about six inches down stood a young woman. “Max,” said Gus.

“Max, huh.” She reached up and patted his nose, which Max raised slightly higher. She moved closer and stood on her tiptoes to rub his head. Max appreciated appreciation. “How old is he?”

Gus enjoyed the young body pressed against his. “He’s ten.”

“So he’s getting up there, isn’t he?”

Max’s weight dragged him from Gus’s shoulder, and Gus heaved the thick haunches to keep the animal from further slippage. “Yeah. The vet says he needs to slim down, or we’re going to start having problems.”

The light changed, and the young woman sprang into the intersection and began jogging.

Gus sadly watched her short, compact body leave their group and disappear, ducking and weaving through people headed towards the park’s main gate, thinking about his grandma at the kitchen table in the mornings with the newspaper, reading the personals out loud and chuckling. He knew how his personal notice would read.

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