After Ninja, a wonderful cat graced our lives at my old student house. Garfield didn't visit regularly, which made it even more of a treat when he trotted up our steps and patiently waited to be let in. Every time we saw his shadow against the door, created by the ominous glow of the streetlight, it felt like Christmas when you're five years old.
I think the thing I liked most about Garfield was that he was approximately 10% affection and 90% mystery. We saw him every few weeks and what he did inbetween those visits was anybody's guess and nobody's business. We could only speculate as to where he went, what he did, how many houses he visited, where he originated from, how much he ate in a day, who actually "owned" him (was it even possible for him to belong to anyone but himself?), how many little kitties he had fathered in his time, how many lady cats wished he would call...
Garfield was a huge ginger cat, hence the unoriginal nickname. He had short, stumpy legs that gave him a really gnarly walk, like he was picking up pennies. On one hand you could imagine him listening to Madball and pumping iron, yet those little legs of his once caused him to trip up a curb and my housemate even said that he looked around to see if anybody saw him do it.
Like any cat in their right mind, Garfield loved a fuss. What surprised me most was that once inside the house, he rarely went further than the hallway. I remember once we conned him into going into the kitchen (as shown below). Garfield was not interested in our lives. Not one bit. He would come in, stand on the letters strewn across the floor, roll around and enjoy a tickle and then politely request to leave. It was hard to stop him in the street too. Either he didn't want to be seen with us in public or he wanted the relationship to be entirely on his own terms. But what a treat it was when he would get on his back and offer his tummy to us on the pavement outside our house! What a boy.
I haven't seen Garfield since I moved house, which at least tells me that his adventures don't take him this far south of my old street. Probably because there's a big scary dog that goes bow wow wow wow wow! every time you pass him.