Late Saturday morning, I happened to gaze out the back window at the yard wondering whether or not Pat would come through after sundown. Annie was on the porch and she started to bark at a cat going through the garden. The cat wasn't one of our usual group of strays but a grey longhair bushy-tailed stranger. I was shocked - for a split-second I thought it was Buddy.
Artie mentioned seeing this cat a few weeks back. I never saw him (or her) before but apparently Artie keeps seeing him in the back, on our block and on the cross-street. After I corralled Annie, shoving her back inside to stop the racket, the 'stranger' turned and sat at the far end of the garden under the mulberry tree Pat is so fond of climbing. We looked at each other for a long moment. I decided to put out a pack of Buddy's food, hurrying in to get one. When I looked out again, he was gone.
Our new visitor looks like a Norwegian Forest Cat. I'm sure he's not a feral; I fear someone abandoned him.
From now on I will be on the lookout for Pat at night and the stranger during the day.
You can see the close resemblance between the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Maine Coon breeds in this You Tube video:
The last cat pictured in this video resembles Buddy. Such beautiful photos!