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Max's home has always been the garage, where he has his cat bed and his food and lots of ooky-nooky spots in which to lurk. Earlier this week I went into the garage and turned on the light and the head that popped up to meet me was blond, not black. And the tail and hindquarters were normal cat, not Manx.

Hmmmm. He seemed friendly enough, though a bit ready to bolt at the first negative sign. He rose up out of Max's bed, stretched, one paw after another, and ambled over to the dish to eat Max's food. Definitely not feral. Like all cats of his color, he's pretty laid back.

Nor was he hostile towards Max, who was standing at my feet yelling and screaming, growling and moaning. Blondie just looked around, puzzled, what is all the fuss about. I'm simply having a nosh after my nap.

Max's problem is that his dearest wish is that he be an only cat, in fact, an only creature. He was happiest for the two years he lived with my daughter, just the two of them. He is affronted at having to share his person and his home with another four- or two-footed creature.

My daughter lives a peripatetic life, going to wherever the jobs are, and has left Max with me, in a multi-person household. Poor Max hasn't been the same since. He moved into the garage and since then has proclaimed loudly and at length about the injustices of life and how much he's mistreated, starved and abused. Yeah, right.

I don't know if Blondie will stay, but he may if he wishes. Max will just have to get over it, though I wish he'd shut up about it. Even the neighbors, who have three barking dogs and a parrot, are beginning to complain.

Blondie seems to know he's welcome here.

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