The woman stopped me in the library parking lot, a big smile on her face. "Hi...," she said, clearly not remembering my name.
"Hi...," I answered, remembering her name, sort of, but not how to pronounce it. Was it Cor-RIN or Cor-RIN-a? Cor-REEN or Co-REEN-a?
Whatever her name was, she was living in my neighborhood again after several years of living in another state. Not knowing each other well, we turned for our chit-chat to the only thing we have in common: cats.
Now I am a cat person, but this woman is really a cat person. At one point years ago, she had nine of them when another kitten arrived on her doorstep. (How do animals know who the softies are?) Her husband put his foot down--no more cats. She asked if my husband and I would take the kitten.
We told her to bring the kitten over, and we would see if our thinks-she's-the-center-of-the-universe Cassie would tolerate her. Cor-Whatever brought the kitten over in a basket, set it down, and watched Cassie go nuts. Cassie growled, threw a little hissy fit, and acted as if she would tear the kitten from limb to limb if she ventured all the way out of that basket.
We didn't take the kitten.
Back to the library parking lot...."We finally did get another cat," I told the woman. "Now we have two."
"You mean Cassie actually tolerated another cat?" she asked, surprised.
And that's what got to me. After all these years, the woman remembered not my name but the name of my cat, a cat she had met only one time, ever, for just a few minutes several years ago.
Now that's a cat person!