While promenading the streets of my neighborhood, strolling idly by gardens of frangipanis and ylang-ylangs, their floral pheromones embalming the air with a heavy honeyed scent, I serendipitously came across Cornelius of the House of Cervantes. He was lounging on his usual platform, atop a column of an entry gate that closed the path leading to a two-story mansion unoccupied for some decades, and which at midnight, would have made for a realistic horror movie set, or a suitable lair for a Delphian disciple. Anyway, it was his habit to sit there (like a lion statue guarding the entrance to some important building of historical significance) during the late afternoon hours; basking his Garfield fur in the last rays of the day’s sun, his eyes half-closed, adopting the expression of regal indolence.
So happy was Cornelius to see my handsome face, that he subsequently rose and shook off the lazy languor that had set in a delightful while ago, descended from his pedestal perch, and jogged in my direction with good nature and an air of familiarity. After greeting him in fond tones (adopting that voice one does when speaking to cute pets or human babies), the worthy little leopard responded by climbing up onto my feet, and stood on it for several minutes, seemingly comfortable with his new place of rest. Suffice it to say here, I was most flattered and felt decidedly appreciated by his display of warm affection. If only Duchess, the aristo-cat of the neighborhood, and a long-time muse of yours truly, displayed the same kind of acknowledgement; methinks I would be over the moon with joy.
Aside from standing on my feet, Cornelius also rubbed himself on my leg several times, walked around me, and rolled onto his back for a belly scratch. A quarter of an hour later, we went our separate ways; both parties feeling happier than before the meeting had taken place.