A loud crash jolted me out of my peaceful slumber. I lept out of bed, heart racing and breathing ragged, ready to defend myself. I opened the door as quietly as I could, attuned to every sound and every movement, cringing when the ancient hinges screeched protestingly. I scanned the front yard, searching for the perpetrator but found that everything was still and in it's place. I shook my head in disbelief, reasoned that I must have been dreaming and started to turn back towards the door, a huge yawn escaping my mouth, when I saw a streak of white careening past. I jumped back instinctively, startled. The white streak was going too fast. It was going to crash into me. It tried to stop itself but all of it's attempts were in vain. The momentum nearly nearly knocked me over. When I looked down, I realized that the streak was really a cat. It was a ragged looking thing with it's green eyes cloudy and ears nicked. It backed away, it's claws extended. I took a step toward it, concerned, but it arched his back and hissed in response. An idea popped into my head. I rushed back inside and got a can of tuna out of the cupboard. Through the window the cat was watching me intently as I rummaged through the drawers, trying to find the can opener. I found it two drawers down from where it should be and opened the can with a metallic thud, all the berating myself for it not being in it's place. I lifted the window up and set the can on the sill, then went back to bed. In the morning, I found the can still where I left it but having been licked clean. Not one flake of tuna was left. I repeated this routine for weeks on end. At the finish of the ninth month, I woke to find the cat curled next to me on the bed, purring contentedly. Fourteen years have now passed. He never leaves my side and is my dearest companion.