I've never been a huge fan of cats. I'm a dog-lover to the bone. However, Minga is different. I don't know if it's because she's Panamanian, or if the humidity is getting to me, but I like her. She doesn't have this entitled pretense in her mannerisms. She lets me pet her, and genuinely seems to like my affection. She does her thing, and I do mine, our paths mainly crossing either while I type at the computer, or when she meanders past my legs as I watch the television. She is like that cool, carefree person you meet at a party and instantly connect with. There's some engaging conversation devoid of commitment or pressure, neither person with an agenda...just enjoying each others intermittent company.
Her food and water is on the computer desk...presumably to keep it away from the dogs, and because it's next to the window. The window is her portal to the outside realm, and all of us are trained to slide the screen to facilitate her passage. She often sleeps on the balcony, and on hotter days under the shade of my Dad's car. She has a small frame; a black and white cat that moves silently...never exerting more energy than what is necessary. I haven't heard her speak a word the whole week I've been here. She gives an inaudible meow, only mouthing her intent and waving her tail as she looks in your direction and then at the window, trusting that you know what she wants, then patiently waiting for you to comply.
Minga is refreshingly easy to look after. In fact, there isn't much actual looking after. A stark contrast to my 80 pound doberman. I love him to death, but he is the antithesis to Minga...always on alert, anxious, pacing....a sentinel awaiting his next command. His bark is loud and frequent, he consumes a lot of food, requires copious amounts of attention, and must be exercised regularly. These responsibilities are mostly fulfilled with affection and willingness, but at other times I wouldn't mind a nap...or only having to slide open a window screen.