So Grimmy's gotta be pushing 13. Indoor/outdoor. Liked the laser pointer for a couple of weeks. After Fuzzbucket got killed in '09 he hung around and pointed out that he could fit through my now-unused cat door. Saw his clones next block down a couple of times. Finally got him fixed a few years ago. Great cat, we click.

Rarely see Grimmy and another cat and there's a brief chase away if you do.

Saw Grimmy and a skinny black cat ignoring each other at forty feet in the backyard last summer couple of times.

I chased a wraith out the kitchen cat door a couple a times in the middle of the night.

Over winter break it rained a lot and the wind was wrong locally so I was home a lot, up late, multi-enterinfotainmenting.

I discovered that Grimmy doesn't mind if the skinny black cat comes in for a snack.

The first clue was Grimmy and I were sitting there in the sitting room on the sitting thing and his head popped past the doorless doorway into the kitchen and he looked at us wide-eyed and Grimmy didn't react and I didn't react and he slinked on to the dish and finished Grimmy's scorned wet leftovers. And left.

It's raining and cold (for SoCal) and this cat's out scavenging. Feral. Got a sorta circular bare patch on a foreleg, dry.

The second clue was similar except I made eye-contact with Grimmy and pointed at the half of it we could see and said like "Well?" or something. He got up and walked over to the scarfing cat and gave it a half-assed sniff and sat a few feet away looking at a cabinet door.

So Grimmy's got an ally or something. I entertain the notion that his recent uncharacteristic finicky behavior, with dishes of begged-for food barely touched, were Grimmy trying to help out this stray. Bullshit.  There's ALWAYS crunch food in the bowl.

Gotta call him something. All black with a thin 4-point star on his chest. No way I'm calling him "Star". He's stealing so I'll call him "Astro".

I start putting some of the wet  food that Grimmy doesn't like on a dish near Grimmy's so that there'll be some wet food for Astro.

Astro will bolt if I move a muscle.  Eats and runs anyway. Never lingers.

Couple of times I've heard him sort of chirruping as he leaves, passing under the chair where Grimmy often sleeps that happens to be on a direct line between the cat door and the cat food area. Friendly chirps, I think. Could be a critique. Maybe it's a protection racket.

I saw a sliver of them through the doorway brushing past each other absently in the kitchen one morning when I was quiet.

I talk to him while he quivers and eats. "Hi Astro", "Hows the food, Astro".

Once I say "It's oookay, relax Astro" real soothing just like I say to Grimmy when he flinches at a trash bag or something. Grimmy turns his head and looks at me and it was almost a Helen Keller moment except we could see each other.

Astro has started pausing and making eye-contact with me as he turns to leave.

Yesterday he showed up wearing a collar, so I know he's serious.

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