AMID the disorganized array of tents and harried footsteps of people, a cat waits patiently.

This cat liked many things. He liked taking naps in warm places. He liked being handed scraps of leftovers. But most of all, he loved being petted.

He loved gentle touches on his fur, head, and at the special spot he reserved only for his favorite person.

His favorite person always arrived with things he enjoyed best: a warm lap, bites of chicken, and hands that scratched him behind the ears.

He is getting hungry. Meowing, he approaches one woman who is eating. She reacts by shooing him away.

Rejected, the cat sniffs disdainfully. His favorite person always has better food anyway.

Come to think of it, where is that human? She is missing today, as well as the day before.

A loud siren catches his attention. A massive bed is being wheeled out by people clad head-to-toe in white and blue. He remembers that the human was dressed the same.

He recalls the last time they saw each other.

Blue rubbery hands picked him up and he scratched the stranger’s face in retaliation; only for it to hit hard plastic. The stranger laughs—eyes crinkling, the shield of her face forming a glare, and the cat recognizes: it is the same warm eyes that his human possessed.

He blinks.

If they see each other again, he will let her get dozens of head scratches. With this thought, he curls up and goes to sleep. F LORRAINE C. SUAREZ

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