Patch is as unlike Spike as one cat can be from another. Spike is long and lean and skittish; he wears an expression of Perpetual Surpise on his furry face. Patch is big and solid and fluffy; he's got a character of determination. I don't know as much about Neighbor's third cat, Little Girl, but this is largely because she is a Cat Who Walks By Herself, and she prefers not to be much known; I can respect that--I'm that kind of human-cat myself.
It is Patch who has been on my mind this weekend. He has been feeling poorly while he recovers from an abcess. This means that he hasn't been interested much in meals, despite the cold weather that creates a need for extra calories for outdoor-only cats, but what really worried me was that he didn't want cuddles.
Patch is definitely a cuddle cat. He doesn't want a lot of petting; he needs only to be held tight, close to a human heart. Patch and I have spent a lot of time that way during the years I've been his petsitter. I remember once when he thought the cuddling time wasn't enough. It was 38 degrees, so really I just wanted to go home to get properly warm. Patch followed me, caught up to me in my garden, and insisted on being picked up. I sat in a lawn chair with Patch cuddled up tight and we fell asleep there in the garden in the late afternoon sun, waking cold but oddly happy after sunset; it's a sweet memory. Patch is that kind of cat.
I knew Patch was feeling better this morning when he wanted to sit on the porch bench with me. He has the funny habit of making tiny meows (almost like the little happy grunts a small contented puppy makes) when picked up, so I made that noise back to him until he settled, and we sat there together for a long while watching the morning sky.
Patch didn't want to have his picture made; he saw something interesting on the other side of the yard (most likely a squirrel) and dashed off with typical determination. The sky, however, held still. It's a lovely Mississippi winter day.