Senior Cat Won’t Allow Favorite Mailman to Leave Until He Hugs Her
One of the best perks of Mike McEuen’s job is the pets he gets to meet along his routes.
While McEuen, a mail carrier in McKinleyville, California, loves them all, one special animal named Bijou stands out from the rest.
“There are a few dogs on my routes that I really love seeing, and a couple that seem to know the sound of my truck’s door sliding open. If I can make it work (still gotta get done on time!) I like to at least give them a ‘hello’ and some quick love before moving on,” McEuen told The Dodo. “However, Bijou is the only cat I have on my routes that seems to make it a point to visit every time I am there.”
Four years ago, when McEuen began a new route, he first encountered Bijou.
The ancient cat, which had one milky eye and a crooked half-tail, may have appeared rough, but other postal carriers knew her as the world’s sweetest cat.
“When I first met her, I thought she was a very elderly, affectionate cat who seemed to have seen it all. Nice as can be, though a little rough around the edges, according to McEuen. “When I mentioned it to the route’s usual carrier, he said, “Yeah, that’s Bijou. She is outstanding.
McEuen only sees Bijou once a week since he covers five other routes as a replacement courier. But whenever she hears his vehicle approaching her house, the small cat always makes it a point to go out and see her pal.
“For the first few years, she would wander out to the mailbox when she heard me getting out of the truck,” McEuen said. “She is always there once I have the mail on top of the boxes.”
Bijou has never been shy and, even in the first few weeks of their friendship, she would rub against McEuen’s feet until he was done delivering.
Recently, the old cat has gotten even more bold, climbing into McEuen’s truck while he’s distracted.
“Sometime toward the end of last year, she started getting more exploratory with my truck,” McEuen explained. “It’s only a couple feet from where I’m delivering, so when she sees I’m working and not bending down to pet her, she wanders that way.”
“After a couple months of sniffing around the door, she started climbing in and milling around on the floorboards,” McEuen added. “That quickly evolved into her getting all comfy on the seat. She just hangs out until I am done with the mail.”
Over time, the two have grown close, so close that Bijou will not let McEuen leave without giving her some quality attention — even if it means taking control of his vehicle.
“I learned right away that I couldn’t just shoo her out of the truck. She would hold her ground and gently protest until I pick her up and give her a few pets and squeezes,” McEuen said. “Once that is taken care of, she’s happy to head back to her house until I see her next time.”
Even though Bijou appears to be demanding, McEuen always looks forward to her visits.
According to McEuen, “most cats seem pleased doing their own thing and staying to themselves.” I’d like to imagine that Bijou anticipates the mailmen arriving as eagerly as we anticipate meeting her!
One example of the unique relationships postal carriers may have with animals is McEuen and Bijou, and he believes that his visits make their lives better in the same way that they make his feel good.
When their family members are at work or school, the animals would welcome someone dropping by throughout the day to say hello, McEuen said. “[It] provides them a little human connection on what may be a kind of lonely afternoon and breaks up the monotony of their day,” the author writes.