And now we finally come to the friendly and mysterious, rotund and compact, black but kind of red in the sun cat that the human world knows simply as "Ouzo".
Presumably named after the Greek liqueur, Ouzo was the first cat in Portland that I got on a first name basis with. His owner strolled by during my initial petting of the cat and nonchalantly uttered the words, "that's Ouzo". From that point on, the cat and I have encountered each other often, each time with ceremonious meowing, petting and purring.
Here's Ouzo in one of his favorite places, kneading my man hair. Ouzo resides about two blocks from where I live, so I encounter him frequently - and at all hours. He loves a good sunny day, but he has also presented himself to me, most unexpectedly, in the dark hours that follow last call.
Ouzo is a cat of a different order, that is no doubt. His eyes are quite expressive, in a manner which seems closer to human that the majority of cats that I meet. On occasion I'll wonder if I am actually interacting with a shape shifting human. I have yet to meet another cat whose personality has led me to considerations of that nature.