As London, England, headed into a second lockdown period due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, one couple found unexpected joy when their cat introduced them to a new pen pal.
Olga Shipunova and Zack King live in a Hackney flat with Olga’s adorable tuxedo cat named Billy.
Billy is an indoor and outdoor cat who loves to roam the neighborhood. One night, Olga noticed that a tiny note covered in plastic wrap had been attached to Billy’s collar with wire. The message was from a nearby neighbor, whom they did not know.
“Your cat likes to come visit us when he is outside,” it read. “He will sit at the door and meow to be let in. It’s actually hilarious and we love him!! We have no idea where he is coming from. What’s his name? We call him Billy.”
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Even though Olga had never met her “friendly neighbors,” she wrote back to let them know the feline’s name actually is Billy! Even though he lost his name tag, the strangers somehow guessed correctly.
The neighbors continued to pass notes, and eventually, Zack shared the heartwarming story on Twitter, announcing, “My cat Billy became a postman in 2020.”
“From this point on, my girlfriend and an unknown neighbor became pen pals, all through an oblivious feline postcat,” he wrote.
Over the next few weeks, Billy dutifully carried letters between the two households. The new acquaintances traded recipes for wasabi mashed potatoes and other goodies, discussed what Billy was like as a kitten, and generally got to know one another.
Soon, they had forged a friendship thanks to the kitty’s predictable wandering! Of course, when a note got lost along the way, they had to sit Billy down for a “purrformance” review, but it was nothing a new mailbag couldn’t fix.
“Here he is loaded up, checking out the day’s route,” Zack tweeted, along with a photo of Billy wearing a custom note carrier.
Olga even purchased some colorful pens to liven up her notes and gleefully gathered ingredients to try out some new meals — like squid stew! Along with what to eat, they also discussed what movies and shows to watch.
“‘My Octopus Teacher’ was absolutely fascinating and squid was now off the menu,” Zack explained. “Finding a penfriend who also binges on home cooking and Netflix = lucking out.”
Zack said the note exchange really cheered them up during a dark time, and he’s certain their pen pal feels the same way!
“The last few months of 2020 really took their toll on me in a number of ways,” he concluded. “I cannot express how grateful I am for my girlfriend Olga, my family and friends, and for little Billy.”
We could all use a friendly neighborhood postcat! What a wonderful opportunity to connect with others while staying safe. Not to mention, we really want to try wasabi mashed potatoes now!
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