This cat here — she looks innocent enough. Well, actually, no — she looks quite evil there. But that’s just because she’s falling asleep and it’s actually one of my favourite photos of her because it is almost ironic. This cat has never hissed, never scratched, never bit, never been anything but a sweet little love junkie who wants to be constantly held, loved, nuzzled, kissed, hugged, stroked and cooed at.

I have never had an animal like this one. We got her from the pound on Mother’s Day three years ago when she was supposedly eight weeks old, but my aunt, a longtime animal person — cats, horses, dogs — took one look at her and said no way, she is six weeks old at most, and likely too young to have been taken from her mother. Indeed, from the start, Coco was a very needy kitten who only wanted to snuggle up against my neck. I am quite certain she believes I am her mother.

In fact, she now pretty much continually stalks me. She follows me wherever I go. Whenever I sit down, she is in my lap. If she’s not at my feet following me around, she is staring at me through the banisters of the staircases of my house with a baleful look of love in her eyes. When I notice her, she purrs or rolls over on her back in delight. She comes into the bathroom with me when I am having a bath and sits on the edge of the tub, letting me stick her tail in the water. She sleeps on me all night, and doesn’t care if I roll around — she just waits for me to settle and then snuggles in even closer. She sits on a chair at the kitchen table and watches me eat my cereal every morning. Every evening when I get home from work, she’s waiting in the living room window for me.

If I travel, she doesn’t even give me the cold shoulder when I get back — she is so glad to see me, she showers me with even more love and affection. I have never had any living being love me quite as much and as unconditionally as this one, with the exception of a fabulous ex-boyfriend and my son when he was a baby — he never took his eyes off me and would cry if I left the room. But he grew out of it. This cat? She’s stalking me for life.