Ziva hated the quiet time, amidst her job and active social life she found herself feeling lonely. Rylan had Emilie waiting for him she had no-one, no company or lover to care if her day was good or bad. She missed her brother, they were words she thought would be the furthest from her mind having been so keen to live alone. Many of her colleagues seemed coupled up, and although she had seen Elizabeth a few times at parties, Ziva was too shy unable to approach her. If a human companion was unavailable, perhaps the furry kind may offer some comfort.
Brindleton Bay had hundreds of stray cats and dogs; she saw them on her walks along the beach. They were timid, covered in fleas and starving, she had seen them fighting over food a few times. Ziva had intended on taking her leftovers for them, but she forgot. Another problem Ziva foresaw was she had no idea how to care for an animal. Her first efforts to approach a stray were tentative, their growls, the look of fear in their eyes that a human would dare to touch them. She made a hasty retreat; the future efforts required bribes.
A cold day, Ziva jogged to keep warm; on the picnic table, curled and shivering was a white ball of fur, parts of it thin in places. It was one of the few regular strays she had seen frequenting the area, known with affection as Patches. Ziva sat unwrapping foil filled with leftover chicken, the cat watching with intrigue, inching nervously to the edge of the table. She ate a small piece herself, offering some to Patches who jumped into the reeds, when Ziva returned, the cats had devoured the remaining chicken.
Inspired by her research online, Ziva turned her porch into a haven for cats to explore, litter boxes, toys, a scratching post and the most important aspect, the food. The porch light scared a few at first when it came on, Ziva fixed the light to stay on all night. Patches disappeared, the long fluffy tail eluded her for week;, seated by the picnic table picking at the chicken, Ziva missed seeing her.
It was late evening when she heard a cat at her door singing the song of her people. Patches voice carried a strange tune; she stayed put as Ziva armed with salmon stepped on the porch. Her heart melted to see her favourite stray hungry but safe. The cat hesitated, waiting patiently for Ziva to drop the food and back away, Patches crept low, her eyes darting from Ziva to the salmon. Ziva froze, statue tall, watching as every flake savoured with happy purring as the mouthfuls filled her. She expected Patches to run off, instead, she curled up near the steps, this was her new territory, Ziva elated by this success headed to bed.