Jazzy is our neighborhood black cat. She doesn’t belong to my family. She lives in the house across the street. Her real name is Jasmine. And one time, by accident, I called her Jizzy. That made my 14 year-old son giggle. And the 14 year-old that lives inside my brain.

Jazzy shows up at our house at all hours: when I pick the newspapers up outside at 5:30 am, when I get home from work, when I bring the kids home from school. And she announces her arrival with the loudest meows I’ve ever heard. And rewards your meows to her with more back. I love that.

When her owners walk their dogs around the block, you can see Jazzy trotting right along behind them. I’ve never seen a cat do that. It’s like she’s a dog. A small, all-black dog.

Jazzy pretty much owns the neighborhood. She’s on my porch. She’s in my backyard, which she uses as her litter box. I see her down the street. And the other morning, I went for an early run and when I looked up on the porch next door, there she was all curled up in a ball on their chair. It wasn’t her house. She didn’t care.

Jazzy is special like that. Always happy to see you. Making my kids feel, in a very slight way, that they have a pet. Which is great because, chances are, they’ll never have one.I know, I suck.

So, on this Friday the 13th, here’s to you Jazzy. Please don’t walk in front of me today. The year is starting out pretty smoothly. And I’d like for it to stay that way.