A smart cat has been assigned the role of a ‘postcat’ for his owners and their neighbours.
Zack King from Hackney, east London, returned home one day to find his one-year-old feline Billy with an unexpected note attached to his collar informing him that he’d been paying their neighbour frequent visits.
His girlfriend, 29-year-old Olga Shipunova, replied to the “sweet” surprise back in September and they’ve since become pen-pals – an unexpected relationship that Zach, 37, says has been a highlight of the coronavirus lockdown.
Thanks to their ‘postcat’ Billy, the neighbours have managed to exchange around 10 handwritten notes.
They’ve been able to share recipes and television recommendations with their unknown neighbour who even kitted little Billy out with a proper mailbag.
Zack, who works in advertising, said: “It was really sweet when it happened – we had a note saying ‘your cat always comes and sees me’ – we know that he’s a friendly cat.
“Olga replied and it’s been back and forth a little bit – it’s really her replying and we add a few nice recommendations and stuff.
“I’d saved them all and shared them with family and friends because they’re animal lovers and it just occurred to me that I should probably put it online.
“My favourite note was when she asked what she could treat him with – she was kind enough to say he could have salmon, and we let her know that he loves everything.”
Zack said that the relationship is still ongoing and the latest note has been attached to Billy for the last 24 hours – but they have no idea when their British Shorthair will be paying their pen pals his next visit.
Zack shared the story on Twitter which quickly amassed more than 29,000 likes and retweets.
He said: “I thought a few people might get something out of it – it was nice to see that people shared it.
“It’s definitely something we look forward to – when the cat flap goes and we suddenly notice that the note isn’t what we’ve attached and there’s a new note
“Billy is very cheeky and inquisitive – he doesn’t do things by half – if he’s sleepy he’s sleepy and if he’s playful he’s playful.
“Billy himself has been a highlight of lockdown – and the notes, extra so – especially as the winter months drew in and we found it a bit tougher with fewer connections.”
The first note the couple received read: “Your cat likes to come visit us when he is outside.
“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 🙂 From your friendly neighbours!”
Olga and Zack replied: “We’re glad he’s making friends with the neighbours! And his name is Billy!!! So you guessed right.
“Give him lots of chin scratches! We lost his name tag, we need to get him a new one xx”
The pair regularly exchanged notes, with the delighted neighbour describing Billy delivering their notes “like a carrier pigeon, but much cuter obvs”.
What started off as general chit-chat turned into recipe sharing, including instructions on how to whip up a batch of wasabi mash, and how to make the “most incredible” hummus.
The neighbour also hand-crafted a miniature postbag so Billy could take his postie responsibilities seriously and the conversation turned from recipes to Netflix recommendations.
Sex Education, Schitt’s Creek and Master of None was highly recommended as well as additional podcast recommendations including You’re Dead To Me and Welcome to Nightvale.