Cat Leading Double Life Helps Neighbors Become Unexpected Pen Pals

Billy the Cat Exchanges Notes Between Neighbors

Cats don’t live by the rules, and spend most of their time just doing what they want. Free-spirited felines who like to spend time outdoors are often gone hours at a time, leaving their owners wondering where they’ve been or what they’ve been up to. For cat owner Zack King, his cat Billy’s whereabouts were always a mystery. King assumed Billy was doing normal cat things, like chasing mice and exploring. However, he soon discovered his beloved kitty was living a double life.

Billy comes and goes as he pleases through a cat flap. He occasionally comes in to say hello, to eat, or to have a nap before going off to play again. One day in October, when Billy was inside, King’s girlfriend Olga noticed a folded piece of paper covered in plastic wrap attached to his collar. She and King carefully unwrapped it and were pleasantly surprised to find a note from one of their neighbors. “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’s coming from. What’s his name? We call him Billy. From your friendly neighbors!”

Olga and King wrote a note back, attached it to Billy’s collar, and hoped it would make it to the original sender. “We’re so glad he’s making friends with the neighbors,” it read. “And his name is Billy! So you guessed right. Give him lots of chin scratches!” It wasn’t long before Billy came back with another note, and now months later, the neighbors are still pen pals. “We've shared TV and Netflix recommendations, podcast suggestions, and home cooking ideas,” King reveals. “We have no idea who or where the neighbor is. We could ask for details but [there’s] no need—it's nice to have some mystery sometimes.”

At the beginning of January, the anonymous neighbor got Billy a “proper mailbag”—a plastic heart container that attaches to his collar with elastic bands. Billy is still busy with postcat duties, but the sweet exchanges have become less frequent, now that the weather is colder and Billy is spending more time indoors. Nevertheless, the unexpected friendship came at a time when King and Olga needed it the most. “We were in a bit of a slump as the nights got colder and darker and restrictions and lockdowns kept us at home, so it was a real joy,” he says. “To be honest, Billy's a joy anyway. But this was something unexpected, intriguing, and very welcome indeed!”

Check out some of the notes below, delivered by Billy the postcat.

Meet Billy, the adventurous cat who's been living a double life.

Billy the Cat Exchanges Notes Between Neighbors

He's been visiting his neighbors, who attached a note to his collar.

Billy the Cat Exchanges Notes Between Neighbors

Billy's owners sent one back, and now the two neighbors are penpals.

Billy the Cat Exchanges Notes Between NeighborsBilly the Cat Exchanges Notes Between Neighbors

Billy has been going back and forth, unknowingly delivering the notes.

Billy the Cat Exchanges Notes Between NeighborsBilly the Cat Exchanges Notes Between Neighbors

The friendly neighbors are even sharing recipes and Netflix recommendations.

Billy the Cat Exchanges Notes Between NeighborsBilly the Cat Exchanges Notes Between NeighborsBilly the Cat Exchanges Notes Between NeighborsBilly the Postman Cat

Billy recently got a proper “mailbag.”

Billy the Postman CatBilly the Postman CatBilly the Postman Cat

He's been a busy postcat!

Billy the Postman CatBilly the Postman CatZack King: Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Zack King.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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