For much my time in Tucson my nighttime companion has been our cat Thing Two. Recently, a neighborhood tomcat started coming around, with disastrous effects on Two's already addled brain. Even though Two was neutered at the proper time, he apparently retained enough male something or other to have it activated by the intrusion. He started spraying to mark his territory. And we spent the last two months engaged in a desperate attempt at behavior modification that showed promise at first but ultimately proved to be a failure.Now Thing Two has officially become an "outdoor cat." Whether the scare quotes will persist is unclear. I have my doubts whether he will prove savvy enough to survive long in the wilderness he has long been eager to explore. Still, it was better to give him that chance than to consign him to an animal shelter where placing him in a new home would have been extremely difficult. He was happy this morning playing tiger in the weeds. I, however, am not happy at the prospect of spending my nights without his company. It's hard not identify with his plight. And it's even harder to have my sense of isolation so viscerally confirmed.