In the spring of 2007, – forgive that I’m repeating myself – Dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer and I slept on Dad’s office floor for a month. My back has never forgiven me, but this happened, too:
For a couple of weeks, I awakened with a twelve-pound cat tangled in my shining tresses. I’d spend half an hour talking to said cat, whose name is Atticus. He’d purr, he’d preen. He’d tell me where he wanted to be scratched and nip if I scratched out of bounds. Then, I’d go downstairs and start household chores for the day. One morning, Darla and I were discussing something serious when Atticus padded softly into the kitchen, took one look at me and sauntered off.
Tata: Darla, am I imagining it or is that cat pretending we’re not sleeping together?
Darla: He’s acting like he doesn’t know you in public!
Apparently, Atticus saw Samantha sitting on my lap and now he’s all like “Girlfriend, please!” And I’m all like “But honey, you’re the only cat for me!” And Atticus is like “Sugar, I’m not sure you even like cats.” I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’!
This morning, he was sleeping near my head but not on it, but he did tangle my hair a little. While I wonder if Atticus will take me back, the world keeps turning.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about Island of the Blue Dolphins, which I like every other girl my age read as a teenager. Sometimes we have no control over whether or not we are alone or who our companions might be. Atticus certainly had no say in such matters, but for the past few years after Darla moved back to Canada, Atticus liked sleeping on a corner of Darla’s bed, with his paws resting on her hand. Sometimes, love is a situation.
It’s odd, I guess, that I was mulling over a book from my childhood and the loss of a cat-friend on the twenty-first anniversary of my grandmother Edith’s death when Wintle sent along this.
Everything goes somewhere, but no one’s going anywhere in those shoes.