There's been a point of contention in our house for about the past nine months. Lo Mein and Cliff really don't get along (aka, Lo Mein can't stand Cliff all up in her business). He thinks it's a joke; that everyone should like him and that when she swats him away, she's really playing. It usually ends in the scattering of both of them across the hardwood or tile floor. Then Lo, who feels completely hard done by will spend the next 20 minutes meowing at you in protest. As in "Are you guys f-ing kidding me? Life was good until you brought that dumb, good-for-nothing-ball-of-hair through the front door. When is life going to go back to being just the three of us?"
We're butting heads over the issue, Mike and I. He's told me more then once he feels bad that she feels so afraid all the time.
Pets are these weird windows into your life. They have a way of putting little tags on the years as they go by. I do remember when it was just the three of us. If we're lucky and we have Lo Mein for her full cat-life, we'll look back and think we were just kids when we brought her home from the shelter to that apartment Mike had. In the summer evenings I'd sneak over and we'd stare at each other and talk. And that wall of windows heated the place up so much that she stretched out like a noodle on the linoleum floor trying to cool herself off. Remember how you refused to get curtains Mike? How is it that we lived without curtains and ate Chinese take-out off the coffee table and named our cat after the House Special from Spring Roll King?
I used to have this cat with an ex. I named him Mr. Bo Jangles. He had long whiskers and was, I'll admit, a consolation cat to replace a kitten that was lost in a tragic accident. (This post started going downhill quickly.) Anyway, I moved across the country and brought Mr. Bo Jangles with me and something weird just snapped in that cat. I swear it had a vendetta out against me. After I woke up one night with him attacking my head, I couldn't go back to sleep. There are too many things you think when your cat's taking a break-up out on you. After that, Mr. Bo Jangles went to live with my parents where he remains to this day; happy, if a bit overweight.
One day a few months ago I came home and found Mike at the basement computer.
"I listed Lo Mein on Kijiji. I've already had an offer."
You did not just list our cat in an on-line market place. (Was what I was thinking (it's still what I'm thinking.))
Anyway, it was a pretty tense evening after that. He took her "down" and she's still here... laying on the runner on our dining room table, next to the extra wedding invitations.
But why is it that I look at a cranky cat I see my 20's? Those tiny moments are wrapped up behind the window; all the places we've visited, the people we've met the conversations we've had. It's all so different now, in every possible way you'd want it to be different, and yet, there's this huge part of me that wants to do it all over again. To eat that Chinese food, just the three of us in an apartment with a cowboy playing a guitar on the sidewalk out-front. When the summer nights are warm but the apartment was warmer because the heat of the day stayed trapped inside those four small walls... where it all started.