As I write she lays there, pressing her feet against my ass, eyes closed, on her back with all her most vulnerable parts exposed. I imagine her saying “I want you to paint me like your French girls, Jack,” because I tend to think in quips and memes and hashtags that make me laugh and have the added benefit of making me look a little bit crazy in public. When I get up for the toilet or to pour a drink she follows. She will be right next to me as I make lunch, dinner, when I try to find something palatable to watch on tv. She will be at my side when I am ill or anxious. And sometimes I will catch her, like I did just now, gazing at me with such love and devotion that my heart swells quietly, because of course I don’t want her to know how completely and utterly she owns me.
Paris can also be a heinous, mouthy bitch sometimes too. She screams at the housekeeper and berates the maid. She will hide, just to terrify me, I think, and keep me shouting her name through the house until she just suddenly appears. Smug. Plus she’s a glutton. I had to buy her her own kitten just to get her to take some exercise by chasing after it. It worked. Now she has this floppy belly skin we call her “goomie” that flaps in the wind when she runs as if she could possibly take off and fly away. But she can’t obviously. And thank christ for that. I would be apoplectic. And she would be even more smug.
Most days we are together. I, being a writer, work from home. It is a nice sort of way to work. I don’t have to dress for the occasion. A kimono and some pyjams do just fine. And of course that means that my ever present secretary and slave driver is always with me, tapping me on the shoulder when I pay TOO much attention to the scribbles of the day or the Facebook feed that she knows generally turns my insides into a knotted up ball of string. On a good day. That Facebook feed…well…we shan’t go there today. That is a rant and I am not in the mood for a rant. I am in the mood for a nice cold vodka and soda. And it looks like Paris seems keen on just sitting and pondering and taking in the quiet.
I will join her in this, shortly. We have an end of the week tradition to make sure there are extra cuddles as usually the weekend is spent out in adventure with the husband. However, whilst we are on the subject of Paris, I want to explain why I am waxing all poetic about my cat. You see, we have 5 of them, but Paris is….something rare and special. We call her my familiar. I call her a soul mate. I have had many animals in my life. Dogs, cats, ferrets, rats, even a horse for like a minute. Never has an animal connected to me so and vice versa. It’s a rare kind of love. One you get maybe only a handful of times in your life. It is true companionship, witticism without words, and complete understanding of each other. We even have inside jokes. Things she will do only with me and I can see the amusement in her eyes when anyone else tries to get her to do….anything. I love my other cats and spend time with them but Paris is (an here is where the crazy cat lady jokes will reach a fevered pitch) one of the best things that ever happened to me.
Animals are surprisingly sensitive and insightful. Well some are. Others are evil bitches from hell, but we will talk about my hedgehog another day. I encourage everyone to rescue a pet, to avoid puppy and kitty mills like the plague, and consider taking in older fur babies. They are the ones who are most often put to death because people always want a cute fluffy kitten or puppy. Old babies need love. And if you don’t want to commit consider fostering and helping these sweethearts find a forever home. I am so glad that I fostered for http://www.oaarsrescue.com, the Okinawan American Animal Rescue Society, because I started out fostering Paris, and her sister, who were older ladies and she has refused to leave my side for the last 6 years. And you can be certain I will never leave hers.
To help, donate, foster or find yourself a soulmate here’s some links: