The dead of summer, if there is such a thing. I’m about to report about a tense situation at my house involving the Captain (as seen above): 3.5 months old, 3 pounds, black and white, enjoys peaches, mangos, and corn. And Cougar (as seen below): age 11, 13 pounds, angry and wistful, a cat who was once looking forward to an old age of napping combined with intermittent cleaning sessions and belly rubs, but who is now forced to contend with an alien being who stalks her from around corners and under tables, attacking in a playful furry of claws and tiny white teeth (her teeth being old and yellow—but still sharp, mind you) and never giving her any peace.
(she's so mad she won't even look at the camera for photos anymore)
You see, I adopted Captain as good company for Cougs, thinking she was lonely and could use some snuggling (who couldn’t?!). But as it turns out she hates his bewhiskered guts and refuses to be in the same room with him. She only comes inside to eat now, the rest of the time perching herself out front in the bark mulch under a bush—thinking often, I imagine, of the warmth and comfort she used to know on the other side of the front door. Of the years she spent secretly knowing that she, alone, was the sovereign of my household. She thinks of the apartment on 12th Street back in Colorado where she spent her kittenhood, the time she escaped through the window screen and first felt her whiskers touch an icy white blanket that was, she later found out, snow. She thinks of that house on Jasper Street in Encinitas where she’d follow me over to the parking lot at Beacons to watch the sun set and the surfers bob up and down on the water that’d become, with the dusk, a rolling glassy mirror. I’m sure she thinks of all the quiet nights at this house when the rain rattled the gutter and she’d lay there in the crook of my legs, not understanding why I’d toss and turn, not realizing she was pinning me down uncomfortably with my own sheets and making me feel claustrophobic.
(look at that little fucking beggar!)
Yeah Cougs thinks of all this stuff, I imagine, and wonders why I’d do such a thing to her, invite the uninvited, feed and nurture this little creature of evil—even seem fond of him at times. Sure, anyone else looking at her would only see a cat sitting in the garden, but I see it all in the hard squint of those little green eyes, and all I can say is Cougs, girl I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt you, but one day I know I’ll come home and you and the Captain will be spooning on a couch cushion and then, I won’t say it, but I’ll be thinking it: “I told you so.”
Oh, and in other news, I almost lost this man to the wild Alaskan sea for four months but at the very last minute he came back to me and now every day from here on out is a gift. That’s all.