On love

He was an asshole. He’d lightly terrorize the other cats. We’d come home to tufts of black fur in an incriminating trail towards where George would be hiding out under the bed. He’d be sitting closeby, staring at us, cleaning himself. He’d launch all 15 pounds of himself at my chest during the ungodly pre-dawn hours. If he disliked the look of the new litter box I bought, he’d simply pee in reverse out the opening. Every piece of furniture in the house bears the mark of his claws.

But he would snuggle against my chest with his cheek when I called him. He’d lick my face with his soft sandpaper tongue. He’d reach up with his paw for a treat when I hoisted it over his head. He’d protest loudly, comicly, when I whistled the cowboy ditty I made up to torment him. He never questioned my questionable decisions, my lazy outlook on dishes, my chronic inability to remember what brand of cat food he ate.

On balance, if, at the end of our lives together, what I remember is how thankful I am to have loved him, how could anyone argue it was not worth this hurt?

Kitty Beau, 2009-2019