At some point almost every night, my giant, emotional, weighty puffball of a cat will make a little whirring beep sound at me which is her request that I lift the blankets and allow her onto my chest. Almost always, I acquiesce and, purring loudly, she climbs aboard, crushing my boobs until she is comfortably lying down.
She’s a big girl, Dicey, and the slightest movement will cause her to flop down sideways where I will ease her into a comfortable position with her head on my arm and her legs draped around my body in a sort of cuddle. There she will remain, impossibly, luxuriously soft and with a purr that crackles like a campfire and we will both drift into a blissful slumber of interspecies love until I either move her because I have lost circulation to my arm or she decides that she has tired of me and leaves. Sometimes, Wes, my husband, will join the cuddle and that will be almost more love than my chest can contain.
Once in a while, Dicey will become violently enraged by some movement I have made or some dream she has had and then she will attack me with terrifying ferocity which ultimately gets her propelled off the bed followed by a loud “FUCK YOU CUNT” which will not disturb Wes from his sleep because he is acclimatised to these night dramas.
Despite her violent outburst, I love that cat immensely and often reflect on the transient beauty of our time together, for her lifespan is so much shorter than mine and when she passes, only Wes and my hearts will truly break as our little family loses a precious member. Her existence, like ours, is temporal, a tiny ember of warm life in an impossibly vast universe, shortly we will all flicker out and memories of us will soon vanish also. Her, us, love. All of it will end.
I feel tiny pangs of the pain and sorrow of that cold, indifferent future reality and I perceive our current reality of love and warmth and comfort and sweetness as nothing short of miraculous, delicate, precious. Such an unlikely, glowing, ephemeral experiential jewel. Life and love a flower that blooms and withers in the course of a single day. We will end but for the most microscopic of moments, we get to exist. For the most microscopic of moments, we get to love. I count my blessings. I see the beauty.