Ping is playing with the little gnomey Animal Crossing characters on my TV screen. I left it on when I finally passed out from game-playing exhaustion at three fifty-four in the morning. Spooky 1 is crying at the door, while Spooky 2 is curled up asleep in a very happy ball.
In the bathroom, with the now locked door, (because Sunny, who even though he is now on the outside -- he figured out how to paw it open when he was on the inside -- might just decide to open from this side and liberate his imprisoned companions), Lui, Lucilla, Ruby Dee, and Twinkle are sniffing and planning their escape. They will try to weave trying to their way past my deftly moving feet. If they could they would flatten their bones -- with a wink to Scott -- and slide under the door.
On the toilet Lucilla crawls all over me and leaves scratched on both of my thighs, my arm, and on the back of my neck. I try to distract her with a tossed tampon. "Go get it Luci, fetch." Nah that only works with Sparkle and his babies.
In the shower I take a seat on the cold marble bench and cuddle up with Priscilla. When once she would have bitten me for daring, now she is grateful for the company, and makes little trilling sounds at the back of her throat. Her one remaining eye is still darty and strange, the mark of some kind of disordered kitty thinking. Then again who wouldn't be freaked out if they'd been abandoned at an animal shelter, wound up here with us, and then clawed out their own eye. I hold her up to the window so she can see out. There are birds cheeping in my neighbor's trees. The air smells crisp and fresh and there is the faint smell of smoke from last nights fire. I pet and kiss Lucilla and say prayers over her only eye. Hopeful kitty eyes watch us from the other side of the glass shower door.
Outside my bedroom, I step carefully over the big blue cat bed where Bluebell, Cio Cio, and Baby Angel are sleeping. I know Leon is in there somewhere, maybe under the pillow, he likes to tuck in there because he's naked -- without fur -- and he gets cold. I discovered this when I made the mistake of stepping on him, well only lightly, but I felt sooooo bad about it afterwards.
One of the Moes leans in and rubs against my leg while I walk to my office. I look down at his sweet upturned face, and he meows that incongruous girly-cat meow, the one that just doesn't go with his beat-everyone-up, pee-all-over-everything, macho-male-cat swagger. And yes he's fixed, but it's all my fault because I waited too damned long. I waited too long because I was afraid something might go wrong and either Moe or his brother would end up being one of those accidental statistical deaths from what is supposed to be a very common surgery. So I waited and by then they were peeing, peeing and swaggering, all over the house.
See he was my baby, Moe and his identical twin brother Moe, and they were so beautiful, sleek, black, silky, just well, beautiful, and I loved them so. I watched them being born, an accident of mating between black sphynxy Leon, and a newly arrived, sexually unprotected Precious, (I swear I didn't name her). And then these tiny people came. There were three of them, all black and shiny, with lovely Asian eyes, little half Siamese, half Sphynx miracles, and one of them didn't survive. And they became my babies too. I worried and fussed over them as much as there mother did, maybe more, and now they ruin my furniture, pee on anything I set down anywhere, beat up the other cats, and look up at me with their adoring slinky eyes.
At the office door, Precious, (remember, I didn't name her, he did, and no I am not homophobic just because I feel I should mention he's gay), shoves her oily body past my feet, and spends just the amount of time it takes to write this letter, staring at my elderly pet rat Rattie, and has now jumped to my shoulder, scratching my back in the process, jumped off my shoulder, and is lapping at my oatmeal and rice milk. And now... she is stealing my cheese.