[Summer heat is fading away. Although this last of my short summer posts has run before, it seems a good way to end.]
Our cat Sasha pushes back the slightly open door of our bedroom in the early morning, arrives at my side of the bed, miaows once to announce her presence, and waits for me to peer over the side at her. She is beautiful. She has a large round head, piercing lemon-yellow eyes and a slight silver sheen to her bluish grey fur.
She thinks she needs an invitation. I inch back towards Bill and pat the mattress. “Hi Sasha. Hi sweetheart. Come on. Come on up, Sosh.” I use my talking-to-a-young-child voice, perfectly serviceable in another context forty-odd years later.
She considers. She might still decide to make for the litter box in the adjoining bathroom; get a drink or a snack from one of the bowls against the wall; head for the set of chairs tied together to make a bench by the double window, where she can look out under the light-proof shade to the leafy street.
But no. This time it’s me and my obliging right hand she wants. Up she jumps into the waiting space, turns around once, twice — sometimes three times — and collapses against me, at just the right spot for me to stroke her silky forehead, deeply furred cheeks, velvet ears, and whole delicious length all the way to the thick tail extended against my cheek.
Then she gives a half-turn for my hand to do her belly, a paradise of angora down. Claws in, her paws manipulate me. She knows exactly where she wants it — up, down, between the spread legs, not quite there, a little higher. I obey, a lover wishing only to please. All of her vibrates with a low rumbling purr. She’s happy.
I’m happy, too. I lie on my back, eyes closed — right hand on her, left hand clasped in Bill’s — enveloped in creaturely security. I feel his even breathing along one side of me, hers along the other—our three hearts beating steadily.
I want it to last forever. (Don’t say anything. I know, I know.) And sometimes it does last — if not forever, at least for a couple of hours. Sasha falls asleep, my hand stills, imperceptibly Bill and I doze off, in the comfort of a time-suspended dream.