I know you by the sharp pang I feel when you plunge your teeth, all ten of them remaining in your mouth, into my shin as I'm moving too slowly in the morning as you wait for your Friskies. I know the three canine teeth especially, and I'm always surprised by your strength. By your fearlessness. Your...assholery. I know that your crooked grin is from fighting valiantly as calicivirus ravaged you, your mouth full of sores and your organs shutting down. You survived because you are a fighter, and you finally submitted to allowing a human's assistance.
I know you by the hoarse series of vocalizations you give me and I know what they all mean. I know that one is a plea to go outside---one that, until just a month ago, went unanswered. You are an inside cat. Inside is safe. One means you're hungry. One means that you're needing attention. One means you're incredibly annoyed with the canine attention you're receiving. Each one demands an immediate reply. It's why, although you're named for a few men that your character echoes---you're known around here as "King George."
I know the feeling of your fur and your paws as you walk across the bed, and eventually, settle in beside me. You aren't as heavy as the other boys, and you don't ruffle the covers. You're careful and precise. You spent a lot of time outdoors before we found you, you know how to maneuver unnoticed. You are svelt and weightless.
Outside---that's new, and it's because I know we're near the end. I know that, because I know you. I knew immediately when things changed for you. And I realize that once upon a time, you reigned as an outside Tomcat, errr---intact---and no human told you what to do. So watching you roll in the dirt and feast on grass and scratch the palm tree---I know that's not the virile Tom you once were, but it's a compromise, King George, and that's all we have in the back yard. I watch over you like the secret service, and I know that you hate that. I won't compromise here.
You are named George Harrison Ford. Your name hails from two men---George Harrison, the subtle, but insanely talented Beatle who went largely unnoticed and asked for so little. And Harrison Ford---handsome, usually playing the hero and weathered in just the right way.
You found your way to my mother because you were dying, and for ten years, you have let me know you---despite the fact that you were reluctant to be a people's cat. And I thank you, George. And here we are now.
In the next few weeks, you'll ask me to let you go, and I will do that for you. I believe the biggest gift we give each other is know well enough when to say goodbye.
And I'll know. Because I know you.
|The biggest Skeptic|