Of all the rash and midnight promises made in the name of love, none is more certain to be broken than “I’ll never leave you.” What time doesn’t steal from under our noses, circumstance will. It’s useless to hope otherwise, useless to dream that the world somehow means us good. Everything of value, everything we cling to for our sanity, will rot or be snatched in the long run, and the abyss will gape beneath us, and suddenly, without so much as a breath of explanation, we will be gone. Professions of love and all…
I remember thunderstorms with torrential rain. Would he be okay?
A wet cat speaking to me from outside the fence, a feline begging for shelter, for comfort, for assurance that all would be well.
I welcomed him to the patio, to protection from the tempest.
I remember chastising him for hunting rabbits, for bringing them to my doorstep as though meant as a gift.
A wild cat, a feral soul falling prey to companionship.
I let him leave the creatures so I could quickly scoop them up and rush them to safety.
I remember the first time he let me touch him, his thick fur resting warmly against my hand, his eyes watchful yet trusting, his purr sudden and powerful.
A lonely cat seeking that which we all seek: belonging and friendship.
I gave only as much as he would allow, sought to be welcoming so he could take the next step.
I remember the day he moved in, met his new roommates, explored his new home, found happiness.
A loving cat, a spirit divine yet frightened who wanted only to belong.
I let him belong, made him welcome.
I remember that night not too long ago, that fateful evening when so much emotion came crashing down under the weight of ending.
A beautiful cat, a giant who cowered before shadows and needed love as much as air.
I lamented then what was lost.
[introduction paraphrased from the beginning of the first chapter in Clive Barker’s Cabal]