When Aditi asked me to write a column about love, I had to search heart, mind and soul for something that wouldn’t stir up past trauma and cause pain. And then finally, like the pitter-patter of tiny approaching paws on linoleum, I came up with an idea.
I love my cat, unconditionally, and she loves me, too… unconditionally. I have nothing but positive things to say about her, and though she bites me sometimes I’d like to think she would have only positive things to say about me.
Although an indoor pet, my cat Padme spends her time however she pleases, and this suits me fine. Conversely, she lets me be all I can be, and I push the limits writing into the late hours of the night…morning… undisturbed. When finished for the day, I creep up the stairs, and Padme, in her nocturnally active state, is there to greet me with a pretty meow. You see, night-owls, or night-cats, like Padme and me are like peas in a pod. She jumps on my bed at 2 .a.m. and then curls upon my chest. It’s time for the two night-creatures, a pair of nonromantic companions, to rest.
This author-and- cat, cat-and- author, routine wasn’t always this way. When she was a kitten, she’d demand my company at all times. She’d jump on my lap as I wrote, and even walk across my keyboard, creating a questionable string of keystroke characters and symbols. I quickly discovered our combined talents didn’t amount for a clear and cohesive story, so I cut short our collaborative writing time. She’s since learned to gallop around upstairs, beat up her toy mouse, and bother my daughter while I work.
But when I’m done… in the werewolf hours between night and dawn… she’s waiting for me, and we retire to sleep together. There’s no questioning, no quarrelling, no conditions or guilt to our relationship. I don’t lecture her, and she doesn’t lecture me in selfish, self-serving ways. We cherish our time together, her kneading the blanket upon my chest, and me massaging the side of her face, which she loves. Sometimes she even parks her fluffy tail on my face as she settles in and I have to gently swish it aside so it doesn’t tickle me into restlessness.
A breathing lump, her warm, soft presence soothes my troubled mind, heart and soul, and reassures me that the world offers goodness and comfort that has nothing to do with the selfish nature of judgmental human beings. I can tune out the stresses that keep men awake. It’s the kind of love I’d forgotten since my childhood and I am grateful to have it back.
You know what they say, ‘beauty is only skin deep’, and in the case of my life and the stories I write, beauty goes beyond the skin, beyond the fur. What matters most is what lies deep inside. My cat is my friend and companion in the truest sense, for she does not judge or generalize me for my gender, my skin pigmentation, my nationality or ethnicity, my preferences, or anything out of my control. She loves me for who I am, just as I love her for her irregular markings, insane midnight activities (a two-way street), and despite her occasional hairball expulsions and bathroom accidents. She is the most beautiful female I have ever met, and I love her like no other. It was I who nursed her back to health after her kitty operation. I could tell she was cold and dazed. I leant her my body warmth,and she slept drunkenly on my chest.
To me, that’s love, and it’s healthy and it’s all I need right now. I vow to respect, honour and cherish this precious… this purr-fect creature in this lifetime and the next.
But it’s just a cat, right?
This has been written by Dean Lombardo. He likes to write about how animals make a difference to human lives.This is what he says: “We’ve had too many sad endings already so let’s focus on the positive effects we can have on each other.”
He can be reached at:
Author blog: https://authordeanlombardo.wordpress.com/
Link to his novels:
Donkey Sense – https://www.amazon.com/Donkey-Sense- Dean-Lombardo/dp/1507629052
Princess Plume, my kitty story – https://www.amazon.com/Princess-Plume- Dean-Lombardo-
His stories are also available on Kobo and other ebook etail sites.