Death, Taxes, and Cats on Keyboards

I have–and have had–several pets. Birds and fish bore me, and dogs are mostly predictable, scampering after a thrown toy and quickly returning it for a pat on the head. But cats. She complains when I’m not in the bed at half-past ten, but doesn’t know I exist when I’m bummed out that next morning. I could use a friend. Instead, she sits across the room, sprawled out on the most comfortable of pillows, and stares at me with indifferent green eyes.

Is that indifference–or dislike? Whatever. I need to get cracking on a short story, anyway.

I’m an hour into the work, focused on the effort–and she sits on my keyboard. She always does this, but she doesn’t care how I feel. Fine. I scratch behind her ear and her love motor turns on, a gentle purr. A minute later, she’s in my lap and rubbing against me. She reaches out to me with one soft paw.

Maybe we can work it out, after all. I continue writing; she’s sleeping in my lap.

I hadn’t noticed the time–it’s half-past ten. She’s not in my lap. She’s not complaining.

I search around the bottom floor, calling out to her, hoping no earthquake had swallowed up my loving pet. Where is she? Not a sound.Where is she?

I quickly move upstairs and look into the master bedroom. My wife’s asleep under a dimmed reading lamp, her breathing steady. Then, I see the cat; she’s sprawled out on the most comfortable of pillows, staring at me with indifferent green eyes.

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