I am half dozing at the end of the bed I share with Boom and Warble. They lie side by side between the covers while I sprawl on a fuzzy fabric that carries the delicious and oily fragrance of my fur. I am the only one who sleeps on it because it belongs only to me.
I have lived alongside Boom and Warble for as many winters and summers as I can remember, but it is the female I am sure, who can almost read my mind.
I make one kind of mew and she appears with the silver bowl filled with crunchy kibble. I sit outside the closet door, merely staring at it, and she rushes to open it for me. Or—I lay a magnificent gift at both of their feet – say the delicate dried corpse of a summer moth – and it will be Warble, not Boom, who accepts my largess with appropriate appreciation.
The room is dark now, but my eyes are better than theirs. I silently watch from my perch on the wooden post at the foot of the bed. Boom rolls his big hairless chest on top of Warble and all three of us know from the sudden woody smell that the in-and-out is about to begin again.
Warble!I flutter my whiskers, hoping to attract her attention.
Stretch like this, and then I arch my back and stick my hips straight in the air to show her what I would do.
She is grooming Boom though, so pays me no mind. On this particular evening they are all lovey-dovey, busy making soft shuffling sounds and rustling against the sheets. I hear Boom’s throaty thrumming as he purrs in Warble’s ear. She is whispering back to Boom, laughing, soft as cream.
On other nights though, when the moon looks as bright as my silver bowl, and there’s something in the air that calls to all three of us— that’s when their in-and-out turns tooth and nail with shrieks and yelps, biting and biting harder. Their hairless bodies thrash about and grow shiny with sweat. Exhausted afterwards, they cuddle and coo like kittens and wrap their tails around one another, if they had one.
It is in the darkness, at moments like these when a deep sadness overcomes me—something which I cannot name. A trace of a memory comes from an earlier time that I no longer quite remember. When there was a different home far away from the bedroom and the closets I have come so much to love.
And there was a male for me, like Boom is for Warble.
I remember his sleek short hair, and butterscotch-colored cape draped over his powerful white shoulders. A seductive and sinewy body for my ample, calico hips. Slanted yellow eyes just like mine.
He would chase me down a long hallway that smelled of lemons. Sneak up from behind and pounce on me, bite my neck—I would pretend I wanted none of it. Push him away with a swift kick from my hind legs, furiously pummel him, then act disinterested and yawn right in his face.
But finally, when it seemed I couldn’t catch my breath, after our play fighting made fur fly, I would acquiesce, lift my tail and let him take me from behind.
It is quiet now in our bedroom. The sound of their sleeping breath makes me drowsy and I jump down from the post and reassume a comfy sprawl across my fuzzy nest on the bed.
I am not one of them, but I am close.