After Thomas and I finally confessed our love for each other, my whole life felt different. I was walking on puffy, airy clouds of happiness from the moment I woke up after each nap until the second I drifted off to sleep in the comfort of Thomas’s noble embrace.
Siouxsie, of course, was being a total meanie about the whole thing. Even though she’d never wanted to snuggle with Thomas, she growled and swatted me every time I got near her. “Why are you being so mean to me?” I finally cried to her one day.
“You stole my Thomas away from me! Besides, you’re a nasty, stinky little kitten!”
“Hey, hey,” Thomas said. “Siouxsie, we’ve lived together for six years now and you’ve never once even tried to cuddle with me. Why are you blaming Dahlia for taking something from you that you never wanted in the first place?”
“She just should have asked first, the impudent little wretch!” Siouxsie spat.
“How would I know if I even needed to ask?” I wailed.
“If you hadn’t been raised by a bunch of stupid dogs, you would,” Siouxsie grumbled. She stalked off to her position on Mama’s pillow with a sniff of disdain and curled up there — with her back facing me.
“There, there, Dahlia. It’s going to be okay,” he told me. “It took her six months to accept me when I moved in, too.”
“Oh, for the love of Bast, will you two please shut up,” Siouxsie groused through the fur of her tail. “I’m trying to nap here.”
With my tail and head hanging low, I skulked to the couch and curled myself up on my favorite fleece blanket. Thomas followed me and curled up beside me. “You’ll be fine,” he whispered into my heart as he licked my head a couple of times. And before I knew it, I was drifting into my napping world to the sound of his comforting purrs.I was really glad Thomas liked to snuggle with me, because it was starting to get cold! Even though my undercoat was starting to grow in, our drinking water was almost painfully cold, and on my nighttime trips outdoors the leaves crunched under my feet and left a chilly residue on my paw pads.
Mama had taken to powering up a warm thing that looked like a tiny radiator on wheels and leaving it on while she was away hunting green papers. But even so, the air in our little apartment was barely warmer than the air outdoors by the time she got home.
Fortunately, she had another heater that made a little fire that heated the air a little more than the rolling radiator. In order for the thing to work, Mama had to make a ritual that consisted of turning a knob that made a CLANK-CLANK-CLANK-CLANK sound until a tiny spark turned into that lovely, warm dancing blue flame and then into a glowing orange grid. She never left it going when she was away because, she told us, she was afraid a fire would start and she wouldn’t be there to stop it.
Sometimes Barking came by to make the clanking ritual a little while before she arrived and start the place heating up, but more often than not he forgot to do it and Mama came home to a cold house and cold kitties.
So usually, Mama came home, turned on the fire, fed us, and made us a nest of blankets to snuggle in while she went to The Big House for supper with Barking and Screaming and the dogs, and sometimes the human kittens.
I didn’t blame her for wanting to be somewhere else when our home was starting to warm up. Humans, I’d been thoroughly shocked to learn, don’t have any fur except on their heads and a few other places. It’s no wonder they wear all kinds of clothes; they’d freeze to death if they didn’t!
But I had to wonder why it was that even though Mama came home from The Big House with her stomach full–and a lot of times, even yummy scraps for us–she seemed so empty and sad.
We were always glad to see Mama, though, and all three of us let her know by giving her lots of purrs and head rubs and snuggles. We kept each other warm, and we cats did our very best to ease her aching heart.