HRM the (other) cat

8 12 2007

this post is not about my cat, but it’s about a cat; it’s about matthew, shawn’s cat, formerly shawn-and-lynette’s cat. matthew’s an all-black cat with long hair that wisps a little bit like feathers. the first cool-points i ever won from shawn was the first time i went to their apartment & was introduced; “that’s matthew,” one of them said (i don’t remember who). “matthew raven,” i answered; he was perching in a high place & looking sarcastic as only cats and ink-drawn-ravens can. i got it right.

matthew raven the cat has been displeased with me since i moved in to his life overbearingly, coinciding-ly with lynette’s disappearance. i do not blame the cat at all for this, and i don’t mind; i wouldn’t like me either. there’s no way to explain to the cat that she didn’t leave him, that i didn’t chase her away, that i’m not here to take her place. he didn’t like me even before shawn moved into the new apartment with the new roommate and the two new cats, a new experience for the pampered only child, & one he’s still not sold on, although evangelysta says she’s caught all 3 of them napping on the same bed before. before lynette died, when i would go over to the apartment, matt would roll on the carpet lushing for belly-rubs; since, i’d gotten used to being yowled at and occasionally nipped. sometimes he’d let me pick him up, lonely, and purr in my arms for a minute or two, but then he’d yowl & try to bite me. and keep returning to the outside doors to wait for someone else to come home. once, he stood in shawn’s door slashing at my jeans with angry claws.

it’s been 5 months. and it makes me both happy and sad that matt’s starting to come around. he comes up on the couch when i call him sometimes now; he still doesn’t ask for belly-rubs, but sometimes he comes aggressively seeking chin-scratches. once last week i was doing work on the laptop & he curled up on the blankets over my feet. there was a day he came around yowling for attention, & shawn said “go ahead and try it; he snapped at me,” & i picked him up & he purred & i wanted to cry. i appreciate the affection, of course; all cat-love is good cat-love, & of course we want matty feeling loved. but i can’t help reading his sweetness, too, as a surrender, one i wish every day that he didn’t have to make.

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