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I stepped on a dead lizard this morning. It was in my living room. Two cats lay suspiciously draped on the furniture, sound asleep, I assume. This is my life now, living with two cats. Recently, my partner, renowned animal lover and wrangler Sandy Moore, disappeared for a few days to spend time with her kids and grandkids, the human ones. Her real kids got very huffy with me, staring longingly and pointedly out the window, ignoring me in the anxious wait for her return. Her, the one who feeds, combs, plays, talks to them. The provider of treats! The one who stares into their eyes and surmises their thoughts perfectly.
The two were gravely ill-disposed to be left in my care. I am the second one, the one who is not entertaining in the least, who can only be counted on to respond after much prodding on their part for the most meager of attentions, the opening of doors, refilling of bowls, cleaning of the litter box. In short, a poor handler of the basic necessities with no extras. I am, in their estimation, a human of poor quality.
Sandy is home now, thank the gods. They have returned their attention to her in full and left me in my proper role, she who is to be ignored.
My life of late has also been consumed by the editing and publishing of Sandy’s memoir, Beside Myself, about growing up on a cotton farm in Frost, Texas, a tale mostly about her love of animals, and the people too, of course, that filled her childhood. Cats feature prominently in this book, and horses, fish, dogs, sheep, and pigs. Bumblebees and nutria. I hope I haven’t left out any species. I shudder at the thought of retribution.