Tuesday, April 11, 2006


Monika sits on the television, her silver fur reflecting the TV's light, as she carefully bathes herself. She notices me watching her, and leaps down and over to me, rolling on the floor at my feet. Pet me, pet me, she's saying, or at least I think that's what her odd, strangled MEEEEOORR means.

My mom had several pets, and when she died, they needed homes. My sister cat two cats, my brother got a cat and a dog and my nephew very kindly took the cat nobody really liked. But I got Monika.

She had been my cat literally from birth. I'd owned her--well, no one ever owns a cat; let's just say she was living in my house--for about three years. When I moved to an apartment that didn't allow pets, Mom got Monika. (Reading that last sentence, I'm wondering why I didn't just keep looking until I found an apartment that allowed pets. There's a story there, but I don't even think it's that interesting, and I LIVED IT.)

When I had her originally, Monika was a very spoiled cat. I brushed her, I talked to her, I snuggled up with her at night. (Clearly, I really, really needed a girlfriend.) She acted...well, pretty much like she does now.

But in between, for all the years she was in Mom's possession, she didn't act like this at all. She was just kind of there, hanging out, largely indifferent to people. She might hop up on your lap, but she really didn't seem to expect or want attention. Admittedly, she was sharing a household with several other critters, but you'd expect some form of her personality to remain intact.

Was she waiting all that time until I was the only person in her orbit again? Is she even actually aware of the change in her surroundings? Does she wonder what happened to Mom? Is she even capable of thought?

Monika looks at me, her eyes glimmering with secrets, but she says nothing.