First Staley--of course. Every night when I go to bed, Staley leaps up beside me, purring loudly, head-butting me into I skritch her her, moving around constantly, making sure I pet her just as much as she wants. Then--wump! wump! wump!--she scrambles to the foot of the bed, leaps down and runs off.
Later, Cookie appears, climbing over Janie and draping herself on my side. I pat the bed beside me and she crawls down, snuggling beside me, tucked under the blanket. Her entire body vibates from the force of her purring, and she's close enough to me that my body feels it, too, it's comforting, it's reassuring. But ultimately, like Staley, Cookie is only there for herself. Once I stop actually petting her, she's gone.
But when I wake, there he is--Delmar. He doesn't care if I'm petting him, if I'm paying attention to him at all. In fact, he seems happier when I'm not noticing him. Those are the times when he can sneak in and remind me of his existence, can prove his intense, unending devotion to me.
Sometimes that devotion is just strange, not like a pet's love for his owner but more stalkerish, like I'm Jodie Foster to his John Hinckley. But the little feller's so sweet, and he means so well, and when I wake with his front legs wrapped around my arm, I know he's been holding me, claiming me as his own, offering his heart. And as cats go, well, Del's pretty much the greatest thing ever.
Staley and Cookie are prettier, though.