'Smitten' by Ruth Doris


I know my friends think that I'm a fool. That she treats me like something that's been dragged in. That it's all one-sided. But I know she loves me.

What they say is true though, I am besotted with her.

She doesn't say much to me. She may greet me when she returns weary-legged in the morning. Or at mealtimes. Or she may not. She is comfortable with her own solitude.

I pander and defer to her every wish. She likes her comfort and her preferences are particular; velvety cushions, classical music, soft lighting.

There are some things my friends don't know. That I don't like going out in the evenings in case she drops by. That I can't fall asleep without her warm soft body curled against my back.

I try to impress her. I'll run all over searching uptown and downtown for her favourite foods. I try out new recipes, which I find online, using fancy and hard-to-get ingredients. Sometimes she appreciates my toil, eating with gusto, ravenously clearing her plate. Though I can't help but regard this as an insult; she hardly tastes the food after all the effort I've put into it.

At times she'll leave the meal untouched. My sense of grievance is of no concern to her. It's my ego that is wounded, I tell myself. It's just a meal. I can't expect her to pretend, can I? Just to please me?

But then again why not? I pretend to please her. I pretend not to peeved at the hours she keeps. I pretend not to be worried when I don't hear from her for a whole night and a day, only for her to come to my door looking the worse for wear with no explanation and no remorse.

Yes, she's moody. But I've fallen under her spell. I look deep into her river-green eyes and I'm gone again; smitten, suckered.

She's affectionate when she wants to be. Suits herself.
But I know that she loves me. I know this much is true.

She shows me how much she cares every morning when she steps tippy-pawed in through the kitchen window, all tall-tailed, and high-meowed, after a night on the tiles, and she lets me stroke the silk of her fur and whisper into her whiskers sweet somethings, sweet somethings.

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