After scooping up, the twelve-pound cat nestles quiet, quiescent, in the crook of my left arm. After twenty minutes of fussing, complaining, plaintive mewing, and other guerrilla tactics that amount to nothing more than human harassment, he has finally gotten what he wanted.
I can't reach the keyboard, but from the pillow of my shoulder, the two red-gold eyes flutter closed. The paws lying limp at the base of my neck shift and begin to gently knead my chest. His eyes and tail droop in unison, until he is a limp, nearly-sleeping cat being cuddled with his belly and back feet pointing toward the ceiling. His paw pads are pink, silken. The fine, soft individual tufts of white fur between them flow and bend in the gentle currents of air.