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What I Would Tell You if I Could
By Talia Lieberman
If I could speak to you, I’d tell you that I love you. Even though I ignore you sometimes, when you paw at the screen door or climb up onto the table and walk across my laptop keyboard while I’m trying to focus, I still really, really love you.
It’s true, it took me a while. I know we started off rocky. I wasn’t sure what to think when Mom first brought you home five years ago. You were scared and skittish, and I was distracted. You had big shoes to fill, too. You didn’t know Lonnie. You never saw his dark gray tabby fur and swinging belly of blubber, but I think you would have liked him.
It’s also true that I love you more now that you’re fat. The speed bump you create on the kitchen floor always catches my eye. I love the way your full belly swings as you walk, nearly gracing the floor. I’m sorry for the time Mom took you to the vet because we thought you had worms, but they told us you were actually just overweight.
I love the soft tufts of fur that leave your body and find a home on all of my clothes. I know you can’t tell sometimes, when I pry your claws out of my upper thigh, yelling in both pain and anger, but I appreciate you.
I love having someone to come home to. I love that you get to choose when we’re friends and when we’re not. You play hard to get, but that’s what I like about you.
I’m sorry it took me a while to learn to love you. I’m sorry our only interactions at first were staring contests, or me opening that screen door for you.
If I could tell you something, it’s that I love the soft purrs that emerge from your vocal chords as I scratch the area right in front of your tail. It makes me feel needed and appreciated.
I loved our first night together, when you let me hold you in my bed for more than 45 seconds. I wanted you to stay. Your warm body provided comfort and companionship, even though your breath smelled of Fancy Feast.
Your unparalleled laziness and your general joie des vivre are so admirable. Your big green eyes are beautiful and emotive. I know sometimes you can’t tell, but I’m telling you now, Emma. I love you.