And then we threw out our cat, our beautiful white persian queen. White and flawless, silent movie-star, loving queen.
We had had kittens with her. Two litters. She was the queen of our house. And then we told her no more and she was silent about it.
Folks worried she might sit on my sister and smother her. She had to go outside. Our queen, not our sister. Even though everyone was broken about it. Even though it wasn’t my sisters fault.
And Fluffy was smart. “She won’t sit on her!” we said.
But no-one could think of any other solution.
It took Fluffy ages to work out where she belonged after that which was not inside the house. She wasn’t allowed. We had to keep shutting her out. Over and over, we had to shut the door on her, on her little silken frame at the door meowing to come in.
She ate at our house but outside. She would not sleep there. We didn’t know where she slept.
Where is Fluffy? In the garage? Poor Fluffy!
Then she started to take meals next door with our neighbours. We saw her go in and out of their yard.
Then we rarely saw her.
And later we forgot.
Much later, nearly ten years later, I was home on a university break and there was a loud meowing at the front door. I looked out and there was Fluffy. Or like Fluffy but wild. Fluffy wild.
Her eyes were shinning and she looked right at me, meowing and meowing then walked back and forth across the small porch, meowing loudly.
“Fluffy?” I asked. I wasn’t sure. This Fluffy had a haunted look. And a knowing. She was so beautiful. Poised. She understood something.
“Fluffy?” I said.
It was her.
“Fluffy!” I tried to let her in.
“Come on, come on Fluffy!” I said, patting my leg and holding open the door but she wouldn’t come. So I went to get her some milk, something to tempt her. And she was gone when I came back.
It was so sad. And strange. The saddest thing was that she was still so beautiful – exquisite – with immaculate temperament, shinning yellow eyes and soft coat. A beauty queen, a snow-queen. Old Hollywood glamour with pristine coat and diamond eyes. She had lost none of her graciousness. Nothing of her regal deportment. It was our tragedy.
When my little sister was born my father walked across our school playground to announce it. It was morning break and we were in the playground. I turned around and there was my father, also in it. He was walking toward me, striding in big purposeful steps like he owned the place.
“You’ve got a baby sister!” he said.
“A baby sister!” I repeated.
“I’ve got a baby sister!” I said.
“A baby sister!” said everyone.
“How did you get in?” I asked. But I don’t think he heard me or cared about trespassing. He owned the place. And then he walked off to find my little brother because he had already told the others, he said.
We went to see my little sister in hospital. She was in a humidity crib because she was born early. I couldn’t wait to see how pretty she was. I was hoping for straight, white-blond hair - something Swedish - and a golden-copper tan. My exact physical opposite – me white skinned and copper haired.
But she looked like Grandpa. Not in likeness of features – she actually looked like him. She seemed bald on the top of her head and very wrinkly. She looked like an old man. Like Grandpa.
“She looks like Grandpa” I said. I must have sounded disappointed.
“She’s a newborn” said my mother. Well she doesn’t look it, I thought.
When she thawed out, she was beautiful. She didn’t come with the colouring I imagined for her. But she was so beautiful and I loved her more than me which I guess was not surprising. I’ve been trying to love me like I loved her for a long time now. I think – I hope – I am getting closer.
When she came there were so many changes; our house doubled in size, the people living in it changed and changed again. It was wobbly. We forgot about Fluffy.
Then everything settled down. And Fluffy came back, after ten years, for a minute.
(photo of another beautiful queen from google)