Monday, March 21, 2016

The Weight

There is a 20 pound cat on my chest.

I lay on the couch, and this is where she curls up. On my chest.

It is nonsensical. She is a cat. I am a human. I should force her to go elsewhere. This is what it is to be in charge, to be the master. But if you've ever owned a cat, you must realize that you are never the master.

It's hard to breathe. Every movement, every breath, feels heavier and heavier. But there is a comfort to the weight. I have grown accustomed that as soon as I am still, she will find me.

It's a fine line between being trapped and being grounded. But her presence is more the latter than the former, like putting a big rock on the end of your kite string to keep it from floating away into the unknown.

It is hot and uncomfortable. I shift and squirm to try to find some relief without being the asshole that throws this lovable fat cat across the room. The tv show has ended, but I cannot reach the remote. So I lay in silence, listening to her rumbling purr, deep and endless, thinking all the thoughts I won't give time or energy to all day.

And just as I'm about to give up, to cast her aside, to push her away -- she turns her sweet face to mine, stops her purr, and sighs the deepest, most human, sigh she can. And I bury my face in her fur and sob. I cry hard for a few moments, sniveling and ugly. I let go of all the things -- all the hateful, jealous, frightful things I've locked up, deep inside me.

She doesn't meow or whine or run away. She just lets me sob, soaking her fur with my fury and fear, until it is exhausted. Then, she clambers down into the floor, taking all of her weight and my own, leaving me lighter.

And I can breathe once more.

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