My Cat George
Aldous Huxley once said the more cats you have, the better writer you are. I'm not sure exactly how many cats he had in mind (one of my aunts regularly maintains about a half dozen or so), but I've redirected his statement to mean having a pet teaches you to be a better person.
My cat George has fully mastered the art of taking up space. For such a little animal, George knows how to be a gentle part of things. He garners attention by simply sitting next to me and purring, as though he already knows what will happen next. It's like turning on an atmosphere. I can already feel you loving me. This photo of George and I captures the purring technique. First want, jump on the table, start purring, and finally receive a loving petting on his favorite spot—his bent, scarred ear. Little Georgie has magnets.
George's general approach to tenderness is a sort of Newtonian law of touching that goes something like this: if you aren't being touched the way you want to be then it's your problem. If you constantly feel dissatisfied or if you wonder why the people around you aren't as great as you, perhaps you ought to adopt a pet. My cat George leans into what he wants. How else would I know where his favorite petting spots are? Think about it. Butt up, arms stretched, on my lap, or flipped over on the couch—George gets what George wants.
When I was in grad school, one of my professors explained that the reason why we use the term pet has something to do with petite, little human. My soon-to-be husband Jared and I often joke that George is trying to eat so much that he'll turn into a real boy like Pinocchio. Time has definitely caught up to George, turning him skinnier and less soft, turning every month, every day so much more real, precious. He chokes out a grandpa-ish cough between naps, falls asleep standing up, and we know one day he won't be curled up nearby. How does such a little creature take up so much space? A lifetime of tenderness.