He is handsome, and he knows it.  Dappled grey hairs intertwined with white; sunbeams catch their shimmer as he gazes forlornly out the picture window. 

Golden_eyesHe doesn’t notice me watching him.  If he does, he is too deep in thought about what lies outside the pane of glass. 

Those eyes.  Those deep golden eyes I had fallen in love with the moment I had seen him.  Though his back was to me, I could see in my mind the look in his eyes the moment he had seen me the first time.

 Our love was instant and mutual.  Five years we had been soul mates; virtually inseparable as we enjoyed life and love and the dreams and laughter that came along with it. 

I realize it is not me that he yearns to be with any longer.  No matter the sacrifices I made for him, no matter the wholesome meals I had placed before him like clockwork. 

He has tossed me to the wayside. He has grown tired of me; I feel it in my bones.  He hungers for what lays waiting beyond my sight. 

I move quietly to the window and stand beside him.  He is watching the lovely lady across the street, as she watches her children play.  In her arms she holds a stunning white cat, adorned with a pink sequined collar.  It sparkles in the sun, sending a rainbow of hues across her ample bosom.

Her long golden hair is alight with a kaleidoscope of colours.  The sun turns it to amber, then to topaz.  She brushes it from her face.  I note the unmistakable absence of a wedding ring.  At the same moment, she sees me watching her.  I gasp in embarrassment, and quickly duck behind the curtains. 

I peek through the sheers at him.  He has not moved, he is still utterly fixated on the woman across the street.  He watches her in silence as I watch him. He doesn’t care that I know.

I pad upstairs and gaze into the mirror.  Faded blue eyes stare back at me; my bathrobe hangs rumpled and dingy from my bony shoulders.  Curlers fall in a lopsided puzzle across my head, threatening to plop into the sink at any moment.  It is no wonder I am no longer the object of his affections. 

I rush to my bedroom and throw open the closet door.  Hangers fall to the floor as I yank free my best outfit.  I pull the curlers from my hair, rake my hands quickly over it, give it a final fluff and rush back downstairs to the picture window.  We’d go for a walk in the park.  I’d hold him close, and win his affection back.  Then maybe later, I’d fix him his favourite meal - sea bass.  He always loved sea bass.

He is gone.  He had seen his chance the moment I had turned away.  The door is still swinging on its hinges in the afternoon breeze.

I stare out the window as a tear rolls down my cheek.  A lone curler finally relents to gravity, and falls to the floor.  It ticks across the wood and rolls silently into the darkness. It is like me, alone. 

I watch the sun fade in the distance.  The windows glow in the house across the street.  Light after light warms the darkness; I hear a distant laugh drift on the breeze.

I toss and turn to the hum of crickets and bullfrogs calling from the park.  Their cheerful sounds reverberate through my lonely bedroom as I sleep alone for the first time in many moons.  I resist the urge to grab my flyswatter and silence them one at a time.  Finally, I slam the window shut.  The heaviness soon swallows me as I drift into a desolate sleep.

The sun warms my cheek.  I groan and gaze at the bedside clock.  It is only moments past dawn.  The room reverberates in stifling air, as the sun slowly marches toward its perch.

I ease the window open and inhale the freshness of morning.  Just in time to see him sneak quietly back into the house. 

I burst downstairs and corner him the moment the cat door swings closed behind him.  I pull him into my arms; he lays his head on my shoulder and purrs.  He gazes at me sweetly with his golden eyes.  I find myself peeking once more at the house across the street.

She sits on the sidewalk, gazing at us.  Her jewelled pink collar glitters in the morning light.  She licks her paw, and swishes her tail.  Her mistress rushes from the house, scoops her up, and soon disappears into its depths.

I laugh until I weep as I head into the kitchen.  I have a new mission. 

It is time for my nomadic feline to pay a visit to the vet.  And then, maybe the park.

~ Shelley Madden ~

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The Very Best Toy for Cats

"Of all the [cat] toys available, none is better designed than the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled, and it makes a noise when you jump on it."

Stephen Baker

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