Chapter One; Part Two
When I open the door to my house, I hear a steady, high-pitch meowing, intermittently punctuated with lower growls. I slip off my three-inch, ruby-red heels and wince in relief once they’re off. I have wide-ass feet, and even the most generous shoes feel better off than on. I follow the sounds up the stairs until I reach my bedroom. Both my cats are staring fixedly out the window. Onyx, a tiny five-pound fluff-ball is the one doing the high-pitch mews. Jet, her twenty-pound litter brother who is all muscle and her protector, is standing behind her (his normal position), emitting the low growls. I flip on the lights, and they don’t even blink. I stare out the window, seeing a small white bunny rabbit twitching its nose at my cats. Onyx reaches a paw towards the bunny, claws out, but I don’t reprimand her because there’s no chance she can harm the bunny through the window.
“Hey, kids! I’m home.” I ruffle the fur on Jet’s neck, and he slowly turns his face towards me, his eyes slit into a predatory stare. They dilate normally as he tucks his head into my palm. It barely fits, and I marvel as always at how panther-like he is. “How’s my big boy doing?” Jet purrs in response before I turn my attention to Onyx. “How’s my baby girl tonight?” She abandons her prey and scurries over to me, leaping into my waiting arms. I know by now to have my arms outstretched when she comes my way because she launches herself at me whenever the mood hits her. I adopted my cats eight years ago, when they were six months old. For the first day, Jet sulked in a box I had placed in the closed off dining room, only venturing out to use the litter box. He refused to come out to eat, so I eventually placed a food bowl and a water bowl in his box. He was content to stay in that box, his enormous gold eyes shining in the dark. Onyx, on the other hand, wandered around the dining room, sniffing everything she could reach. After a half hour, she was sitting at the door, meowing to be let out. I had read that they should be kept in a closed area for twenty-four hours, but Onyx never got that memo. I spent about an hour with them before going to do other things. When I returned and opened the dining room sliding doors, I was greeted by a tiny ball of black fur hurtling through the air. I immediately reacted and caught her, thankfully, but that was the beginning of a lifelong pattern that continues to this day.
“Mrrrrreow!” Onyx trills as she turns her heart-shaped face up towards mine, her emerald green eyes full of sleep. I call her my princess, and she does everything she can to live up to that name. I drop a kiss on her satiny nose, and she closes her eyes before promptly falling asleep. I set her on the bed without waking her, and she curls up in a tight ball. Jet hops up on the bed next to her, wraps his body around her, then falls asleep as well. I watch them for several seconds because they are the true loves of my life, and it warms my heart that they are so devoted to each other. They were actually part of the friction between Tessa and me. She was solidly a dog person and didn’t care for cats at all. I like dogs, but I know myself well enough to realize that I would be shitty for any dog living with me. I work eight hours a day, and by the time I get home, all I want to do is curl up on the couch, blog or read, and then drift off to sleep with my two cats. It wouldn’t be fair to a dog to be forced to live that kind of life, and I would resent a dog if I had to walk him or her every day. Tessa used to complain that my cats didn’t like her, which was actually true. The first time she met them, Onyx hissed at her and wouldn’t let Tessa pet her. Jet muscled up behind Onyx and simply glowered at Tessa. He allowed Tessa to pet him, but he didn’t lean into it as he normally would. To be fair to them, it was clear that she was uncomfortable with them. Plus, she patted Jet instead of petting him, which most cats don’t enjoy.
I tiptoe out of the bedroom and make my way back downstairs. I’m hungry, so I open the fridge to see what I can find. I tend to forget to go grocery shopping until all I have in the fridge is a rotten onion and a container of spoiled milk. However, I had replenished my stock a day or two ago, so I have plenty of choices. I take a minute and ask myself what I want. I have a history of eating disorders, so I try to ask my body what it needs before eating. Unfortunately, my body is a three-year-old child, and it usually tells me what it wants, not what it needs. What it wants is tons of chocolate. What it needs is fruits and vegetables. I make myself a ham sandwich on whole wheat bread with spinach, mustard, and sliced tomatoes. I pour myself a glass of Diet Coke before taking my snack into the living room. I settle down on the couch, pulling my laptop onto my lap.