• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 08

Tuxedo Cat

‘Have you seen the secret life of cats?’
She asked playfully, brushing her whiskers with a freshly licked paw. He looked up at her without answering.
‘I was asked to be in that.’
She continued, starting to wash her face, ready to demure at his surprise.
‘But you weren’t in it?’
Lying now on his back with his paws on the white of his chest.
‘I could have been.’
Her tone changing.
‘But I didn’t want everyone sitting at home being able to comment on me, compare me to other cats. I didn’t want to debase myself.’
He looked uninterested now, extending and retracting his claws as he looked straight up at the sky.
‘I mean, I didn’t want to be compared to cats they’d had previously, or cats they’d known who looked like me.’
‘Sometimes I hate being called a tuxedo cat.’
He said absentmindedly.
‘That’s different. Everyone says how handsome you are. Don’t pretend to be indifferent.’
Sitting straight now, with her tail curled tightly around her, she continued hotly.
‘It’s different for me. You don’t know how jarring it is to be called exotic, to be assumed to be high-maintenance, intrinsically expensive. You can’t imagine how demeaning it is to be an accessory.’
‘I think’, he said, extending a paw to still her now twitching tail, ‘that’s something we both enjoy.’