Dear non-existent reader, you have been saved from yet another dreary angsty post. I did begin one, but I am too distracted now by my cat, Cupcake.

Cupcake is my Shanghainese princess. She is insert-hyperbole sweet. She is also covered in warm fluffy velvet. Warm fluffy velvet, you ask? Yes. It’s a new thing. Accept it.

Warm Fluffy Velvet has dropped on my arm like a heavy bag of favourite things. It is hard to do anything else but bask/roll about/thrash around in the healing waves of contentment that washes over a person when a very loved one is close. (Or sitting on your arm, actually preventing you from doing anything else.)

But this is not a Ten. I have not really introduced Cuppy yet. She and I have a backstory, but I want to skip most of that and instead describe a strange episode I had with her.

I left the girl in Shanghai when I returned home, first in the care of a lovely trusted friend, then at a professional pet sitter’s. She hadn’t yet gotten her papers to leave China, so I left first. I got regular updates in the two months we were separated.

But then, at some point, I must have lost the plot. If love is a thread that connects two sentient beings, it must have over-stretched, frayed and snapped without me noticing. One day, after opening a photo my pet sitter emailed me, I looked into the moody face and hooded eyes of the tabby slouched against a chest of drawers and I thought, she looks fat and mean. That’s not my cat.

The thought, fleeting, shocking and unexpected, was hard to shake off. I started to feel uneasy. Our eventual reunion – when I went back to fetch her home – was icy. She ignored me, and I felt annoyed and huffy. All that trouble for nothing. How do cat and human break up?

To cut the story short, though – I still (of course) bought her kitty flight ticket, boarded the plane with her, sat with her in a tiny cell everyday of the month-long quarantine, and brought her home with me after that. Now she sleeps with me almost every night, my Warm Fluffy Velvet arm-heater, and we’ve made a strong new thread that feels like umbreakable titanium.


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