I used to tell my cat, Wolfgang, all of my secrets.
We would go outside and sit under a tree on a bench that wasps tried to nest behind in an old wooden fence post that had been strangled to death by Ivy at some point in my house’s short suburban life.
Wolfie would let me put my lips to his ear, the one on the left side of his face and when I think he found something funny in what I said he would twitch it and it would tickle my nose.
His ear didn’t twitch a lot, but when it did I would lift my face away from his head and look around the yard and when I was sure no one else was there, I would take a breath and continue.
One day I said, ” no it’s really true and it is not funny-”
Then I heard my husband say ” what isn’t funny. ”
He must have come through the house and snuck up on us. He was always doing that to me and Wolfie when we were chatting.
Wolfie jumped out of my arms and landed with a hard thud on the bench next to me. His ears were flat against his head. He whipped his tail around his body and the end of it twitched- or maybe it’s more accurate to say it quivered.
” Did I interrupt something? my husband said with a laugh. ” It looks like you guys were having a pretty intense conversation there. You two do that a lot.”
He tried to keep his voice light and happy.
I sat there with my hands knotted in my lap. I looked up. ” We do what a lot. ”
” Sit out here and tell secrets. ” his voice had a little edge to it. ” to your cat. I’ll bet you talk to him more then you do to me.” his laugh was forced and sounded hallow.
Just then his phone rang in his pocket and he reached into it, took it out and looked at it. ” It’s the Office. ” he babbled. ” I have to get it. ” he tried to not run to the other side of the yard, But of course he did. When he got there he kept his back to us.
Wolfie stepped back into my lap. He lifted his head up to my lips and his ear rested against my chin.
I heard my husband say loudly so that I could hear” No. No. I can’t make it to the meeting because- ” his voice lowered.
I whispered into Wolfgang’s ear, ” He can’t because you’re here. ”
Wolfie’s ear twitched against my lips and nose and I finished what I had been telling Wolfie before my Husband had so rudely interrupted us. ” When the Cat’s Away, the mice do play, but I think it’s much better to poison the little bastard so that the Cat doesn’t have to hang around the house all of the time. What do you think?”
Wolfe turned his face up towards me and he closed his eyes the way cats do when they are very, very happy.
Then we both looked towards the other side of the yard where my husband was and purred.