“You guys, I love that we have a dog!”
I probably haven’t felt more like a sister wife than when I said the words above, as my lovely friend M, her N and I were standing in their kitchen eating cold pizza, taking a break from the Masters, and watching the newest member of their family eagerly run between us, glancing at each of us in turn, hoping someone would drop a piece of crust. We had just come back to their apartment after a long stroll by the Jumel House, another hidden gem uptown, a beautiful spring afternoon as the backdrop to their first day as fur-parents. We laughed as we watched the little one scamper after the already-destroyed plush toy we threw back and forth in their room, M and N stopping every few seconds to look at each other with a massive grin, saying over and over “I’m so in love with her already!” I wasn’t sure I’d get to meet the new addition on day one, wanting to ensure M and N had family time, but even as I apologized for intruding on the day they will always remember, N just laughed and said “Of course you’re here. You’re basically a part of the apartment.’
I made my way home after a few hours and opened the door to little miss waiting on the doormat, like always. She trailed me around the apartment as I put the keys down and turned off my headphones, rubbing against my leg and trying to climb into my arms. She was happy when I picked her up for about 45 seconds and then started crawling to get out, a pitiful “mew” escaping as she noticed the end of my headphones trailing behind my purse. I set her down and threw an errant wine cork she’d been playing with, laughing as she darted after it like a mouse, hearing the cork bounce around my room until she lost interest, returning instead to snuggle in my lap, purring contentedly as I scratched her cheek. “Why can’t you be like this with other people,” I asked aloud, and she just pushed her cheek against my hand for more pets, such a sweetheart for only me.
Much as I joke about little miss being a total b (and don’t get me wrong, she absolutely is) it’s hard sometimes to love something when only you see the good parts. It’s almost a running joke that no one will come to my apartment because they’re terrified of my 6.5 lbs of pure evil, her skittish tendencies making everyone uneasy in turn, trying to pet her despite my caution to leave her be and then antagonizing her when she won’t play nice. As a rescue, I don’t know what happened to her in the first five months of her life before she came into mine; I don’t even know her real birthday. Whatever it was, it’s enough that only in the past few weeks has she started sleeping next to me in bed, and even that’s usually peppered with a morning where she runs after my sweatpants, trying to bite my ankles, never painful but annoying to an extent. I wouldn’t trade her for the world, my little miss, my little b, but I wish I wasn’t the only one who knew how sweet she can be, how much she loves to have her cheeks rubbed and how she loves curling next to your body at night, purring like it’s heaven, at once warm and cozy and perfect.
Meeting the new addition to the sister wife family has had me thinking more and more about how the things that are so precious sometimes make sense only to us. We make excuses for the people, pets and things that we love when they’re less than perfect, because we know there’s another side to those people, pets and things, a side that makes you melt into yourself from love or contentment. It’s the kind of precious love that can cloud your judgment, but also the kind that can enhance it, allowing you to remember the good parts when you’re knee-deep in the bad. It’s the kind of love that makes you try again, and again, and again to make everyone else look past the flaws to see the heart-melting moments. It’s the kind of love that no one else understands, but as long as it makes sense to you, that’s enough to hold you together. Or, at the very least, it’s supposed to be.
I stopped over briefly one night this week to pick something up I’d left at M’s, and she greeted me with her little one in her arms and the happiest smile on her face. I would love to be jealous of the pet that everyone will always, infinitely and forever love more than mine, but she’s so darn cute and I get it – she’s nice. But as I sit at home with little miss curled into my leg, giving me the slow-blink of a happy cat, I can’t feel jealousy. Maybe it’s a flaw that I’ll always try to find the good in broken things, a poor decision to see past the flaws instead of paying attention to them. Then again, as little miss demands a head scratch and then bites my hand, I can’t help but smile, because honestly, I’d rather deal with a few flaws here and there, as long as at the end of the day I can show someone, or some cat, that they’re loved.