"...and when you speak of me, speak well."
Crash Davis

Today I asked my cat for a favor. I'm not sure why. Probably because I was in the middle of besotting my drug-short self with Neil Gaiman (whom I don't even really like much), and at that moment, he was staring at me with that extremely self-satisfied expression cats get. You know the one; lids perhaps 20% closed, one paw regally stretched out in front, the purr buried so deep that the best way to find it is either to place a mirror on his stomach and watch the vibration burr the reflections or just bury your head in his tummy and let him lick your ear.

This, I think, is why I have cats; so that there is someone to pay attention to me when I'm not looking directly at them. The way I might imagine a lover would. The way I have, at times, concentrated on someone I was curious about, or just plain enjoying the sight of, when they're not watching. Cats do that. They make great show and sport of explaining to you (using small words so you'll understand) that you, Pathetic Brachiator, are far, far beneath worthy of their scrutiny. But then, once in a while, you'll turn from having your head stuffed in a book for twenty minutes and happen to look directly at them before they can glance away, and they'll just have to brazen it out by looking mighty, haughty, and rather gloriously vacuous; they'll just keep looking at you. Sometimes in wide-eyed trembling concentration, a serious look on their pointy faces; sometimes, as now, a lazy, half-asleep look that just might even be genuine. But they are paying attention to you, even though you didn't ask them to by feeding them, or petting them, or even talking to them.

So anyway, I turned to catch my cat staring at me in that manner, and just grinned at him while he experimentally curled his paws, one after the other, hoping I'd just take his stare for vapidity. I felt the words come out, without knowing from where.

Emo, if they ever ask you, speak well of me.

One eye half closed, a slow-motion wink that promised nothing more than he'd think about it.

Then he rolled over, ears against the bed, to show off his magnificently plump, furred tummy, and purred to beat the band.

Ah well. Hopefully I'll be saved.