I spent my first five dollar bill on you.
I held your striped paw in one hand and gripped Papa’s calloused finger in the other.
Sometimes you were “she”, sometimes “he”, “it” even.
I named you Ashley for a day after watching an Olsen twins film. That didn’t suit you at all.
Sorry for smothering you.
Sorry about all the snot and tears that live inside your fur.
Samantha tossed you back and forth in the yard with a friend. I was the monkey in the middle. Your left eye came off, rolled past me on the cement path. I brought you home and cried into your ears.
Mama sewed you up like new.
Grandma gave you a bath in the underwater Ferris wheel and lavender filled my dreams.
Sometimes I swear you spoke to me, hugged me back as I held you.
I thought you could see me.
You’re tucked away behind a pile of clothes on a shelf in my old room. I don’t live there anymore.
Are you mad at me?
That matters somehow.
I’d still save you first from the fire.
*refer to my Kitty essay for more context*