Growing up with cats and dogs. I got used to the sounds of scratching at my door while I slept. Now that I live alone, it is much more unsettling. -- Anon Guest
Pinky was my best cat. Sure, he was ginger, but he was a weird ginger. Some aspect of his fur colour made him look pink in the right light. I've had guests mutter, "Holy shit, he's pink..."
He was my best buddy. And if I left him out of my bedroom, he would just... keep scratching at my door until I let him in.
I had him since I was five. He was twenty when he died. I knew it before I woke up that morning, because I wasn't getting the wake-up treadling across my boobs.
He was my best friend. Of course I gave him a good funeral. I visit his marker, but he's not there.
I can't pin down the exact moment when I realised. I must have gone through the motions a dozen times. I'm not exactly that savvy when I'm tired. I opened the door when he scratched, like I always had. And I got all the way back to snuggling into the bed when I remembered...
But I could feel his weight on the bed. Hear him purring.
"You're supposed to be in heaven, Pinky."
And then he did that sound. The sound he made whenever I tried to get him out of the kitchen when I was cooking. A little Mrrrrp? that meant, You say what you like, I'm staying right here.
After five more nights like that, I made a glow-in-the-dark poster for the inside of my door. It read, Pinky is dead. Don't let him in.
I can still read when I'm rat-faced tired.
For two weeks, I hoped that Pinky would get it. That he would know he was gone and finally move on. But... Pinky's not that kind of cat. He still wants to sit on me when I'm sad.
And I'm sad because he deserves heaven... but he won't go.
I haven't had a good night's sleep inside a fortnight. Maybe tonight... I should leave the door open.