My cantaloupe Casanova, I should have known you’d break my heart.
Being the color of gold bullion was not enough to keep you in the Development Department.
You were always bound for greater things.
Gator, I was helpless in your teeth.
Long before the seraphs saw fit to make you my office-mate, you were my orange crush. I loved you once in silence, cooing Camelot songs over your golden head.
When the day came, and you became the Development Director of Tabby’s Place, you were kind enough to let me formally keep that title, as well as the office.
I would have given you both. I would have given you my last velvet scrunchie, my first edition of The Complete Poetry of Crinkle Bob, and the full measure of my dignity (market value: slightly less than the scrunchie). Also, all the Cherry Zero in my cabinet.
You had my adoration, adulation, and constant affirmation.
You wanted the three things I could not give: infinite meat products, a personal solarium, and global dominion.
I promised to work on the third, but the first two were strictly beyond my power.
You topped eighteen pounds, a swaggering mandarin aircraft carrier of a cat. Naturally you were proud of every ounce. But they — don’t blame me for the insubordination of my colleagues — put you on a diet.
Your dry food dried up. Your wet food turned lean and light. Zero string cheeses manifested.
You contacted Interpol. You contacted the International Tribunal for War Crimes. You contacted Matthew McConaughey, who you assumed could do something. It’d be a lot cooler if he did, but he didn’t.
It was all to no avail. You dropped pounds: two! You dropped knowledge: a lean Gator is a grieving Gator. You dropped hints.
You dropped me like the hot cheese-encrusted potato no one would sneak you.
You were bored. You wanted a new solarium. You wanted to be the Director of Operations.
You get what you want.
You’re a world away now, down the hall and done with your Development schoolgirl. I pine for you. I whine for you. I mumble Camelot songs in my sleep. I keep trying to sneak you plural cheeses.
Just one thing keeps me from crumbling like a Funyun in a crocodile’s teeth.
A certain mountain of mercy.
A certain wonderland of warmth.
A certain sister in stripes, here to hear me sigh over you.
She listens to every word and dries my tears with her busy, flashing tail.
She gets me out of fetal position and runs me through the room on the business end of a wand toy.
She brings me the feline equivalent of ice cream, which is to say her own sweetness.
Gator, I have been graced with a girl who is mending my croc-chomped world: Denali.
While you longed for infinite power, Dennie cursed the thunderstorms. She had the corner office for which you hungered. You took for granted the coziness she craved.
You moved to Danielle’s office, and Denali moved to mine.
It was, even I must admit, a wise swap.
You are dwarf; Denali is hobbit. You are high roller; she is homebody. You are power; she is glory.
You both have me. Forever.
Just one request, my hungry heartbreaker. Go easy on Danielle. It is a fearsome thing to fall into the heart of a golden Gator.
But then, you already know that.