It's going to be love bites. I realized it this morning.
Bonnie used to give me love bites. On my cheeks, on my nose, on my arms. She used to reach out, take hold of me in her mouth, and begin to squeeze. Squeeze till it was sharp, but short of breaking the skin. Usually, that is. One night about six or seven weeks ago she squeezed my nose so hard I woke up with blood spots on the pillow, but I didn't mind. I knew what it was.
I've had other pets. Have other pets. Will have others, I expect. But it came to me again that it's possible that no one has ever loved me as purely, unconditionally, broadly, and deeply as Bonnie, or even will again. The only consolation I have is that I knew it, and I didn't take it for granted.
Haunted now by this post from exactly two years ago tomorrow.
As often happens, I was in the men’s room when I heard the new song (well, new to me, anyway). It’s one of those places where it’s quiet and you tend to be alone for a few moments, so you pay attention. The song, as it turns out, is No One’s Gonna Love You by Band of Horses.
But no one... is ever gonna love you more than I do...
No one's gonna love you more than I do.
I suppose it’s meant to be reassuring to someone you’re spending your life with. But the song has a faint desperation and even a bit of a melancholy to it. It’s gorgeous and soaring in its way but I find it painfully depressing. As it’s rolled over in my head these last few days, it’s kept reminding me that my cat, Bonnie, is thirteen this summer. She’s in good shape, as far as I know, but I can’t help thinking that, you know, most cats are lucky if they get past about sixteen (though it’s not entirely rare for them to), and that mushy, iffy three years or so seems so, so short. It’s hard to explain, and I think a lot of people with spouses and children would be apt to wave it off, but... it’s almost less what I’d say to her if I could as what I’m tempted to believe is true about her with regard to me. Almost daily she’ll stare into my eyes, looking back and forth between them, reaching a paw out, and the knowledge that if I live long enough, I’m going to lose that, is almost more than I can stand. I honestly don’t think there’s any less conditional love in my life than hers. Humans always have conditions; we can’t help it. She wants to be with me wherever I am at home; she doesn’t want me to leave in the mornings. She’s scratched my arms trying to keep me from going. I find myself cutting short my excursions because I don’t want to leave her alone for too long, knowing in the back of my mind that my time with her company is, indeed, finite. So there’s all that in the chorus of this song.
I hate being the kind of person prone to mourn what I haven’t even lost yet... but on the other hand, when the time comes, I’ll be able to say I didn’t take it for granted. I do adore her, and the best part is, I’m convinced she knows that.