My boy and I celebrated 15 years together, recently. He’s not really who I thought I’d spend my life with after college, but I couldn’t have asked for anyone to love me more completely than he does. His devotion to me is epic, his adoration exponentially larger than his less than 15 pounds. He makes room for others in my life— he’s weathered my living with a landlord, a brother, a nephew, my mother, and on our own, not to mention the female cat and now the dog— and he has grudgingly and sometimes graciously, depending on the guy, shared me with boyfriends as they’ve come and gone, through the years.
This weekend, my friend was packing dog and cat stuff for me, and I took the somewhat radical and foolhardy step of letting her pack up the drawer where I keep the toys from when he was a kitten. I had to take the toys away from him because he loved them to the point where it was dangerous for him to have them (proving the fact that I am a conscientious, if sentimental, pet owner, despite his surgeries at age two and again at four to remove from his hater of a duodenum bits of toys he’d ingested.) They’re filled with happy memories for me, he loves them still, and is always at hand when that drawer gets opened.
My friend must have missed a favorite shoelace or bit of woven rope in there, because he’s been dragging it up to me every chance he gets, to make me play with him. It does my heart good to see him play like a kitten with them— tireless, relentless, ferocious in his pursuit. I’m an intense person by nature, and he is my match in intensity, which makes me aware of just how ridiculous I can be in my single-minded pursuit of… well, everything.
Our relationship is not the only one in my life, and it’s arguably not the most important, but I do think he’s the part of my heart that walks around outside my body. And I could not be more grateful for him.