It’s a strange thing, living on my own. Well, not entirely on my own, as the barrel-bodied cat lounging to my right would attest. She rolls over, letting her large belly spill out as she takes long, luxurious licks to clean herself.
 It’s amazing, really, to think of it: this creature is so solitary, so self-sufficient, and yet does not seem to recognize—or, if she does, care one iota about—just how dependent she is on my care. She doesn’t know when rent is due, nor does she obsess over the source of the money that provides her with air conditioning, or food, or much of anything else. She has her bowl that is, to her mind, never full enough. She has her furniture on which to stretch out or curl up. Or, much to my chagrin, scratch at on a whim.

 As long as she has a human to quietly, thanklessly, meet her needs, she’s happy.

 If only that were so simple for me, I ruminate as I watch her pupils narrow and widen at a noise in the hall. What will she do when I’m not here to care for her anymore?

 I’ll never know.