I remember when, on a Friday, my friend dropped you off in my doorway. You sniffed the ground, then carefully made your way into the house.
I remember how fat you were, and how much effort it took to pick you up.
I remember the first night with you in my house. You didn’t trust me yet, and slept on the couch. I turned off the lights and in the darkness, I could hear you breathing. Your lungs were so big it sounded like a big man was breathing deeply in the dark. It was very hard to sleep that night.
I remember how everyone said you weren’t a cuddly cat, but by your third night with me, you would sleep with your cheek pressed against mine.
I remember looking forward to every long weekend, when my friend traveled and left you to me.
I remember cleaning your black fur off my laptop. I remember watching you watch the snow.
I remember waking up to your face over mine, and your horrible, horrible bad breath.
I remember that there wasn’t really a cure for that.
I remember that when I hugged you, you were as big as my whole torso.
I remember offering to babysit a rat, only to discover that you would be staying with me too. I remember wondering if you were going to be one of those cats that’s good with other animals. I also remember having to tackle you, football-player style – you were so huge it took my entire body weight to restrain you from eating the rat.
I remember you crying when I came home and went straight to the computer. You wailed and wailed until I went and laid down with you and covered you with a blanket and watched you fall asleep. You did this way too often.
I remember Christmas eve alone with you, eating a gingerbread house while you sat on the table. You didn’t eat the gingerbread but I knew you still loved me.
I remember when you learned that the best way to wake me up at 6am was to start scratching my landlady’s furniture. I wish I had pretended I didn’t care, because this became your favorite strategy.
I remember moving away.
I remember hearing that you live on my friend’s aunt’s farm, now, and I like to imagine you losing all that weight chasing birds.