Quiet moments. A steaming cup of coffee. Birds tittering through the open window as they feast at the feeder. Only the sound of my fingertips on the keyboard. It’s the weekend.

A moment of pause gives him permission to leap up into my lap. I wrap my arms around him, reaching beyond his fur to the keyboard to finish my thought. A gentle nudge to my chin and I’m reminded that he’s there, searching for affection, an ear scratch, some soft words.

I abandon my computer and turn my full attention to the cat in my lap. I stroke my hand over his head and down his back. His quiet purr reaches my ears, and I smile. “Who’s a handsome boy?” I ask in a whisper. He looks at me, eyes wide and yellow, and arches his back toward my hand, as if to answer, “Me. Of course.”

Ten minutes later, satisfied that he has accomplished the task at hand, he jumps gracefully from my lap and heads for his favorite patch of sunshine for an afternoon nap. My eyes follow him as he crosses the room, taking in the slower gait, the graying fur near his ears, the still slightly-shaven spot from his latest trip to the vet. My heart fills as I remember him as a kitten–vocal, rambunctious, curious, fiercely loyal.

I grab my camera, not wanting to miss this moment. It’s a rare occasion for him to be in the perfect spot with the perfect lighting, and I want to capture it on film. I snap countless pictures, changing the angle, softly calling his name. And he sleeps on, an unwilling subject for the portrait I have in mind.

I start wiggling my fingers near his paw, rattling toys above my head, tapping the windowsill–anything to get his attention. Finally, those two piercing eyes pop open, and he looks at me with disdain. I can read his expression as clearly as if he were speaking to me. “Woman, don’t you know it’s naptime?”

I ruffle the fur on top of his head and apologize. Then I lean in for a quick kiss. “I love you too much,” I whisper. And I leave him to his nap in the spring sunshine.

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