It’s spring. There are trees wearing pink lace even before they get their leaves. Birds are pecking grubs from the grass here. My partner’s cat, Pan, watches from the window.
Pan is a fat orange tabby, a 14 pound cat who seems largely unaware of his size. He sits right up against the glass, his breath making clouds on the window pane, and ignores the pink trees, and is held captive by the small creatures moving in our yard.
Pan used to be a cat that went outdoors. Before I moved in with my spouse-creature, Pan didn’t have a litter box. Instead, he was let in and out whenever he me-yowled at the door. Now, he stares out the window, his little butt wiggling in readiness for the pounce whenever those little birds peck, hop, and flutter close. It doesn’t take long for Pan to start dancing with the window, baffing his paws against it, halfheartedly attempting to lunge through it. He never asks to go out, now. He has a litter box, and running water to drink from. He’s off his kibble addiction. But I wonder sometimes, watching the way he watches the world outside.
I used to ride my bicycle everywhere. South Florida was a flat, flat place, and I am a heat resistant creature. All summer long I could ride for miles and miles. I rode from Aventura to Islamorada, 90 miles down US 1. It was a 34 mile round trip from home to work and back, and I covered them daily with my thin road bike tires. But now I sit indoors with a fat orange cat, gazing out the window because I’m bookended with steep hills, and down slopes all speckled with red lights.
It’s okay, Pan. I know how you feel.