She insisted on going outside in the bitter-cold rain; she’s perched on the porch railing just outside of our kitchen window. They’re conversing as he’s tidying up the kitchen. Apparently, she’s requested that he goes out in his slippers and scratch her behind the ear as she crouches in the cold. She doesn’t want to be outside alone. She can’t bear it inside, either.

She’s a tiny thing as far as tabbies go.20150320_220435~2 I rescued her when she was two from the humane society while my husband and I were going through a very painful time in our marriage. I needed a therapy kitty who could love me through my darkest hours. Did I mention that I had also just put my twenty-year old rescue down the week before our separation? So that.

I named her Libby, “Oath of God.”

They met each other two months after I brought her home.

He’s outside in his pajamas in the near-freezing temps. They are lovingly disagreeing on their current situation. She mews that she needs him to stay close. He says it’s too cold, but stays. She can’t jump down because the barbecue is positioned so that she’d have to leave the small dry portion of the railing to get back to the door. He picks her up.

He cradles her like a baby while telling me he’d rid her with a ten-cent shot without question. She contentedly purrs, paradoxically she’s protesting this show of….affection…? And so it goes with them.

He says no cats on the sheets. The same thing he’s been saying for the entirety of our 15 year marriage. 20150330_234125~2Sophie was never allowed. Libby looks at him and meows. He opens up the blankets and she settles into the space between us. Under the duvet, inbetween the sheets. She’ll sleep here for as long as she’d like, he likes the warmth of her.

He calls her fur-baby.

He insists he could live without her, that he doesn’t like cats.

But Libby isn’t just a cat here. She’s become a physical object of philosophical meaning. Libby represents an oath, a vow, made to me by God; she is a symbolic representation of a broken relationship, and one of hope. And yes. I know she is just a cat, too.

(To be continued…)

Part two