When Loui Falls Over
We met him the day he was born in my closet, on a black bath mat, with his two black siblings, sleeping with his black mother. It was a mass of black fur, difficult to differentiate in the darkness of an unlit closet. The only difference between Loui and his brother Kimba is that Kimba has a patch of white on his belly. They both have bits of white on their chests. Their little sister was really tiny, and black – so we could always tell them apart.
Loui plays poker at night while we are sleeping. He smokes cigars, likes jazz, and eats too much dessert. He makes friends with the neighbors. He has one special neighbor who feeds him morning and night. Loui sleeps on her back porch where she keeps a nice, soft, lounge chair available for him. He is in her driveway every evening when she gets home from work. Loui has his own dish at Lynn’s house.
For a guy who never talks, works, or does the dishes, he has made a good life for himself. In his younger years, he hiked in the woods, climbed trees, and played with his siblings at his hunting lodge in the country. He suffered a few major injuries, yet managed to pull through perfectly. He has been surrounded by love and affection, and has always given it back
A common site on our back patio is Loui, fast asleep in the warm breeze, perhaps a fallen leaf or two resting somewhere on his body. We also find him in this position in the middle of the garden, the yard, our living room floor, the driveway, or the kitchen. He looks as though he has just fallen over – plop. His feet are in mid-stride, tail trailing behind while he dreams big and long. He is my perfect reminder to take it easy, to rest when tired, to eat when hungry, and to be friendly with the neighbors.