True Love

by Anthony Levensalor

I like things that can't think. Well, not the way we think, anyway. I like creatures who don't try to rationalize things; I suppose that's a better way to say it. The 'lower species' never judge me, never ostracize or berate me. They love me because of a pat on the head, or a little treat, not because of what I drive, what I wear, or my stance on partial-birth abortion. Cats, dogs, and babies really know what love is all about.

People are too damn rigid, if you ask me. They spend all of their time trying to rationalize why they don't like someone, and they forget that you don't need a reason to love, you need a reason not to.

My cat watches me shower, take a piss, shave, and cut up a body with the same expression, the one that just says "I don't care what you're up to, I love you." He gets a little wild-eyed when the gun goes off, but I'm pretty sure that's just the noise, not anything personal against me.

He love the scraps I feed him, whether it's liver or a little piece of lung. You have to be careful with lung, though; it goes bad quickly. Once a hunk of lung has turned over, not even Felix will touch it.

Isn't that a great name for a cat, Felix? I always give my pets human names. They deserve that much consideration, with all the love they give. I hate it when people name their cats Fluffy or Moonshine, or Nugget. Those aren't names, they're adjectives and nouns, respectively. Sometimes I think I only have a cat because I'm afraid to have a kid, but I really want something to name. I couldn't have a kid with any of the girls I date anyway; they can't even defend themselves against a hatchet.

I need a girl who can teach my son to defend himself against your basic, run-of-the-mill hatchet attack. And I don't think that's asking too much from a mate. Most girls just get all panicky or even faint dead away at the first sight of a sharp object covered in blood. Sillies.

Ah, but I digress. I was talking about Felix. He's a great cat, he really is. Sometimes, he crawls under the covers and nuzzles me late at night, and he even cuddles with me when I'm crying, rubbing his face all over my head while he purrs. He listens to everything I say, and he never bolts for the door screaming and bleeding. He's really very level-headed.

Maybe I could adopt a baby. I've heard that it's expensive to adopt, though, and it can take a really long time. There's all kinds of tests you have to pass, and I don't know if they would give me one while I am out of work. The factory just isn't the industrial powerhouse it used to be, and I only get enough from my girlfriends to barely cover the expenses in my two-room flat.

I've heard that babies are a lot of work, but I think I would be up to the task. It couldn't be much harder than having Felix, I'm sure. You have to remember to feed a cat, and you have to remember to feed a baby. You have to clean the poop out of the cat's litter box, and you have to clean the poop out of a baby's diaper, too. It's almost the same thing, really. I bet you can even use the diapers again, just like the litter.

Boy, if I had a baby I could have unconditional love without having to conform to all of humanities stupid little social rules. I mean, it's pretty unrealistic to ask a man to wear clothes all the time, even in the summer. It gets really hot, and I can't stand it when I get sweat on my clothes. The only thing worse than that is blood, and it's easy to was blood and sweat off your body, but really hard to get it out of clothes.

My baby would be named Oscar, and he would be awesome. We'd spend all day lauighing and playing on the floor, and he would giggle and do cute little baby things all the time. He'd never panic and beg, or try to knock me down and take the keys to unlock our door, which locks on both sides. I would never have to cajole him or bribe him to play with me, like my girlfriends, and we would be best buddies.

Isn't that funny, that I would name my baby Oscar? It's like the old TV show, where those two guys lived together, and one of them was really cool, but the other guy was a total knob. My cat and my baby could be like old TV show, except my cat wouldn't be human, and my baby wouldn't be a guy, just a baby. And I would be there, and I don't think anyone else lived with the two guys on the show. They would have the right names and be living together, though, and we could act out scenes from the show when we stayed up late watching Nick at Nite.

Sometimes I wonder if I should get a puppy instead of a baby, though. Dr. Dinsmore says I have to be careful around people, especially tiny little babies. He says people break really easy, but I already knew that. I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but I know a little bit about how easy people, especially girls, break. I think Dr. Dinsmore doesn't know as much as he thinks he does, sometimes.

Did you know some people can hold their breath for, like, ten minutes? One of my girlfriends held her breath for nine minutes and thirty-two seconds one time. I know that's only a little more than nine and one-half minutes, but I like to give her the benefit of the doubt and round up. If I hadn't gotten tired of the game and shook her a little bit to make her breath, she probably would have lasted like eleven minutes, or something. She had really good lungs, that one.

I don't know, they say babies grow up really fast, too. Once Oscar got to be old enough to start ridiculing me and talking about how I 'wasn't right' and how 'nervous' I made him, I'd probably have to replace him. It's a lot harder to find a baby than it is a cat, and I don't even know if I could get enough to always have a little baby around to play with.

Oh, hi, Felix! Are you hungry, little fella? Oh, ok, no problem. You know I can't say no when you're all cuddly like that, you big furball. Hey, what would you think if I brought you home a little brother, Felix? Maybe a nice, happy baby brother, what do you think? Hmm? No, I wouldn't get mad if you scratched him, as long as it was by accident, and only a little bit, okay?

Alright, alright, I'm going. What are you in the mood for, lungs, liver?

Liver it is.

~A! 6.28.2004

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