This, originally seen in 2006 as this, when I used it to send best wishes of the season to my pal Judas Iscariot, is one of the cards I will soon be asking the world to spend money on for the solstice season. It's the first full-color stix! Originally I colored my skin sort of peachy, but that looked wrong somehow. As a stick figure I am paper-white -- and in reality I am not much darker.
My journal tells me that this Thanksgiving is the third anniversary of Attica's death. So yes, to get this out of the way, I am thankful that I knew her and that she was mine for as long as she was. I am even thankful, though they hurt, for those moments I imagine I am holding her. (In this imagined moment she is usually headbutting my face in that friendly way cats have. I can picture her extended neck and that cat smile of hers. And I can feel her so distinctly, her little truncated ears and the coarse fur on her nose.) I am grateful for this ability to love something so much. You might know that I sometimes wonder if I am a dour, Scroogelike person, suspicious of others, not very gifted at love. And other people are difficult for me sometimes. But I am not frozen in the middle like a microwave burrito. I know that because of Aki and Yuki and Melissa, those dear little rodents; and I know that because of Attica.
She died a few days after Thanksgiving, though the vet had guessed she would not make it to the holiday. I had been in California with my sister, gambling that Attica could last those few days without me, and when I came back she was very weak, but she made it to the door to greet me, the way she always had. She did not begin dying in earnest until the next day. I like to think that it's true what my sister says, that she had waited for me.
Here is a fantasy I allow myself. I am walking down the street and I see a cat. And the cat has frostbitten ears like Attica's. And she meows at me urgently the way Attica did the day I found her -- saying what I knew meant "Fix it," because she was hungry and freezing that day on Flushing Avenue. I pick the cat up. I say, "What took you so long?"