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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nathan Alan Willoughby and How Love Gets in the Way - Fiction


Having grown up on the streets alone, Nathan Alan Willoughby was used to keeping his own company. His early months were consumed with digging through dumpsters for food and avoiding being injured by dogs, cars, and mean people. At the Westwood Rescue for Good Cats, he had plenty of food, and kept himself amused with the catnip sachets and balls with bells on the inside.

But now he had Edie. She was the Best Toy Ever. Nathan Alan Willoughby followed her every move. She was fascinating. Each morning, she sat down with her coffee and hurried through her crossword puzzle before going to work. Nathan Alan Willoughby knew by now that this was her last step in the routine before she disappeared out the door, gone for hours on end.

The newspaper was spread out on the breakfast bar. As Edie poured her coffee, Nathan Alan Willoughby jumped to the stool, then to the top of the table. Being a cat of great size, he couldn't make the jump in one fell swoop. He'd learned to manage despite that personal obstacle. Spreading himself out on the paper, Nathan rolled onto his back to lock eyes with Edie.

"Well, you're quite the little helper, aren't you?" She said, rubbing his belly. The cat's long blink let her know he was content. Nathan Alan Willoughby began to purr and make bread in the air. "You know, I can't work my puzzle with you in the way." Nathan Alan Willoughby continued to purr and paw at the air, rolling onto the top of his head to add to his cuteness factor.

Edie poked him gently with her pen, "C'mon, Big Guy, move back." When he didn't budge, Edie sighed. She looked at him a long time. Finally, she scratched behind his ears, putting her pen aside. "I chose you to love. Why should I pass you by for a silly distraction like a puzzle."

Nathan Alan Willoughby's purrs heightened to a fine squeak after each exhale, content with her decision.

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