The Little Gray Cat Downstairs

There is a little gray cat downstairs.

The color of smoke and soot, the little gray cat downstairs has a small diamond-shaped head, defiant chin and yellow eyes. His expression is that of vague disinterest. Even asleep the little gray cat downstairs owns an air of nobility, like that of a king who deigns to let his subjects adore him.

The apartment belongs to the little gray cat downstairs; cat toys, cat trees, cat dishes, cat brushes and cat oddities are lovingly spread throughout his realm. In the windowsill, where the sun is most to his liking, the little gray cat downstairs luxuriates upon a yellow tie-dye t-shirt. While he may choose from his many toys, he often opts, instead, to watch the happenings from his tie-dye throne.

Above his perch are wooden blinds with a perfectly cat-sized hole (from an overzealous bird-sighting). When the blinds are down, all that can be seen of the little gray cat downstairs is his pushy and determined snout, leaving wet-nose smudges against the glass.

Suitably, the little gray cat downstairs is quite vocal and demanding. His vocabulary is a spectrum of sounds from the smallest of squeaks to the most insistent of meows. We have come to know when the little gray cat downstairs is fed – he announces it – or demands it. (We aren’t entirely sure.)

Occasionally, his owner protectively takes the little gray cat downstairs outside. Cradled in her arms, tangled in leashes and harnesses, his eyes widen in awe as he drinks in the vastness of the world around him. Should the king’s paws meet the ground, the little gray cat downstairs immediately walks back to his kindgom. He knows where his feast is fancy.

Demanding coolness, he whines until the front door is opened a crack, and there the little gray cat downstairs sits for hours, as the breeze ruffles his fur and scents tickle his nose. He watches with amused disdain as people pass by his kingdom’s doorway. Day or night, the door is cracked so the king may survey his lands.

Lately, however, we haven’t heard the king as often.

Lately, however, the door is not cracked.

Lately, however, the blinds are down more often than not.

And although the smudges are on the window, the nose that caused them is not.

And although the tie-dye shirt is still in the windowsill the king is not.

Although the world is still vast, it has grown a little more lonely.

We miss the little gray cat downstairs.

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