The Look of Love
Odin is, and always has been, a strange cat. He does not care about food, he is not allowed outdoors so we don’t have the in/out battles that some cat owners do. He cleans the dogs and tries to clean my eyelashes. He loves blanket forts, and he has many routines.
One of his routines always takes place at bedtime. The dogs, hubby, and I, all go into the bedroom and get ready for bed while Odin stays out in the living room. Once we turn out the light and get settled, I hear the ticking of his feet on the laminate coming down the hallway towards the bedroom. He makes a few pigeon sounds then hops onto the bed by my feet. He saunters up towards my head to find out if I am awake—which I always am. Once he figures this out, he starts to purr like a monster. He rubs his head all over me and loops around to get at my hands. Now, although I can’t see him in the dark, I know exactly what expression he’s got on his minute face. It’s the one with the half closed eyes, ears straight up, tiny mouth smiling. It’s the one that means, “I adore you and I will love you forever and thanks for feeding me and buying me things and you are my hero”. It’s the look that means you will forgive your cat for keeping you up an extra half hour just for attention, and you will put off sleep until the cat has exhausted itself by rubbing on you. It’s the look that means you will forgive them for coating your pillow in fine hair that sticks to your face like glue. It’s the look that means when they settle down by your feet to sleep you will do everything possible not to disturb them. Whenever Odin gets “lovey”, I always hear that song in my head, “The Look of Love” by a million different artists over the years.
Now that I think on it, perhaps it’s a bit strange to lay awake in bed at night just to give your cat the attention it demands while “The Look of Love”—not in a gross way— plays in your head. But, if your cat makes that face, you will know how difficult it is to resist. Odin isn’t one for demanding love, so when he decides he needs some, how can I refuse? Those giant green eyes almost closed in adoration, his tiny cat feet prancing all over the bed just so that he doesn’t miss one second of contact, his purring almost loud enough to block out the trains that go by right behind our house. How could I say no? Even to such blatant manipulation from a cat. I have no willpower when it comes to animal faces. But beware, there is little difference between Odin’s “lovey face” and his “hateful face”. Only an expert could tell the difference.