For Valentine’s Day, Bryan took me out for dinner to a wild game place where they serve not only the usual “exotic” meats of elk, buffalo and venison, but also kangaroo, yak, llama and more. I was told that the llama tastes like lamb (which is my favorite meat), so that was my choice. It turned out to be a good one.
As we ate, Bryan and I naturally started talking about different meats. And animals. And then pets. Bryan had every pet imaginable growing up, from hamsters to hermit crabs. I never had any pets as a kid, but I recently fostered a kitten for a weekend as I considered finally getting a furry companion of my own.
Bryan asked me why I would want a cat, so I told him stories of a stray black cat from my college years. That cat was skittish with everyone else, but sometimes if I sat cross-legged on the driveway, she would circle me several times, getting closer with each revolution, until she would tentatively step into my lap and curl up there.
I loved holding that black cat, stroking her as she nestled in the folds of my knees. Her whole body would vibrate as she purred. Snuggling with her made me feel comforted and loved. “Physical affection is important for me,” I told him in conclusion.
After dinner, Bryan surprised me with tickets to Cirque du Soleil. I had been once before, but it was in college, and only a few sideshows had come rather than the whole troupe, so I was ecstatic. We saw their Amaluna show, and it was fantastic! From the costumes to the music, the ambiance of this green-blue-and-purple peacock-themed production was as mesmerizing to me as the acrobatics themselves.
Bryan isn’t much of a hand holder, but for the rest of the evening – from our conversation at dinner forward – his hand was in the small of my back, guiding me as we walked, or on my knee, silently communicating his presence during the show. He wrapped his arms around me during intermission, and he kissed me sweetly at the end of the night.
As the evening drew to a close, Bryan hugged me to himself. With my head on his chest and his arms around me, he pressed his lips to my forehead and murmured in a sleepy voice, “Think you still need that cat?”
I smiled into the softness of his shirt. No, I don’t think I do.