The Crimson White

I’m not lonely. I have a cat.

Erin Mosley

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Last night, I needed to clear my head, so I decided to take a late evening stroll through downtown Tuscaloosa. Who am I kidding? I was bar-hopping. Nevertheless, the Alabama night was brisk and clear. As I walked the streets of downtown, I could sense something in the air. Cigarette smoke? Maybe the dump behind De Palmas? Neither of those seemed to be it.

Unable to place my finger on it, I continued to my next destination.

It seemed that everywhere I went, men and women paired off in twos, clad in suits and high heels, laughed and gazed the way they do in pictures. They were merry people, perhaps some were in fact married. “Odd,” I thought and shrugged it off. I continued to wander and wonder.

Suddenly, it struck me the way I could only assume Cupid strikes the rest of the population. Valentine’s Day, I remember. Of course. The stench in the air wasn’t smoke – it was Hallmark romance and See’s Candies. They were drunk with love – I with my infused vodka.

Feb. 14, on this national day of love, while all of Tuscaloosa brunches with their loved ones, I am Face-Timing mine – my cat, Pippin.

Pippin is a great guy. Or I suppose he would be a great guy if he were human. He’s handsome – a brawny ginger with hazel eyes, and a total dream boat. Somewhat on the short side, Pippin stands just at 9 ½ inches tall. What he lacks in height however, he makes up for in his magnetic and charming personality.

He laughs at all of my jokes, and sometimes we stay up late at night discussing the upcoming election, whether or not tuna is better than salmon and if the effects of catnip are stronger if ingested or smoked. It’s for medical purposes, he tells me. He says, at this point, it would just be nice if catnip were legalized in all fifty states and that he’ll vote for whoever can make it happen. I’ve told him that there are more important issues like healthcare and immigration, but he seems content with the ‘nip and six-hour naps in the middle of the day. I guess we all have our flaws.

The best part about Pippin is his honesty. He’s never played the games that other guys have. The games he does play typically involve a ball of yarn, not my heart. If he doesn’t want to come when I call, he just stares and then nonchalantly says, “No, I don’t feel like it.” It’s a rather icy response, but better than excuses and constant rescheduling. Some of us have valentines and some of us have cats. And sometimes, cats are better.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Erin Mosley is a junior majoring in studio art and German. Her column runs biweekly.

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I’m not lonely. I have a cat.