The night is my own. Others abandon the night, sleep through it. I live it. Except when I sleep during it.
I lay on the human’s chest, waving my tail over her face in a sign of dominance. I own her as well, except when she holds me by the neck. Then I can’t move. Everything is still in the dark bedroom.
You are my friend, whispers the dog from under the bed. She has been sleeping there for the past few weeks in an attempt to impress me. I am not impressed.
Something crashes outside. Something fell. My ears swivel, a reflex of a thousand years. My claws come out, a reflex of a thousand – wait, I have no claws anymore. I whack my tail against the human’s face. I own her, except that time when she had me declawed.
I venture outside and smell the air. Opossum. Or is it possum? I cannot spell –
YOU are my friend, the dog says as she follows me. She is panting loudly, too loudly for the possum. Opossum. I own the alphabet, except for –
It bolts across the yard, far below the deck. I spring into action, flowing down the wooden steps like a raging river. I own similes, as well. The opossum is a slow moving mouth breather. I catch it instantly, leading with my front paws, the claws that have evolved over thousands of years –
I slap the opossum with my warm little paws. Curses. The opossum turns on me, latching it’s jaws onto my shoulder. The pain runs through my system like venom. I open my jaws to scream.
YOU ARE MY FRIEND! screams the dog instead, as it charges the opossum. The villain’s jaws release as it scrambles over the fence. The dog, in it’s own way, snaps at the creature playfully, never quite understanding combat.
I limp back inside, curling up into a ball on the carpet of the humans’ bedroom. I bleed on the carpet. I own the carpet.
The dog wanders in. You are my FRIEND, she breathes, and she tries to fit my head in her mouth. For once, I let her. I own this dog. Except when I’m running away from her.