Muffin by Maria Balbi
Last Valentine's Day, you brought home a stray kitten.
"Let me introduce you to Muffin," you said, petting a restless, tan furry ball. "It followed me from work."
Muffin reached out a gentle paw to touch your cheek. "See? It's love at first sight."
In that moment I knew trying to dissuade you was pointless.
Soon I discovered the cat loved you but hated me.
Muffin stalked me from under the bed, waiting to bite my bare ankles every waking hour, but purred at you every time you entered the house.
You enjoyed its kneading while I suffered its meows of complaint for not putting the balanced food in its bowl fast enough.
Muffin and I still don’t get along, but neither of us ate or slept today.
At the door, we waited for hours for you to come home.
I only went out to ask the neighbors.
Muffin went out too, to do whatever cats do when they leave the house.
At midnight, Muffin came back with your broken glasses in its mouth. It left them at my feet and pushed them towards me with its paw.
For the first time, Muffin licked my bare foot.
Maria Balbi (She/Her) is an Argentinean Psychologist living in Buenos Aires with a grumpy cat named Benito and a tendency to abuse Dulce de Leche. Her works were published in HellHound Magazine and Friday Flash Fiction. @alejandrabalbi9