It was my own fault. Start with the will of a cat (a chef in his former life), who shows a too-attentive interest in people food. Combine that with a cat-mom too willing to share bits of what the dear boy so dearly craves. From there, whatever shakes out in the relationship is nobody’s responsibility but her own.

Such was the case last evening. I’d never have guessed that a cat would show the least interest in pasta with sauteed garlic, shallots and baby bok choy–especially when it was being consumed on the high, narrow perch of the kitchen island. But then, I guess I underestimated him.

Too much interest, too close to the plate. A gentle nudge from me. Again. On the floor with you! Persistence. Repeated rejection, firmer this time. Cat face in the plate. At last I’d had enough. I shouted. He panicked. A good Riedel wine glass and its contents were suddenly everywhere, in a splash of wine and a shattering of glass.

I was angry, forgetting that it was my fault, after all. Clancy was upset. He hid. Peeked out from behind the door. Slunk around under chairs dejected. Looked as if his world were coming to an end. Until I settled. Then he was on me, so clearly apologetic, so earnestly eager to be forgiven, that I couldn’t resist. Here was a creature who only wanted to be reassured that he was still loved. I’m glad that this sweet animal has only a short memory for voices raised in anger. Anything longer would have broken my heart long before it broke his.