Everything and Nothing: Love Story
Posted November 9, 2022
By Aïda Rogers
There are all kinds of love in this world, and the one I’m in love with right now is right across the street. It involves my neighbor, Sharon, and Fancy, her cat.
If you laugh I excommunicate you.
As happens with humans everywhere, Sharon recently found herself unwell. No prisspot or hypochondriac, Sharon knew to get herself to the hospital, something she learned she was wise to do. And there she stayed a few days to get better. And where she fretted about Fancy, herself unwell.
These two have been together about 15 years, when Sharon took Fancy after her neighbor died. She’s kept her fed and safe, especially from the neighborhood’s amorous three-legged cat, who lurked on the porch a little too aggressively.
Last summer, Fancy was diagnosed with feline lymphedema. No prisspot, Fancy resisted all attempts at healing. She disliked the veterinarian’s office and the people in it, and made visits miserable for everyone. Sharon, tasked with giving Fancy her medicine at specific times of day, had to fight to get the job done.
It was a battle.
But with Sharon in the hospital, it fell on someone else to administer the medication. Fancy knew her person was in trouble.
What transpired next is why I’m in love with this story. Sharon came home, not at her strongest but relieved to be back. Fancy welcomed her with a new attitude. She took her medicine. She quit hiding under the bed. Fancy, in her way, started taking care of Sharon.
“She’s been as good as gold,” Sharon would say when I asked. I knew Fancy stayed awake when Sharon slept.
These two are not the cuddly types. Maybe it’s because of their origin stories. Fancy was found in an Alcolu dumpster. Sharon grew up largely in a boarding school. Married young, she put her husband through college before she went after the marriage ended. She got her degree the slow hard way, part-time after work. She’s scrappy, and so is her cat.
So futile is this argument about whether animals have souls and if they go to heaven. Is this something we really need to know? Maybe children do. What I know is across the street a real and abiding love is making both parties feel better. What a happy ending.
Aïda Rogers writes from an old house in Columbia and a new porch in McClellanville. Her three-volume anthology series, State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love, includes stories by 108 Palmetto State writers.
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