A man has a cat for every lady love he's ever had.
| There are 17 cats living in Larry's basement. Or to be more accurate, the basement of his mother's winter home. Who was currently visiting family in Florida over winter break. Larry would have the house to himself till the children went back to school. Larry was more than happy to dwell in the peaceful quiet with just his cats. Each was special in it's own way and just as dear to his heart. For each of those cats stood as a reminder of a lady love interest from over the years. Oldest, and most precious to him, Cream Puff, at 15. Named in honor of his first love Nikola, a foreign exchange student visiting from Russia. Who also had a love of cream puffs. Hence, the namesake of his darling angel in the present.
As all things must, love came and went in Larry's life. His many feline companions a tribute to love come and gone over time. Also living at home still at the age of 35 wasn't a big turn on for most women he met. His mother, Irene, still held out that Larry find himself ''the one true love''. As his younger sister Joann had found in Geoff. Now with three whirling dervishes of their own, Irene turned her attention back to her eldest child Larry. There being just the two of them put Larry in the spotlight now. As his mother was adamant at getting grandchildren from him since she ''wouldn't live an eternity''; as she kept reminding him. She didn't except his explanation that his ''angels, precious darlings to his heart'', were all the children he needed. And led to much upset in the McCarthy household.
The cats provided him a certain peace that wasn't possible when his mother resided in the house with him. Being a job hopper himself, he didn't have any real work that required his physical presence. The holidays gave temporal employment that did little to placate his mother. Who stressed that she would not be guardian to his ''unhealthy obsession''. He couldn't bear the thought of giving up any of his precious cats to an uncaring society. That was something his mother would never understand.
The most recent addition to their happy group, was a true beauty in her own right. Cocoa Blossom. Named in honor of his latest love Michelle Lang. Whom he'd lost to Leukemia. A total of 3 months had encompassed their brief romance that ended in tragedy. At 2 years old, Cocoa Blossom had already been named by a shelter worker's niece when he adopted her 3 weeks ago from Heartland. Due to her dark fur and natural beauty. A local shelter not 5 miles from his mother's place of dwelling. It was all so very tragic, especially since she died at 26. Never had he gotten more involved with a woman than with Michelle. He knew that Cocoa Blossom would be the last cat that he ever had. His mother would argue that that decision was long past due. At 52, she was a force to be reckoned with and showed no sign of going anywhere anytime soon.
Currently Esther was enjoying his full attention. Yet another of reminder of a lady love. This one an art student with an exotic grace. She fascinated him and she dealt with him directly. Letting him know there was no place in her life for him. She left as quickly as she had come. Esther was a comforting presence even though her name was a result of scorned love. She knew how valued she was and used it to her every advantage.
Nearby, Jingle, a spry minx ,even at the age of 5, was contemplating knocking over one of his mother's Christmas plants. It would make such a big fuss and she loved being the cause of it. The most mischievous of the bunch, the McCarthy household never knew a dull moment. Larry fondly remembered Maxx. The little imp who he was infatuated with in his early 20's. His mother's displeasure of his latest choice of female companionship causing her no end of migraines. But it was a fond time for Larry and he would treasure his memories with Maxx as long as he lived.
Larry glanced out the window and watched as the snow made it's graceful descent from the dreary skies above.