Before I open the door, I can hear Manchita’s faint barking as I walk up the stairs. I can hear him saying “Mom is here! Mom is here!” And with that, I take out my keys, insert them in their respective key holes, and begin opening the door.
Suddenly, he stops barking and prepares himself to throw himself towards me. Door swings open, and next thing I know, I suddenly feel a slight pressure on my thighs. His paws and nails are pressed against my leg as he stands up on two legs and waits for head rubs and looking at me through his long hair. And then, once his petting ritual is completed, he rolls on the floor uncontrollably on top of my shoes as I call out his name.
After a few seconds, Shinobii lightly cries out from the main room waiting to be released. As I approach the door with Manchitas following me, her cries disappear. It’s as if she can feel our presence getting closer. She begins to prepare her escape, and as soon as the door knob turns, she dashes out into the living room.
She doesn’t go anywhere in particular. She doesn’t hide or brush up against my legs. Instead, she waits patiently until I bring out her food and litter box. Once she sees me she suddenly collapses on her sides as if she had been struck. By what you ask? by a deep desire to get tummy rubs as it’s been our ritual since she was a kitten.
I put down the litter box and rush to kiss her tummy and massage her sides and legs. Then once she’s relaxed, she stands up as if nothing ever happened and proceeds to eat. Meanwhile, Manchitas has already flopped on the floor sleeping.
Their welcome home doesn’t last for too long, but I cherish it more than I ever thought I would. I’m not sure if maybe I look forward to their hello more than most pet parents, but their love fills me with happiness. They help me know that I can be myself regardless of what labels the humans have placed on me throughout the day.