It was the cat mural that did it.
I’d never seen anything so beautiful, so vibrant. The artwork was in progress when I came upon it, when I came upon her. There she was, conjuring magic on the sidewalk, very early on a sunlit morning, with nothing more than a few spray cans of paint at her side. It was mesmerizing. I stopped to take it all in, but she didn’t notice me, or anything else that was happening around her. No, she was absolutely engrossed and she juggled her spray cans in a spectacularly fluid dance, her arms, her hands seemed to have a life of their own as she twisted and spayed bands of bright color onto the fence. In a few sweeping movements she had transformed the city park’s dull gray perimeter into a stunningly beautiful scene.
But, it was the subject of the painting that was so arresting. She was painting cats, cats with soulful shining eyes, cats! So many different and exquisite cats and, oh my, I simply adore cats. The thing is, that they weren’t just ordinary cats either, they were so special; no purebred Siamese for my new found female Picasso, no, these were cats of mixed features, tails that curled over their backs and spiky ears that stood alert as if they were listening to the footfall on the sidewalk they adorned. It was fantastical, weird, but so perfect.
...and then I really looked at her; I took in her tiny frame, her delicate hands, her wild hair. She was out of breath it seemed at that moment, because she paused, surveying her work as if suddenly aware of it for the first time. She twisted her head around, and I got the full view. Oh my, not only was her artwork gorgeous, she had a fragile look about her, as if she were kind, as well as beautiful and extraordinarily talented.
What more could a boy of my circumstance possibly want.
But, you know, not all people, even if they look the part, are what they seem to be even if they’re talented and as clever as she most obviously was.
For me it was really a case of love at first sight, but before I offered myself to her, unconditionally, I had to test her.
I sidled up, as close as I could, while still leaving a possible and gracious exit route should things have gone wrong.
...and then she saw me. I held my breath, an obvious quiver of fear shook my body. I can tell you I've been chased off more times than I can count. Lord, I was hoping…
But, she bent down to my level, I could even see the paint under her fingernails.
“Oh, you poor little thing.” She cried. “Come here you beauty, come on kitty, kitty don’t be shy. I’ve got ham in my lunch box, come on I don’t bite…”
Well, she took me home, and the rest, you know, is just history...
Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️💕