Writing Prompt: A Wag of a Tail

I intended to include a sketch with this post, but for some reason the email with it attached has not made it from my I-pad to my computer and both are quickly running out of batteries, so I'll post the sketch of Alfie and Waffles napping in front of the stove tomorrow. For now, here's the post. Waffles stares, so does Alfie. But when Alfie stares into my eyes I have the feeling she is trying to communicate with me. Her eyes are brown puddles of love. Waffles stares at me in the imperious way of cats. I have written that there is something decidedly feline about her. She is independent, her affection metered out on her own time. She stares and I wonder what she is thinking. She seems to be assessing me.

I have known Waffles since she was born, but she has only lived with me since August, so we have been getting better acquainted, figuring out where we fit in each other’s lives.  I love her, but I don’t know her. A few months after she joined me, I noticed something. She and Alfie were standing in front of me and I was talking to them.

“Do you want to go for a walk?” I asked. Alfie cocked her head as if to say, “What are you saying?” I said it again and her butt started wiggling, her tail started wagging. Waffles seemed excited. She jumped up and fell back down her paws whacking Alfie’s back, but she did not wag her tail.

I tried something else. “Waffles, do you want to play with your toy? Where’s your ball?” She stared hard and then ran off to get her toy, but she did not wag her tail. I reached down and pat her head when she returned. She tilted her face to look at me, still no wag. I tried food. Didn’t work. Waffles doesn’t wag her tail, I thought. And, I wondered was she happy. Would she ever learn to be?

Over the last few weeks, we have been getting better acquainted. She has started to stake her claim over certain toys and spaces. She has even been seeking me out to jump in my lap and give me the occasional kiss. Sometimes I think she is trying to escape Alfie’s insatiable play drive, other times I think, maybe, just maybe she really wants to cuddle. Mostly, she still stares.

Today, I found her in one of her favorite haunts – in front of the red Vermont Castings stove in the entryway. She sits in front of it and bakes, her black coat becoming too hot to touch. “You’re cooking,” I tell her, but she remains, stretching out and exposing her belly.

I decided to get down on the floor with her and pet her as I used to when she lived at her breeder Joan’s. There, she would sprawl out on Joan’s bed instead of the floor, but she always loved a massage. This time was no exception. The more I pet her the longer she stretched out. And, then I noticed it – an ever so slight twitch. Her tail was wagging. I removed my hand and the twitching stopped. I placed it back and it began again. “Waffles, you’re wagging your tail,” I exclaimed.

It was a tiny thing, almost imperceptible, but like a wave approaching shore, it gained momentum and caused my heart to swell. A tiny tail wag, but a big statement. My aloof little girl was happy and in her impenetrable eyes I finally thought I saw small pools of love.

Writing Prompt: When did you know you were loved (by person or pet, parent, significant other, friend, etc.) What were the signs?