Miss Emma pads after me from room to room on her soft white feet, regarding everything I do, each aspect of daily routine—dishes, laundry, meal preparation—sometimes napping while I write or pay bills. She scampers after invisible mice up over the top of the sofa and back down while I cook dinner, yelling her throat yippee.
Would you say females are the same in every species? That would explain why she is most attentive when I arrange my hair and apply makeup, intent on memorizing each wrist action, arm motion and selection of appliance. I include my little girlfriend by combing the top of her head as a finish to my ablutions, proclaiming, “Pretty girl!” She likes me to say this, I think, hunching her back, pleased. “Look at pretty Emma,” I invite, picking her up, holding her face toward the mirror. She adopts an attitude of insouciance as only cats can do, gazing everywhere but the mirror.
Yet, when I am busy making the bed, I notice her seated on the bathroom counter, facing the mirror, assuring herself, “Pretty Emma! Pretty Emma Kitty!”