Whiskers

WOn a crowded countertop adorned with a black-and-gold brocade banner, a clear jar rests among cast iron and black lacquer. The jar lid is spiffed up with a colorful image of fruit.

“I know the jar looks empty. Just don’t toss it or wash it out.”

“What’s in it?” Passing curiosity orders he ask.

“Whiskers.”

“What?!” He lifts the jar. His vision is changing so the jar does look empty. He tips it back and forth.

“Remember when we had Simone put down? You wanted a bit of fur to keep.”

“Where did that end up anyway?”

“My jewelry box.” It is a place he is likely to forget and I am likely to remember. “Cats don’t have much fur and the dogs are both short haired. So…I’m keeping whiskers.”

He glances up to give me the strangest look. “How will you know which is which?”

“The longest belong to the Maine Coon. The next and blackest belong to the Siamese. The terribly short belong to one dog or the other.”

He laughs. “How exactly do you find kitty whiskers?”

“All over. The bathroom floor, my side of the bedspread. And the dogs are easy. If I find it in the bathroom, it is his. If I find any others near their bedding, they’re hers or theirs.”

His brows scrunch, “What are you going to do with all these whiskers, woman?”

“I will make a leather bag with a drawstring, one for each of us. Inside will be these and similar treasures.” I am remembering all the mourning lockets through history with carefully preserved hair of a loved one.

He tips the jar several times before coming around the counter to hold me and kiss my cheek.

His own hair I have set aside, a memento from when his hair was long.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

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