I am small.
I am so small, I do not think my human notices me.
There are several reasons why I believe this to be true. Perhaps you can tell me if you agree.
The first, I understand the least. My human carries around a strange machine that lights up. It is also small, even smaller than I, but somehow, it’s always in his hand, where I want to be.
This machine makes him smile, like I used to, but sometimes it makes him cry, too. I do not know what to do when this happens. I don’t like this machine – my human likes it better than me now, after all – and I wonder, if it makes him sad, maybe he will like me again instead. But I do not want my human to be sad, and so, I offer my head for him to pat until he smiles again anyway.
Sometimes, this works. He will even scratch behind my ears until I’m sleepy. But most of the time, my human just pushes me aside, and I don’t know how to tell him it makes me want to cry.
I don’t think my human would want to make me cry. So, I can only conclude, if my human noticed me, he would not do this. I am too small.
The second reason, I am already sure of, but maybe you’d like to hear it for yourself, too.
My human likes to cover his paws with cloth and stiff things that get stuck in my teeth when I chew them – “shoes,” I’ve heard him say. Does your human have these? They are small, too, but somehow, he never forgets to take them with him. The cloths are fine, but the shoes are bad. I know what shoes mean.
I watch him intently when he puts them on; foreseeing what’s to come, I pace anxiously, toss my head about and whine. Sometimes I even yell. I try to tell him not to put on his shoes. But he never listens…he puts those horrible paw-covers on anyway, and when I chew them up, he even gets angry with me. He yells at me, as if I am the one who doesn’t listen, who ignores him when he calls for me, who rolls my eyes when he whines and reaches out for me. I would never do these things to him, but he does them to me, and it does not make any sense to me.
My human must not be very smart – he doesn’t see my confusion. If I were bigger, he might be able to see it better. And he would definitely not behave this way if he noticed me. There is simply no other conclusion. I am too small.
The third reason, I am certain of most of all.
Nearly every day, when he’s placed the light-up machine in his pocket, finished putting on the shoes, and eaten his kibble, he grabs a bag and a little thing that jingles – keys? – and walks out the door.
Can you believe it? He simply…walks out! Without me!
It is amazing. I cry, I bark, I howl at the very top of my little lungs. I stay on his heels, as close as I can get, and even spin in circles. But no matter how loudly I tell him how much I love him, how much I want to come with him, he leaves me anyway. He shuts the door in my face, as if I don’t exist at all, and does not look back even as I beg him in every way I know how not to go.
My human must not hear well, either. I watch him leave without me, from behind a force-field of glass, and I just know, if he saw me, he would not hurt me so.
No, my human would not do these things if he noticed me. It is incomprehensible to even consider. I want to be by his side every second of my life, today and forever; of course, he would feel the same about me.
Most of all, if he noticed me, he would not leave me. He absolutely, would not leave me. I am simply, too small.
Lately, I think I must have finally grown bigger.
Lately, he doesn’t push me aside when he has that strange machine in his hand. He pats my head, and barks something that sounds like “lonely.” I don’t know what this means, but it sounds like how I feel when I am alone and waiting for him to return with his machine and his shoes and his keys.
Lately, he doesn’t wear any shoes at all – his paws are only covered with cloth. My jaws don’t hurt from chewing up the stiff shoes anymore. I don’t cry, and he doesn’t yell, and we spend a lot of time staring at a really big machine that also lights up. This machine really mystifies my human. He will stare at it for hours without moving. The machine is very loud, and it sounds like a bunch of random barking, but it is better than him putting shoes on.
And lately, most importantly, he does not walk out without me. In fact, he does not walk out at all. The jingling keys don’t move, and I don’t have to watch him forget me from behind a glass force-field. Instead, when I am at his heels, he turns around. When I tell him how much I love him, at the very top of my lungs, he crouches down to my size and lets me run into his arms.
This is not all. When I cry, he pets me. When I beg, he gives me snacks. When I howl, he joins in like we are a pack. And he not only scratches behind my ears, but also on my tummy! I get so sleepy, I fall asleep in his lap, and he lets me, like he did when I was even smaller than I am now.
Best of all, I do not have to wonder if he will ever come back, because he never leaves me. Even though my human isn’t very smart, and can’t hear very well, I am finally big enough that it doesn’t matter…he doesn’t forget me. He notices me, at last.
I am worried that this is a dream. I have those sometimes, too. I get scared when I think about this.
But it certainly feels real, and surely, a dream could not last so long.
Whether it be a dream, or reality, I do know this; right now, my human no longer forgets me, and I will, with every strand of fur on my body, and every whisker on my nose, cherish every second.