Harris slid the box from under the cat's paw, mouth still agape, to open it.  It was a gorgeous ring, she would've loved it.  He'd saved for weeks, eyeing it every day in the jeweler's window: a thin band of fourteen-karat gold, pinpricks of sapphire set in the band, crowned by a flawless diamond.  The soft yellow sheen glowed in his trembling hands, the diamond capturing the glow of the firelight.  He clutched the ring in his fist, trying to banish the new tears in his eyes.

Instinctively he leaned towards the cat.  She nuzzled him, licking the salt from his face.  The touch felt oddly comforting, oddly familiar.  He looked into the cat's eyes.  They were beautiful eyes, olive green flecked with what looked to be aqua; kind of like her eyes, Harris noted.

He wiped his eyes once more, the cat looking on.  He sighed, almost laughing.  "I'm not getting rid of you, am I?"

The cat blinked and tilted her head, giving him an impish look that said, "What do you think?"

"Didn't think so."  Harris shook his head and stroked the cat.  As his hand traveled down her glossy back, he felt something under the fur around her neck.  Why didn't I notice this before? he wondered.  He allowed his fingers to follow what felt like a tiny chain, wrapped a few times around the cat's small neck.  Finally locating the clasp, he fumbled with it and let the chain fall to the floor.  The cat leaped gently to the floor, nudging what looked to be a necklace to Harris' knee.  She looked at him expectantly.

"Well?" her face asked.  "What are you waiting for?"  Slowly he picked it up.  It was a locket; not the traditional heart, but a small egg.  Opening it, he couldn't help but let out a small gasp of wonder.  Inside, on one side, was a tiny photograph of the two of them in a sunflower field.  He remembered that day, the warm sun, the smiling sunflowers, and her laugh.  Oh, her beautiful laugh!

He looked to the other side.  Inscribed inside, he squinted to read, "I have loved you with an everlasting love.  I have called you, and you are mine."

He closed the locket, clutching it close to his heart.  He sunk from his knees to sit on the floor, the cat curling up in his lap.

"I can't believe this," Harris mused aloud.

"Not much else you can do, is there?" the cat's eyes asked with a good-natured smirk.

The End

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