The crackle purr of my cat while she sits on m lap is like heroin in my veins. I melt in the stillness of her presence. She kneads my leg, pulsing arthritic paws rhythmically across the furry blanket that covers my legs. I imagine she dreams of the mother who gave birth to her in the hollow of the dead tree on new years day in 1999. Her belly meant warmth, comfort, and love. I am that mother to her now, though she’s a 96-year-old lady. Her hip bones protrude through scraggly hair that is worn from too many days curled up on a heating pad trying to stave off the pain of living. She could just stay on the heating pad and let the cloth-covered electric glow bring soothing dreams of bliss, but she never does this. As soon as I sit she perks up and stretches limbs that are never limber. Then she cowboy walks over to me like she’s ridden one too many horses. She imagines the jump five times before acting, her paws flinching with rehearsal before making the leap. These daily bounds into my lap are a part of her being alive. Each bound means love, warmth, and another moment to live in soft dreams.