I picked up my old kitty cat. She’s 19 now, my constant childhood companion, and so feeble and slow that it’s hard to recognize her as the sleek black shadow the vet once called “the fittest cat I’ve ever seen”. I’m home, but things are different, just a little different, and I don’t really fit here any more, and I don’t know how many times I will get to say goodbye to my cat again. I picked her up, and this song began playing, and I just started to cry. She’s so old and hates being picked up, is sensitive about where she is touched, but she curled her claws into my shoulder and started to rumble her tiny purr and looked out the window at the snow with me while I stroked her, her green eyes reflecting the light in a way I couldn’t see her cataracts, and it was just like I was fifteen again and we would be going out to explore summery woods, her little ears flicking as she pretended she wasn’t following me. Tears running down my cheeks, and I know part of it is the stupid song, Bon Iver way too good at touching my emotions: I cry under a hands’ count every year, it’s not much, but fuck, tears rolling down my cheek. Home is such a complicated thing. It is good and it is sad and whether a place or a thing or a person or a combination, nothing remains constant, and death and change are inexorable inevitabilities that can be so wonderful and so cruel. Even in the midst of a wonderful, joyful rest, with a family I love, moments like this come. Christmas and Home even for someone so lucky as I am are never simple, never easy, and I wonder if I will ever be able to create that Home for myself the way it is here, with my mum, and this dying cat.