On the freeway in bad traffic I ask Tano if he loves me because maybe near the on-ramp he'll be caught off-guard.

He says, "No. Still no. Sorry."

But this is why I know he loves me: because he had two cats that he didn't want but had to have when he moved in with Madlyn and she told him she definitely needed cats and he would like them. When Madlyn and Tano broke up, he told her she could have the dishes and the furniture if he could have the cats. But she said she absolutely wanted one cat so they'd have to split the cats. He said that was too mean to the cats. He said she could have the towels and Ice-T CDs and all their photo albums except for the one with the pictures of the cats.

She got the cats and he got the cat pictures.

And now when we pass a cat, Tano pets it and mews to it and squinches his eyes because he thinks cats think squinching means Let's be friends. And when the cat slinks away because Tano looks like a lunatic, he crawls around bushes and under cars meowing and then he gets sad.

I say, "Did you love your cats?"

He says he's not sure.

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