The collar never really meant much to me. It would just be an accessory. I thought of it as a fun addition and a welcome symbol of our relationship, but it wouldn't be the be-all-end-all. I was going to get one for Christmas and I was excited. I didn't understand how important it is and how much giving it to me means to Him.

But that was before. Now I'm not getting one.

He's right - I don't deserve a collar now. I haven't behaved in a way that respects his ownership. He deserves better, today and for the rest of his life. He deserves a Kitten who understands what his ownership means and doesn't lie, not even about the little things. I don't deserve the collar, not the way I am.

Now that I'm not getting it, I suddenly understand what the collar means. I understand the symbol of trust, because I have been untrustworthy; and honesty, because I have been dishonest; and respect, because I have been disrespectful. I am struck by a deep sense of loss and grief, that I have squandered all of my work over the past year, that He is disappointed in me. It is the disappointment that hurts the most.

I have to start to earn it back. It is hard when I am so grief-stricken over the collar's abortive loss. But maybe this will help me appreciate it if I do ever get it, and do everything in my power to keep it.

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