In the world of humans, as I understand it, love is defined by one overarching principle. -- As long as it serves one's need, one should by all means love. -- Having suddenly lost the favor of men, a helping human hand is out of the question, however intense the itch. That being the case, the only recourse that comes to mind is option two - rubbing up on pine bark. Thinking to go and do just that, I started back down from the veranda. It hit me though, that this was ill-advised, likely to render more harm than good. Allow me to explain. Pines have resin. This resin clings with the utmost tenacity. Once it's stuck to one's fur, let thunder split the air, let the Baltic Fleet be wiped from the sea, it's not coming off. Not only that, but as soon as it clings to five strands of fur, it spreads its grasp to ten. By the time one's aware of a ten-strand clump, it's already on to thirty. As a cat of refined taste, subtlety mets my favor. What I like least of all are insistent, pernicious, clingy, and unrelenting types. Endow the most beautiful cat under heaven with such character, and without hesitation I'd turn her away. All the more odious then, when it comes to pine resin. It's no less unappealing than the mucus that flows from Kurumaya no Kuro's eyes when the cold winds blow, and how dare it venture to spoil my light gray coat. It should really be ashamed. Evidently, though, it knows no shame. As soon as I press up and rub, I just know I'll get stickied. I'll suffer the blame then, for tangling with vile company, over and above the damage done to my coat. Itchy though I am, I'll just have to persevere. It's most disheartening when neither of two solutions proves workable. Unless I come up with something, this itchy torment may well be the death of me.