Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Oktober the Twenty-Sixth: Cat in Mouse

 The title above is a working title; well, they all are, but this one more so. I have no idea where this ghost story is going, and I'm bummed that it's not done. But it's something, it's up here, and so far it's okay. Running towards the finish line of November 1st, we're slacking off a little here in practice. Better tomorrow!

 Peace, Mari

Cat in Mouse

By Mari Kozlowski

 One of the things you don’t expect to happen when you put down your aged tabby cat, out of love and respect for his pain and dignity, is for him to come back and haunt you every day and night.

 Sorkin wasn’t the best at living up to expectation, though… why should he be good at dying up to it?

 It took me a few days to catch on. A few days of having the empty food bowl I couldn’t bear to remove, at first, knocked over or upended. You see that in the morning when you’re too bleary to note the important details and you think you knocked it with your own foot, or the hubby did, or anything other than, “Hey, maybe my dead cat is trying to tell me something.”

 The splashing sounds I kept hearing were easy to ignore, too. I live with the world’s cleanest man: Bertram typically washes his hands a hundred times a day, and that’s when he’s not cooking dinner. The nights he cooks, you can add forty washings to the total.

 How could I guess that someone I had paid to have a hypodermic needle full of heart-stopping drugs stuck into had come back, thirsty as hell? I don’t think I was being dim, just rational.

 That stopped when Sorkin jumped on the bed the third night. He’d always slept on top of my feet in cold weather, and I loved having that extra layer of warmth on top of my blankets. Only this time, the layer wasn’t supposed to be there.

“Bert, get your feet off me. Too heavy.” I was almost asleep when I felt the pull of weight near my toes. Bert mumbled and rolled further away from me. I scrunched deeper into my downy cocoon. Then felt a scratch.

“Honey” I moaned to Bert, “your toenails are sharp… they’re killing me. Would you please move your feet??? I have an early day tomorrow.”

 This time Bert didn’t even mumble an answer. He was out, zonked, I could see. I lifted my head to check if there was a belt buckle or a blanket tag that was sticking me, and there was Sorkin, sitting on feet, kneading them a little with his paws. I reached down the bed to pet him and stopped with my hand just above his head.

“Sorkin?” I whispered. “Sorkie???”

 He looked at me, closed his eyes, and curled into a cat ball. His usual sleep position.

 I laid my head back into the pillow and closed my eyes, sure I was dreaming. And in a few moments I was. 

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