Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Cat Told Me She Was Dead
The cat told me she was dead. My mother. I looked into the cat's eyes. How would you know? I asked. And how would you tell me. The cat said again, She is gone. I waited, but cats don’t elaborate. The cat bit at its claws. It licked its paw clean. The cat shook its head. It blinked, then stared at me. I tried to stare back. But you know how cats are. They’ve had more practice. I didn’t stand a chance. Looking down, I saw that the floor needed sweeping. So much hair. I couldn’t remember when I had last mopped. And the dishes, the drainboard, the ketchup spilled inside the fridge. I wondered what my mother would have thought of these things. How had she gone so wrong with me. I felt her disappointment. And I felt the phone ringing in my pocket. The cat walked out of the room. It found a place in the sun and lay down. I looked at the phone and saw that it was my mother calling. From the other room, I heard the cat say, I wouldn’t answer that. Some things you trust your cat about.