Loaner has grown very fat. She eats all she can, and asks for more. Perhaps she is pregnant. All I need do is glance out my kitchen window and I will see her sitting on the railing looking at me. Unwilling to grapple with the pet door, she waits to be noticed and let in. I wave, and we arrive at the same moment at the patio door. Her weight worries me. It might be that her owner has put her on a diet and so she turns to me or eats elsewhere. Perhaps I should keep my head down and pretend not to see her. As I think it I know it is impossible to ignore her.
One day I take it in my head to make a beef stew. All the good stews I used to prepare took hours of simmering that now seem absurd in my solitary existence, but this day I mean to have myself one of those.
Pinky watches the process of chopping, peeling, scraping, but when it comes to cutting the beef I have to flee around the counters ahead of her as I do when chopping shrimp.
I am going to show you, I say to Pinky, what a home-cooked meal tastes like.
As I dish out the stew, I set some aside on a plate for her. She sniffs, then turns her head aside and throws up.
Pinky, the food editor.
It’s a nice feeling. My story, “Tin Cans,” won first place in a contest at Dream Quest One, and a piece of flash fiction, “Here Comes the Groom,” also won first place at Scribejar. That makes 11 first-place awards over time. And my books are doing fine.
I went on a special tour of the East Bay SPCA in Oakland and brought with me extra towels I no longer need to donate.
We went from the new facilities, very streamlined, to the cats, dogs, and birds in their enclosures and as I expected it hurt my heart to see them there and being unable to take them home with me. I have been there too many times in the past when Tango didn’t come home and I went to see if they had him.
One little black kitten cried and came up as close as he could against the cage wires and I stuck my fingers through and stroked his little head. I almost cried too. Where I live now is no place for a kitten, who needs lots of space. Both of the kittens I had at the house used to gallop up and down just out of exuberance and energy to burn. My two rooms won’t cut it. And what will happen to it when I pass?
I’m still not sure it was a good idea to go on this tour. The pain lingers.