(continued from previous post) The cat’s name is Spuds. The old man she’d lived with thought she looked like the color of yellow Finn potatoes. He’d pulled her as a kitten out from under a bramble—mewing and shaking—on a busy roadside. He gently stroked her fur with large, rough hands, looked into her gold-green eyes, and took her home.
Spuds had a life of luxury with him: curled up on the rug by the wood stove in winter, lounging on a sunny perch on the screened-in porch in the summer watching red cardinals and blue birds. Spuds liked the old man, a lot; they understood each other. But one morning when she went up to his room to remind him it was feeding time, something was different. She jumped up on the bed and stood on his chest and peered at him. She could sense him, but he wasn’t in there his body. She called out to him. Then she saw him in her mind’s eye, and his eyes were dazzling. Then he receded and was gone.
Four days passed before anyone came to the house. By then Spuds had clawed her way through the bag of cat food and found that fresh toilet water wasn’t completely undrinkable.
People came then, many of them, people who had never come before. They pawed the old man’s possessions, argued with each other, and carried things out of the house. Spuds watched. A woman noticed the cat and picked her up, bangle bracelets clanging together, and put Spuds outside. Spuds sniffed at the air, then turned to go back inside. The woman blocked Spuds’ way with a well-shod foot. “You’re free now kitty, go away.”
Spuds looked for a long while at the closed door. Then she walked down the driveway and before turning onto the road, looked back at the house. The windows glinted empty and cold in the sun.
Ollie & Spuds will be continued