Friday, March 24, 2006


Chasing Sally I've fallen down a dark rabbit hole where I spend sundown haunting the 13th-century streets of our village, a ghost hybrid that doesn't say "boo." I'm infectious: Going into a bar for coffee, I heard the two barmen begin meowling too. Occasionally, ancient female spirits join me. Led by Madame Bardella, saint mother to cats lost or abandoned, we go on our tours when the world turns gray, our beacon her hair dyed magenta.

Alone I go to church grounds. Once in the chapel of gray penitents, I thought I'd found the errant juvenile, but her tail had grown two centimeters and there was a patch of white on what should have been an all-black neck. Still I was staring, willing this beast to transform into mine. "See how it raises its legs to pee," cousin Sylvain suddenly came up behind me. It can't possibly be Sally, because this one's a he.

Exactly one week after her little sister disappeared, on the same day and the same hour, our other cat Dolly went out the cat flap and wasn't seen again. The witches had returned hunting for meat for their cauldrons. Fortunately wise and quick, Dolly managed to jump off the broomstick and fly across the moon, landing back in my garden on the twentieth hour.

I am still hoping for the best, convinced that someday soon, Sally will walk right in through our lavender gates, bruised from her adventures but happy to be home. This despite knowing that many other cats have not made it. A new friend who lives two streets away told me that she lost two felines in one year, a mother and her son. That's nothing compared to our blonde neighbor.

We managed to track her down yesterday. Her gray-and-white male had been pissing in our home, and we demanded to know if the horny bachelor was keeping hostage our little girl. She said not at all, but she'll be keeping her eyes open. Then she warned us not to hope. The woman's lived here six years, and from a total of thirty cats, she's lost twenty-four.

I'd die. So yesterday Dolly was cut up and her ovaries removed. In exchange for protection, we offer her innards to the cat goddess Bastet.


mcsister said...

oh, oh dear Apol. How very sad! I am still hoping you find Sally. But did you really offer up Dolly's ovaries?

apol said...

Yep, she was sterilised... bye-bye, babies for my baby