In closing the front door, I inadvertently shut the back half of the cat between the door and the jamb. She screamed in protest. Her tail puffed out to resemble a bristle brush (a foreign object to me, but I had heard rumors of their existence for the purpose of toilet cleaning). I went back inside. Amber didn’t even look up. I remembered I hadn’t fed Chuckles in three days. The cat looked around sullenly, first at her empty food dish, then to her dry water bowl. She started licking her bruised tail. Amber looked up. “I’ll feed her.” She slid her chair back and went to the cupboard. She shook the bag. “Maybe another three days.”
Or, a week, by my measurement. The cat was on a diet. The I Haven’t Made it to Pet/Smart yet Diet. I went to the cupboard above my filthy sink and opened a fresh can of tuna while Amber doled out the dry. We placed the bowls in front of her royal highness. The cat scarfed down the tuna in the time it took me to look back up at Amber.
Amber looked at the filthy sink and then back at me. I nodded.
“It’ll cost you.” She smiled at me.
“The Snickers are in their usual place.”
I fished in my pocket once again for my keys. “I’m locking you in.” I headed for the door. She waved, not looking up from her paper, deep in concentration, pen stuck in her mouth in anticipation of a viable thought, followed by the motion of writing.
. . .from the forthcoming novel. . .Dreamers on the Rise