What the cat will do is lose its mind trying to fit into the tightest, narrowest space. The cat will scoop dry food out of its dish with its paw and play with the pieces of kibble until they are dispersed all over your house. Sometimes the cat will eat these bits of dry food, but mostly the cat will leave the bits there to get stuck in between your toes. The cat will think your blinking eyes are a toy. It will pounce on your face while you are lying down reading. You will be startled and then say in your most serious tone, “No. Bad boy.” The cat will not be deterred by this and later, in the mirror, you will see your face, the one you recognize, except it will be covered in tiny bloody scratches. The cat will not be deterred from doing anything you try to teach it not to do, like jumping on the stove while there is a literal pot of boiling water, like digging the dirt out of your potted plants, like pooping in your potted plants. The cat will play with your jewelry while you are not home and you will know this only because you will find a single gold earring behind the toilet and then that strange little bump in the living room carpet will turn out to be your grandmother’s ring. You will not say, “I wonder how this got here?” You will stop wondering about things. The cat will steal wondering from you. Losing your things will be the cat’s most favorite activity. Losing your things will be what the cat lives for. In addition to kibble, the cat will trail litter throughout your house and you will find those tiny clumps of clay stuck to your butt after reclining on the couch naked. The cat won’t think twice about this. The cat will give you a new seasoning for your food called fur. When your friend comes over for dinner she will pull a strand of fur from her teeth and look at you with an uncertain expression and you will laugh and say, “It’s the special ingredient! You know, like love?” The cat will want all of your attention, but only when he wants attention. The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats, you know, and some cultures believe cats possess the spirits of demons. The cat is doing something bad right now, you can sense it. The cat’s mission: destroy. The cat will stick its nose in the flame of a candle and sneeze. You’ll think this is cute until the cat bats at the candle flame and the candle falls over and your house forever smells like a Yankee Candle. The cat will eat your shoelaces, then demand a gluten-free diet. The cat will snuff its nose at the Nine Lives you bought at the dollar store. The cat will make you wish you weren’t a cat person until that moment each day when he gets tired and sleeps in whatever crook of you he can find and your heart turns into an envelope: it opens, the cat climbs inside, and you are in love, unconditionally, you love love love the cat. The cat will turn you into a crazy cat lady. The cat will ruin your self-esteem with its constant rejections. The cat will reject you and then make you feel guilty later. The cat will mew in tongues you begin to understand. The cat will have the final say, the last word. The cat will have you wishing you were a cat. You will start sleeping the day away in polygons of sunlight. The cat will cause you to have an existential crisis: you are merely a cat trapped in a human body, right? The cat will turn the tables on you. It will be you crying for wet food, it will be you pawing at open flames, it will be you pouncing on people’s faces. The cat will lock you out of the bedroom. The cat will destroy your closest relationships. The cat will have you declared criminally insane. The cat will have you admitted. The cat will find a new home and the cat will claim it cannot visit you, because cats have better things to do. But you will see the cat sometimes parading through the institution halls. You will call out to the cat. You will say, “Meow?”
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October 29, 2021
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