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Tuesday January1st 2019Tim Candler9

 

     It was after her breakfast, she'd runkled a couple of rugs, thrown up, leapt onto the kitchen counter, it's all part of The Kitten's usual exhausting morning routine and I was absolutely delighted when she asked for the front door to be opened so that she might let off a bit of steam in the outdoors. I calmed by self by giving consideration to the burden placed upon an Acting Primary Caregiver, the 'acting' part reduces the authority of the position in much the same way that a Temporary School master has no chance of controlling a detention class, they must be giggling in the corners of many a high office charged with administering our Federal Government. A brief news note caught my eye as I settled to a morning cup of coffee, apparently in faraway California during divorce proceedings pets are deemed to be members of the family, not property. The sneer that went through me was a wide as Pacific Ocean, the absurdity of such thing. Then around 8.30am I couldn't find The Kitten. The Girl Cat was on her colorful poufee, which is the snotty name for a pouf. But The Kitten's chair was empty. And given my momentary attitude to the class of Domestic Felines, I decided that in keeping with all other acting officers I wasn't going to sweat the matter. Probably about ten minutes later I went looking for The Kitten. On the short grass around the front of the house I saw a scattering of feathers. They weren't big feathers, they were someone's breast feathers, light to dark grey with a hint of brown on the tips. For one reason or another I decided they belonged to the Great Horned Owl the hoots of which, when they don't sound like a little cat wanting attention, can send shivers down the spine. I heard one a couple of nights ago, and might even have seen one high in the Shagbark Hickory. The Great Horned Owl is in the family of Eagle Owl, they have a wingspan of up to 5 feet and when a Great Horned Owl clenches it's talons you'd need 25 pounds of effort to force them open. A terrifying thought, and it suddenly became obvious that The Kitten had been taken from this world, the breast feathers were her last grasp at catlyness.

 

Past

     Nor is The Kitten a lightweight, far from it, wherever she'd been taken it could not have been far. I ran for the boots, tromped circles around the house, wider and wider. No sign! "Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord" and at the same time I gave serious consideration to a fully automatic anti aircraft weapon. Meanwhile I clung to the slim chance that The Kitten was in the barn or the studio, both of them alive with hiding places, and it's sad a fact The Kitten is deaf when she wants to be. Around 10am I was in the house, still looking. Nothing. "I have failed" I told the Girl Cat, who in a typical feline manner didn't seem to give a damn, a classically ruthless approach to loss. In my room I attempted to carry on, upper lip stiff. I herded Ladybirds back into their corners, opened the glue pot, cut a couple of bricks, did a little sanding, ended up just staring at N Scale, and there might have been a few sighs, the odd loud vocalization that often distracts the Girl Cat from her morning nap. Around 1pm I thought about Lunch, I unrunkled the rugs, wistfully I stared at The Kitten's chair, I noticed her bowl and I might have done a little loud wailing, it's all part of the correct procedure for mourning. But I just couldn't face lunch, I returned to my room, opened Nietzsche's Ecce Homo, another proper procedure for mourning the lot of us people, a brave book by a brave man who I'll still insist died because his heart had been broken by his understanding of how irredeemable our species was becoming and not of syphilis. Then, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the Girl Cat in my room. She's always silent, very polite, but she doesn't usually come upstairs until at least 4pm. I nodded at her sadly, but uncharacteristically instead of asking for something she settled herself to staring at and sniffing the piles of books and boxes under my bed where there are a couple of spots for a cat to hide during thunder storms. It's leaning down with flashlight work to see under there. In the beam I saw two wretched ears. When she was satisfied the Girl Cat returned downstairs to her poufee, yawned a bit, went back to sleep. It was worrying, very worrying, a little unnerving to believe. I guess my emotions are mixed, I'll not be speaking to The Kitten for a while, the Girl Cat is clearly a goddess of some sort.

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