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                     by Patricia Carragon

Someone left the TV on and forgot to feed Kitty. Traces of yesterday’s chicken and gravy sat in her tray. Through the open window, she ran down the fire escape, past dented aluminum cans, vegan corpses, and assorted debris. The trash had only rinds and bones for dinner.

Kitty saw a man lying against the recycle bin. Blood stained his chest. A gun laid next to him, ready for her to take. With the gun in her mouth, she traced her steps back to the second floor window.

When she returned, the TV was still on. She hoped to find her owner, but no one was home, except the noise. On TV, a man was selling cat food. His pasty face disturbed her.

A neighbor heard a shot. The door to Kitty’s apartment was left ajar. The cat food salesman was killed. A trail of blood left clues on the TV’s exterior and hardwood floor. More evidence led to the living room window and fire escape. The trail made its way to the recycle bin. A neighbor called 911, and the cops came shortly after.

Blood samples, including the garbage, were packed into plastic bags. The apartment was dusted for more clues. Neighbors were questioned on the missing resident, Joe Mellon, of apartment 2-A, a forty-nine-year-old white male who shared his place with Kitty, a one-year-old gray and white tabby female, also reported missing.

A few neighbors complained about the cat’s habitual escapades. They said that she wasn’t altered and her hormones made her hot with the local toms. And Mr. Mellon would insist it was unethical to tamper with Nature. His anti-social behavior didn’t mix well with people or animals.

As the officer struggled to write out a comprehensive report, he muttered a curse. He gritted his teeth when the ink expired.

The broadcast broke for the final commercial. The lab results would have to wait until next season.


                     by Patricia Carragon

Sleep. Is it a luxury or necessity? As my head moves from side to side, the question stays in rhythm. Sleep would be an escape, but I know it won’t happen tonight. Where is the cure for my insomnia? My intellect is a prisoner of its will. I bury my head inside the pillow. I communicate with body language and sound. I secretly read newspapers, books, magazines, and what’s on the Internet. Let the Bensons assume that I’m not on their level. Because of my anatomy, I can’t hold a pencil or pen. If I had a stick, I’d be pounding the keyboard. I wish I had my own Facebook page. I could make friends with others like myself, and perhaps, find love. Should I become computer-literate, the Bensons would feel threatened. They expect me to sleep, eat, play, and be happy. Ignorance is not bliss!

I’m locked behind concrete walls—the Bensons have this delusion that I would get lost, hurt, or run for president. If only I could speak, or better still, write. Others need to learn about my plight and release me from this hellhole. I know I’m not alone. The videos don’t always lie. What moody folks live on these premises! They debate non-stop, mostly about politics, sex, and money. If I try to interact, they would ignore me. They’re taller and stronger. My position is to serve and never resist.

My private moments aren’t my own, except when I sleep. My pillow is like a brick. My quest for sleep—now a nightmare. Sleep. Is it still a luxury or necessity? But how can I sleep when my mind is still in conflict?

Life is tough when you’re a domesticated cat.

Sleeping Furball
©Patricia Carragon Sleeping Furball