‘The Cat’ by Sarah Selecky


From The Walrus:

I am not at all surprised that my father has come back to earth in the form of a grey and white cat. It suits him. Though I do feel uncomfortable when I look into his yellow-green eyes. Those aren’t my father’s eyes — my father had blue eyes, with no yellow in them at all. Have you ever looked into a cat’s eyes and seen anything human? No. A cat has eyes like a hawk’s, or like a lizard’s. My father is no different: he has the eyes of a predator. His pupils grow large and black when he wants to bite.

Like all cats, my father cares nothing about me or my life. I always thought that if I had the chance to talk to him again, as an adult, we could discuss books, or philosophy, or the difference between speculative fiction and science fiction. I wonder what he would have thought of Oryx and Crake, for instance, or Joss Whedon’s Firefly. But no — he just wants to watch the birds and squirrels outside. He just wants me to put food in his dish every day.

In the mornings he is so eager for fresh food in his bowl that if I am late or forgetful he will swipe at me with his paw, claws out, so he can catch the fabric at my ankle. He isn’t malicious; he just demands to eat at the same time every day. It’s weirdly comforting to hear him crunch kibble on his sharp teeth as I drink my morning tea and read the latest issue of The Walrus. We have developed a routine together.

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