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02 April 2013

Naanaa's story (part one)

This is the rest of Naanaa's story. Parts of this might be fictional. 

[I never told Bear what had happened. He was only six years old. I couldn't explain it to him. When he asked where Naanaa was - why hadn't the sleek cat been in his favorite perch for days? - I said I didn't know. He must have gotten outside, and just not come back in. Maybe he was off having some marvelous adventure. Maybe he was hunting the jackalopes.]

"What would happen if he caught one?"
"I don't know, Bear. What do you think he would do?"
"I think he would ask them why they have horns."
"Maybe he would."
"Well I hope he comes back. I miss him."
"So do I, little Bear."

The sparrows in the yard make his tail twitch, to and fro, just the tip. The window is spotted with tiny cat nose-prints, but Naanaa doesn't seem to notice that. He's peering through, right between the dogs' prints and his own, until horse hooves send the birds scattering and Naanaa's golden gaze dims, suddenly bored. He splays his front feet and leans back into a deep belly stretch. Then forward, stretching the back legs daintily. Two silent hops and he's off the back of the couch, trotting across the carpet. There's chaos in the dining room. Mom is trying to get Boy cleaned up, loudly. There's cereal on the table. The back door is open, the path inside marked by dirty footprints. Naanaa slips outside while backs are turned.

Every thing out here is stolen ground. They haven't lived here long, and Naanaa still meets the occasional interloper trying to claim Naanaa's new territory. He circles the house, then the shed. No new activity there, so he jogs across the pasture to the outer fenceline.

Something scurries under the soil; Naanaa pauses, sniffs, and lowers himself to the dirt. Pantherine, he stalks the sound of a pocket mouse, but the mouse stills and the scent is too elusive. Naanaa moves on unfazed.

"I swore I heard him last night. You know how he would always try to sleep on my face, and I had to lock him out of my bedroom? It was like he was purring right there on my pillow next to me. But he's gone. I know he's gone. His bones are on my altar."
"I don't know, Katy. Maybe he is still there."
"... Maybe."
"That would be good, wouldn't it?"
"Yeah, it would. I miss him. So does Bear."
"I still can't believe your mom."
"Me either." Pause. "Well, actually I can. She's like that. But it still hurts."

1 comment:

  1. Soul living in the bones. Uncanny...