Missing Cat. Description Within. Please Call If Found.
Editor’s note: My horrid brute of a colleague, DrWadata, has been looking for a cat all over town recently. I’ve agreed to share his, um, description of the cat in question with the understanding that he’ll subsequently stop pestering me about it. Any further inquiries about the cat can be directed at him. Thank you for reading.
Have you seen this cat?
Eyes change color.
Apathetic towards linear time.
If found, please return to the Logans.
The Logans are not the owners of this cat. Any human can own a normal cat in the sense that any ant can own an individual human. The Logans are just a pair of lonely people that met this cat in passing, though they won’t remember him if you ask them about it.
They had been arguing at the time, and Leyroy had found it dull.
So dull, as a matter of subjective fact, that rather than witness the normal unfolding of a devastating argument, Leyroy had chosen instead to perceive reality in reverse; to casually observe the un-destruction of a human relationship from bitter nothingness to a burning thing for which no one would apologize. At roughly 1.5x speed. (Leyroy can be impatient like that. Have you seen a normal, impatient cat recently? Think.)
“Then leave. But the kids stay with me.”
She was resolute. She was crying.
He was making motions with his hands and expressions with his face that might have given the impression that he was trying to physically imply words that perhaps he couldn’t properly articulate, or perhaps that he couldn’t bring himself to say. Or maybe it was a wordless argument that some words should never need to be said.
That’s a fool’s argument, of course.
Every word, spoken or not, carries the weight of its own importance,
this much is true;
Still, sometimes the act of speech is important too.
“I’ll just leave, how about that. Is that what you want? It’s what you want, isn’t it. I’ll go, I really will.”
Idle threats are the final refuge of the desperate. Or perhaps not, but such was the backwards thinking of a cat that belonged to no one, that wasn’t paying all that much attention to the order of things.
I only know that because when a cat wants a human to know something, that human tends to know.
Leyroy pulled his ears back to his skull. He un-hopped from the ground backwards and upwards to a dark green dumpster with a black lid that was positioned against the side of an apartment building. He sliced against the grating current of time with the nonchalant temerity of a veteran surfer fighting a tide. It was raining very lightly — a nearly invisible mist being drawn to an irresistible magnet in the center of the cold grey earth. The early evening was dark, and the sort of quiet that you can only really appreciate after that part of you that used to listen for the white noise of the lives of other people being lived in the distance begins to dissipate. Perhaps the fading of one’s sense of those sorts of sounds is a function of aging. Either way, that sort of self-centered deafness can provide peace to some in a noisy place.
Have you seen this cat?
He isn’t your cat. He isn’t anyone’s cat. His eyes are any color you can remember, and come to think of it, you can’t quite remember the color of his fur either, though you can almost recall a dark blur, like the space between blue and black, the color of a dimly lit and expansive universe, where you thought you saw a stray out of the corner of your eye. But you didn’t bother to turn your head to look for a few moments, and by the time you did, whatever it might have been that had caught your eye just moments before had long since moved on.
There was a stunted desperation — a bitter and self-centered proclamation of the unfairness of helplessness — in the way the man sucked the final bit of death from his third straight cigarette deep into his lungs before stubbing it out against the wall outside their apartment.
Adults throw temper tantrums too, but unlike those of children sometimes they’re quiet, and often they’re genuinely dangerous.
Her apartment, is what I meant to say earlier. Rather than their. The apartment against which he stubbed out the cigarette. Soon it will not be his apartment anymore.
“Then what do you want me to do,” he had asked. Not asked, challenged. He’d sharpened the words with his tongue and jabbed them into her flesh, and the attack had broken her skin.
Some questions are just pointy things with no real answers that we use as weapons against the people that we couldn’t bring ourselves to attack with physical violence, the cat supposed idly.
When a cat wants a human to know something, that human tends to know.
“That isn’t going to work this time,” she had already said.
A soft, sour pur was sucked from the air between the Logans back into the tiny lungs of a normal homeless cat, its eyes twinkling for no one in particular to see.
The Logans stood there for a silent, lonely moment that seemed to last for a very long time.
“I’ll change,” he had offered.
“What now,” she had asked. This was a question, legitimate if fragile, as opposed to the fine-tipped statement with a question mark at the end of it that she did not yet know would follow, would be used as a weapon, would break her flesh, would leave a mark on her soul that would never really heal.
Long ago and far away — that is, long ago as perceived by those of us that recall the cadence of time in terms of the relative subjective importance of passing moments, as opposed to the popular practice of viewing every second as an equal unit of time — when the Logans were very different people, when the destruction of their bond had seemed closer to impossible than improbable, before it had started to rain, she had said, very quietly, more hurt than he was destined to realize…
“…what do you mean by that?”
Before that fragile question, he had said something careless about wanting to feel free, and before that he had said something reckless, something about a woman…but he hadn’t thought of his words in that order, and he couldn’t understand a being that could.
“I was just kidding,” he had said.
“I love you,” is what she had said in the very beginning, is what she had said again a long time later, sometime before he did not counter with the words, I love you too.
Implications aside, sometimes the act of speaking certain words out loud is important, sometimes as important as the words themselves. He would learn that lesson soon, and the lesson would leave a scar, and the scar would fester, and become infected, and warped, and ultimately it will prove fatal.
If you see Leyroy, a normal cat of indeterminate eye color, with an attitude towards linear time that is at best apathetic and at worst mildly antagonistic, please return him to the Logans, because Leyroy isn’t possible, and the Logans could use a miracle right now.
Well, perhaps not right now, but certainly very soon.
Editor’s note: DrWadata is a bad person, and not to be trusted. Still, just to be safe, and if only to get the bastard off my back, the next time you believe you might have witnessed even the most subtle of impossibilities — the destruction of love, the distortion of your understanding of the order of things from a memory you thought you had etched into the back of your skull forever, a shimmer you might or might not have seen out of the corner of your eye that reminded you of a color that exists somewhere in the space between blue and black; the kind of thing you don’t realize you were thinking about until after the moment has passed — the next time that happens, please, as a favor, open your mind to the impossible, and keep one eye out for an impossibly normal cat that might have crossed your path.