Have you ever held a dead cat in your hands before?
It doesn’t feel like the cold hands of your partner in the January chills. It’s not dripping wet, nor is it very hard, like a wooden flooring or a marble kitchen top. Rather, your finger sinks ever so slightly into the skin and the fur until you feel the resistance. Feel the little fleshy bit of skin right next to your elbow bone. Now feel a cold leathery couch. Put the two together. Dead cat.
The feeling is so surreal and so unique that it will haunt you in your dreams. Cat, cat, cat.. dead cat. You will at various times wake up in tears, frantically searching for the warmth and the soft, supple flesh.
At random points on random days of the year, you will remember that blood-draining moment; the dampness you felt as you tried to lift an empty soul into your arms, only to rapidly let go of your grip in its unfamiliar stiffness. There are things that don’t ever seem to wash away on your hands and on the floor where it last lay.
Death is an odd thing. It’s an eraser that leaves a lot of blemishes on the white paper. The words you wrote are supposedly removed, but there are outlines, smears and black shavings all over the place. It’s dirty and ugly. You feel helpless, then frustrated, then resigned, then frustrated again, as you fail to find a different, better eraser.
I try to find dreams where the cat lives, cat. I try not to worry, cat. I try to think about how lovely it is to meet another cat, cat. I hate it when I see you again, dead cat. I wish you wouldn’t appear again, dead cat. Cat, cat, cat. Just cat.