Heads Up

by Aaron Sebenius

I didn’t name the cat, my dad did. But somehow she became my cat. She slept on my bed every night, curled up somewhere random, near my head or my feet. I slept on the top bunk, so I felt special that she made the effort to get up there. Her name was Meow Meow. Called such for the way we found her. She was a feral cat, living under a pile of construction debris outside my dad’s shop. Eventually, after hearing her pitiful cries, he managed to coax her inside and feed her. From then on, she was still a feral cat, but as close to domesticated as you could get her. Curled up, she felt so warm. A little too warm, really. Somehow, she got pregnant. Some other feral cat in the area, we guessed, but we had no real idea. But still, she would come up and sleep on my bed. Even when her stomach bulged with kittens, she would still do it. Something about my bed was a comforting place for her. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to something slightly wet near my feet.

I scrambled out of bed, being extremely careful while I found the ladder, and went into my parent’s room to get them up. The kittens were here, but I didn’t remember hearing them moving or anything. I attributed it to me being tired and having just woken up. “They shouldn’t be born yet, let’s go take a look.” That sentence will forever be burned into my memory. We went back into my room and woke my brother up as we climbed up the side of the bed to look at the kittens. But it’s not actually kittens that we find. Just Meow Meow and three small heads. Later, I discovered that cats eat the bodies of prematurely born kittens, for the nutrition. Still, I cannot forget my revulsion when I pulled back those covers. I think we burned those sheets. Had I my way, I likely would have burned the entire bed.

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