Catbat

5 Jan

There were just a few animals at the pound that day. I noticed only one, the batcat. Or catbat, a kitten sized bat with the face of a cat. But not any cat. My cat. My cat who had recently left her tiny body to pursue other worlds, her ninth life having expired. I saw her everywhere, around every corner. Her meow woke me in the night as it rang in the center of my ear, like it was coming from inside of me. When it woke me, she wasn’t there. She was nowhere. But every time I walked into the house, the garden, the driveway, I expected her, I felt her. Every time every day, the disappointment of her body not where it should have been, filled my heart with sinking dread. When I found the catbat at the pound, I knew I had to adopt her. They handed her to me in a ziplock bag with an inch of the ziplock open for air. I brought her to the counter and took her out of the bag. This bag will not do, I said. They offered me a blanket to wrap her little body in. Her eyes were closed and I rubbed my finger up the bridge of her nose, like I used to do with my cat, the same little gray face. When I took my hand away from her face, just for a moment, the catbat woke. She leapt up off the counter and onto the floor. Someone was walking in and the front door was open. She ran out into the night. Catch her, I said. But I said it half-heartedly. I knew she had to leave. You can’t have a bat as a pet. Even a catbat. My heart sank, the way it sank everyday since my cat died. I let her go. I let them both go.

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