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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019
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Sara Abend-Sims
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia


Old Cats

You stop by the neighbour's fence. You laugh and smell curry leaves together. Your conversation turns to dogs and cats, to pets.

‘Yeah, great education in relationships,’ she starts.

‘Right. They don't have to be pretty or clever,' you say.

‘It's enough that they are yours. You love them because they are yours, you belong together,' the neighbour smiles, her face a synoptic chart.

'So, will you get another cat?' The neighbour’s green eyes twinkle.

‘Nope!'

‘Perhaps an old one, for good last years.'

You look at the neighbour, her large frame and the black Labrador by her leg. You linger on her gardener hand, long fingers busy scratching ears, stroking hide, loving.

'Have you been to the animal shelter?' she asks. 'Frightened furry balls in cages. They need a home and nobody wants them. They need looking after, they really do.'

She won't take a No for an answer, you think and keep quiet, meeting her gaze as steady as you can.

rugged tree
one foot follows the other
heading for shade

Away from the fence, you turn back to take in the lush green of her plants, the care and love between human and pet.

When out of her reach you mutter for your ears only, 'And who is going to look after me?'

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