My mom made me have Holly sleep over one Saturday night,
and she slept all night on my cat instead,
and killed it.
There’s something wrong with your cat,
she said, pointing to his stiff body, stiffer than
any other dead thing I ever came across, stiffer than
dead birds, a bat in the alley, a skeletal fluff
of something near the edge of our street,
and some squirrels.
I didn’t want to touch him, not because he was dead,
but because I could tell his petrified, raised paws
tried to push her large body off his and
because I knew he had to have smelled her until
he died, all his breaths breathing in that smell,
until it rubbed off on his fur and he smelled liked her.
I still had to go to church. Everyone knew
if I wasn’t there, since my dad was a deacon
and also drove the Church Bus.
Dad made me sit by Holly that Sunday,
as if her killing my cat wasn’t enough.
She hummed a tune I didn’t recognize until
I told her she smelled like shit.
Melissa Moler grew up in Nebraska. She went to Pharmacy school but should have continued on after her BA in English instead.