The Demise of the Other Cat

My dad won this movie poster of No Country For Old Men at a charity auction in Scottsdale. He asked if I wanted it and I said sure. I came home from a trip and there it was, professionally framed and elaborately packed. It was too big for any of my walls so I put it in my kitchen, leaning up against the refrigerator.

I planned to eventually put it on a wall, at least once I moved to a bigger place. But in the meantime, Knives developed a relationship with her own reflection in the glass. She would roll around on her back coyly, and paw at it. It was very sad, but kind of sweet. So we let the charade continue. We called it “The Other Cat.”

Then last week I was washing dishes, and it sounded vaguely as if a very large and heavy sheet of glass had shattered in the kitchen. Knives was nowhere to be seen, but indeed that is what had happened. Jamie and I just kind of stared at it and each other, stunned.

I lifted the frame carefully, and nearly all of the glass had fallen out, leaving a rectangle outline of broken glass. It fell evenly on top of the cat’s food dish, which shattered it radially into long spears of glass pointing to the cat bowl.

We carefully put all of the shards into a brown paper bag. Some of them were about two feet long. It was a very quiet, eerie process, like playing Pick Up Sticks with long, jagged blades.

The frame still had some big pieces of glass wedged into the border, and I had to pry the most menacing pieces out.

Knives hid for a while under the couch. She came out eventually, with a much smaller, narrower window to the land of the Other Cat. The next night she was playing with a bottle cap in the kitchen, and slid across the floor, limbs flailing. She plowed into the base of the frame and it came crashing down, again. She escaped before it landed on her, and went back into hiding. I moved the frame into my closet.

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