The Offing: A Menagerie of Strays

1024px-Alexander_and_some_other_cats_(1929)_(17762010100)
Alexander and some other cats By Internet Archive Book Images, via Wikimedia Commons

My partner trails me up the hill, both of us weighed down with sacks of groceries, the plastic handles pressing into the flesh of our palms. We are halfway home when I see it: a blur of black fur skittering across the driveway and into the hedge. The thing is wounded — I can tell by her gait. I stop. I set down my grocery bags and peer into the hedge. Partner watches from the sidewalk, her hands in her pockets, her buzz cut hidden by a knitted hat with a ridiculous pompom. She tells me what to do. “Get as low as you can,” she shouts, but I am already crouching. I try to get even lower. Her body casts a long shadow that bends on the curb and spills onto the street.

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