Smart Pets

She’s different now that he’s gone.

My bowl was empty all morning and I found her in the bathtub again. She was curled up in a ball like she was sleeping…but her eyes were open.

I tapped her face and mewed until she turned to me. Her eyes were empty and she made no sound, but I received a scratch behind the ears before she pulled herself to her feet. I wound myself between her feet as she shuffled down the hall, but she barely seemed to notice.

Back in the kitchen, I sat down next to my bowl to wait, but she didn’t pour me any food. Instead, she put the entire bag on the floor and left the room again.

Now I was torn… My stomach was painfully empty, and yet…

I followed her out of the room and saw her crumble into a smaller version of herself at the top of the stairs. Her eyes fixed on the door, I wish I knew what she was waiting for. I sat down next to her and watched the door, then her face, then back again. Nothing changed.

“Why didn’t he take me with him?”

The words stuck my ears and my head snapped up from where I’d rested it on my paws. She wasn’t talking to me, she was still staring at the door. I purred lightly and pressed against her hand, trying to make her smile again. The way he used to.

She didn’t even look down at me. She was still caught up in thinking about that night…

I remembered the bang…the blood…the flashing lights. I remembered the mean man with the shiny shoes…her crying…him saying “we need to ask you a few more questions.”

But then they cleaned it all up and they were gone and the two of us were alone. That was the only night she’d cried. But now she does nothing. She avoids his office and stares at the door.

I stare with her, but I don’t know what we’re waiting for.