biovignette

the arrogance of cats

We whirred through the clutter. Tasted the salt-sour fish in fumed air. It leaked through the cracked truck windows, a pungent stream, and I told myself fish stunk back home too. With her left hand, Annalee shifted gears and signed to our Deaf friend. With the right, she yanked us about with authority, never unnerved by the Mario Kart obstacles popping up last-second in the street. We wove through doorhung health masks and hot-pink motorbikes ridden by men; sequined pillow cases and uncut walls of glass; beribboned school children eager for their bubble tea and soi dogs with flies in their eyes. Dizzy, I looked away, tired of signs and shapes, weary of new and not understanding. Then I saw the old man and his worktable and, plunked on top, a cat. A glossy tail looped her feet. Large eyes studied the paper he leaned over, on which he struck sums. And in the second we whizzed by, she—Sphinx-like—sat. A furry queen. Uncontested. Perhaps we may know the constancy of only one thing in this world, but in it, I find a certain comfort.

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