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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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Virtual Scenes


by Michael C. Keith


The greater cat with golden eyes

Stares out between the bars.


-Victoria Sackville-West

                               

 


Walter called his wife at her sister’s in St. Paul to confirm that today was the one-year anniversary of the death of their beloved cat, Moses.

 

“Yes, it was a year ago today, as a matter of fact,” answered Bella, thoughtfully. “Lord, it seems impossible that a year has gone by since he died.”

 

“Okay, well I was looking out of my office window toward his grave just now, and...well, I don’t know how else to say this, but I saw him. I mean, I see him right now. He’s walking toward the house.”

 

“C’mon, Walt, that’s not even funny.”

 

“I’m not screwing around. I see him. Hold on, let me get a closer look out the window.”

 

Walter pressed his nose against the glass and then stepped away, catching his breath.

 

“My God. It’s either him or his clone,” Walter gasped into the phone.

 

“How could it be him, for heaven’s sake? He’s dead, Walter. Are you all right? Anything the matter? Is this just another of your foolish pranks?”

 

As Walter peered out of his office window, the grey tabby moved closer.

 

“No...no! I’m not joking. It totally looks like him. He’s just as huge, and he has that funny curlicue design next to his nose. But I know it can’t be him. I mean... He’s on the porch. Let me see if he comes inside by pushing the screen door open like Moses did. I’ll call you back.”

 

Walter left his office and headed for the porch. But before he was halfway there, the cat he thought he might be imagining stood before him in the family room.

 

“Holy crap! Hello there kitty,” muttered Walter, stooping to meet the mystery feline’s eyes. “Oh God, you look just like...

 

Without any hesitation, the cat walked up to Walter and brushed affectionately against his leg.

 

“You are...I mean, that’s impossible. Let me check your tag.”

 

Walter took hold of the animal’s collar and nearly fainted when he saw the word "Moses" on the blue medallion that his cat had worn for all of its 14 years.

 

Mother of God. You can’t be Moses. Not possible. Just freaking not possible. But damn, if you don’t look and act like him. Maybe I’m losing my mind. Let me call Bella back and let her see for herself, he thought and speed dialed her number.

 

“Hello, again. Can you see me, Bella?”

 

“Yes, I can. You look like you’ve seen a ghost. So, did our dead kitty come back from the grave?” snickered Bella.

 

“He did. Look...”

 

Walter directed his iPhone camera toward the cat standing between his legs.

 

“Bet you can hear him purring, too.”

 

“Are you kidding me?”

 

“No, I’m not. Just look for yourself.”

 

“Look at what? I don’t see anything but the floor.”

 

Walter moved his cell-phone camera to the cat’s collar and held the tag close to the lens for his wife to see.

 

“There,” said Walter, confident that she must see it.

 

“There, what? All I see are your feet.”

 

“Now you’re the one joking. He’s right here. I can see him in the camera.”

 

“Walter, I swear, I don’t see anything. Just your slippers. What’s the matter with you? You’re really acting very strange.”

 

"Me, strange? What about you? You really don’t see Moses? I mean, I don’t understand. He’s right here. It must be Moses. He looks identical, and there’s his tag.”

 

“Did you take the pills the doctor gave you? Or did you take mine again by accident?”

 

“Yes, I took my pills. I can feel him...his thick fur, Bella. So I’m not just seeing things.”

 

“Well, I don’t know what to say. I can’t see him, and how could I? Moses died on this day exactly one year ago.”

 

But...

 

“Oh, wait...Oh my God! What is that enormous snake next to your right foot?”

 

“Huh? What snake? I don’t see...

 

“Run, Walter! Get away from it before it attacks you.”

 

At that moment, the doorbell rang, and Walter answered it. It was Frank Berg, his next-door neighbor.

 

“Hi, Walt. Just came over to... Whoa, so you got another cat that looks exactly like Moses?” said Frank.

 

“Oh, you can see the cat, too?” asked Walter, greatly relieved.

 

“Of course...and that’s great. But, man, why’d you get that python, too?”

 

“Huh? What python?”