It was last Saturday that I saw that dead black cat on Targee St. and became haunted by the thought it might be Puss.
My worse fears were apparently confirmed over the next few days –there was ABSOLUTELY NO SIGN of Puss. Not outside Lena’s; not on Stone St.; not climbing the fence into the garden; not making its way across Fred’s back yard by the back wall. And not in my garden, the place that I was most accustomed to seeing him. (Him? Her? No-one seems to know)
Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. No sign
And no sign of Lena, the only one who would know (better than I would.)
She must have been away for a few days.
I had told Todd of my fears. Todd is a compassionate person, but I don’t think cats come high on his list. He seemed to be advising me NOT to mention my fears to Lena; NOT to tell her that I had seen the dead body on Targee. The ways of cats are…inscrutable. She probably moved away to someone else….
No, don’t tell Lena, counselled Todd.
On Wednesday I see Lena. She is mowing the grass in her backyard with an oldstyle push-pull mower. I wait for her to stop so she can hear me from across the street. She doesn’t stop.
I don’t tell her about the dead cat on Targee. Was it that I didn’t have the heart? Or that a denying or cowardly-not-face-up-to-it streak within was postponing the inevitable, the bad news?
I don’t know the answer to that.
Or, I don’t want to confront that.