Back Yard Sunshine

The orange tabby cat had two homes, one on the second floor and one on the third, up two separate fire escapes. Depending on the weather and the hosts’ availability, there were always food and water dishes provided, often indoors through left-open windows.

The tenants knew of the arrangement — had even yelled an agreement across that space that his name was Sunshine (to which he seemed to respond) — but they had never met before yesterday. The shared yard between the two buildings, mostly just overgrown with weeds, was the cat’s domain — occasionally challenged by other felines passing through and most often by a quite feral-looking cloudy grey tomcat.

Last night a battle raged somewhere in the yard. From one of the apartments up high a potful of water sailed down on the combatants. Followed by a particularly howling meow. Followed by silence.

The next morning both windows were open and the two tenants were looking down at the still orange body in the yard with some blood near its neck, and then back up at each other.

Later they put Sunshine’s body, cushioned with fabric, into a boot box. Since they didn’t own the yard property they waited until after sunset to return clandestinely.

Under apartment window lights and the moon overhead they dug a deep hole and buried him over two agreements: that Sunshine had a good independent life in this jungle between two sanctuaries—and that they’d get together for coffee sometime soon.


© AleXander Hirka 2019. All Rights Reserved.

Heliocentric Redux 2019
Heliocentric. October 2018 writing project — one short sketch a day, under 250 words each, circling like a planet around The Sun.


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For your consideration, my blog: Tempest Tossed in New York City — writing and art and life in New York City

Writer, visual artist, philosopher, autodidact, curmudgeon. More than half of what i do is make believe.

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