by Eliza Walton
Clara flips open her MacBook and taps Safari. Yahoo! tells her “Woman buys used couch for $27 and finds hungry cat inside.” Clara remembers the cat she had growing up. As she carried Tuna’s gentle bulk around with her, elbows crooked under elbows, how his orange belly spilled out under her suddenly downy arms when she was six. Sitting on the blue plaid sofa to watch cartoons, Tuna on her narrow lap purring wet streams of clear saliva through his long, white teeth, she’d wipe her arms against her t-shirt, or on the nubby, worn upholstery. Then she’d push him off to get cereal and milk or Cheetos and Fanta, while he meowed around her small, sneakered feet, in the time before someone else’s hunger meant anything at all.
Eliza Walton lives and writes in Maine, with her family and cats and dogs and canaries and snow.