I had to write this for a University assignment. I had a good ol’ chuckle.


That changes everything…


Coming home from a long day, I usually expected the rhinoceros-charge of Biggles at my knees, but not anymore. He was a good cat, lived a little longer than he was supposed to. His favourite fish was salmon; his favourite toy was a squeaky mouse with a little copper bell on the end.


Time goes by slower when you’re alone. The ticking of the clock feels like it sometimes pauses a second longer than it should. My food tastes blander; the birds chirp duller; I sleep longer. For the first time in my life, I realize I’m getting older and there’s nothing I can do about it.


About a month after the passing, something strange happened, something that would rearrange all the pieces on the chess board for sure. As I made my daily commute home from the offices, there came an odd noise from a bush. It was helpless; it was pathetic. After locating the source, all it took was pulling apart a few bushel branches to reveal it.


Bundled in a heap was a ball of wet white fur. I’d have thought it was a dead bird if I didn’t notice its jaw moving to produce a squeak from time to time. I hesitated; could I possibly go down the same road as Biggles? Should I put myself through the same distress when it all must come to an end?


Perhaps I’m too kind, or perhaps I’m a sadist. I promptly called this new pet in my life: Hope. That wasn’t the only thing ironic about her… but I’ll get to that later. She filled the void in my soul that had been clawed out by the first cat in my life. She walked so funny; hoppity hop, scuttling across the floor like some sort of rabbit-crab hybrid. Oh, the chuckles she forced out of me.


The clocks ticked normally; food tasted better when eating it with a smile; birds sang songs I’d never heard before, or ever cared to listen for; sleep came in naps, cat naps, with my new favourite friend.


One time I took her to a park and a hawk swooped down and took Hope away.


I learned my lesson.


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