A CAT'S FOURTH LIFE IN THE BODY OF A DOG
Sleep, eat, shit—a mundane everyday life.
Are you happy? Are you content? Have you
found the meaning of life at the ripe young age
of eleven? What wisdom are you privy to that
a working human is not? But then again, you
probably think it’s a new day every time you
wake up from a nap. Do you understand me
when I bark back at you? Have we unknowingly
talked about jazz, or taxes, or your favorite recipe
from Cesar’s Canine Cuisine? (I think it’s the bacon
one, with the blue packaging. That’d be my favorite
too.) It’s hard to think about what you think about,
even when I like to narrate your thoughts all the time.
For instance, do you like being carried? I can never
tell. I heard that chihuahuas are sensitive about
personal space but you never seem to care about
mine. I don’t mind though, because when I cradle you
in my arms, your paws nestled in the palm of my hand,
I can hear your heartbeat. You are alive. Conscious.
warm, like a portable heater. The lines engraved into
my palms know the dips of your ribcage better than
their own caverns. They amplify your heart’s steady
tremors and marvel at how ancient your soul is. I like
to think that you’ve been reincarnated three times already.
In your first life, you were a cat, a clingy one. In your
second life, you were the president of the United States.
In your third, you lived a life where red was the only
color you ever saw. You hated it. Now, you have been
rewarded with the lax life of a chihuahua with no fucks
left to give. But there are greater things awaiting you,
aren’t there? Bigger streets to roam through and mark
with your urine? Those can wait. As the caramel sunset
squeezes through the living room blinds and paints your
white hairs orange, you can fall asleep on my lap until my
legs become numb and prickly. When mommy wakes us
up for dinner half an hour from now, it will be a new day.
Meily Tran (she/her) is a college freshman from southern California. Most of her works are first drafted at 1 AM and are inspired by her tragic sapphic love life, sporadic identity crises, and beloved pet chihuahua. Twice a week or so, she rambles on Twitter @tran_scendence.