Timing


The cat knows Mrs. Wilson is dying: Cats know these things.

"Remember especially the sick."

The cat--we may as well get his name out of the way: Leonardo, Leo for short--blinks at the television, tuned to a cable broadcast of last Sunday's Mass. Leo curls up beside Mrs. Wilson and begins to purr.

Does it seem inappropriate to you, this purring? It felt inappropriate to Leo, but he soldiered on, not wanting Mrs. Wilson to feel abandoned as she parted this world. Truth be told, his heart wasn't in it.

The purring felt forced, the way Mrs. Wilson arranged her face into a smile every Christmas when she unwrapped the gift from her daughter-in-law: another bottle of that God-awful perfume Lilly got at the dollar store every year. Mrs. Wilson would make a fuss over the perfume, holding it to the light saying, "How did you know I was running out, Lilly?" before stretching her mouth into an even wider grin and adding, "Isn't timing a funny thing?"

After Lilly and her son Robert and their horrible brats with their tail-pulling and shrieking had left to go to her family Mrs. Wilson would coax Leo down from the top of the China cabinet where he had perched all afternoon, stomach rumbling; bladder straining.

Mrs. Wilson would take a gold-rimmed plate; cut a thick piece of turkey into small pieces, which Leo found entirely unnecessary, but appreciated all the same. They'd dine together, Leo delicately licking gravy from his paw, Mrs. Wilson eating a small handful of the raisins she'd picked up from the Scratch 'n Dent on Main.

The following day, Mrs. Wilson would take the perfume and the extra-large flannel nightgowns to the thrift store.

"Someone will appreciate them," she'd say, guiltily.

Mass ends.

Another program begins.

The evening light slants across the room and the warmth of Mrs. Wilson begins to drain from her body.

"Isn't timing a funny thing," Leo thinks, flicking his tail as his purring ends.


This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was remember.


Labels: ,

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Timing

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Timing


The cat knows Mrs. Wilson is dying: Cats know these things.

"Remember especially the sick."

The cat--we may as well get his name out of the way: Leonardo, Leo for short--blinks at the television, tuned to a cable broadcast of last Sunday's Mass. Leo curls up beside Mrs. Wilson and begins to purr.

Does it seem inappropriate to you, this purring? It felt inappropriate to Leo, but he soldiered on, not wanting Mrs. Wilson to feel abandoned as she parted this world. Truth be told, his heart wasn't in it.

The purring felt forced, the way Mrs. Wilson arranged her face into a smile every Christmas when she unwrapped the gift from her daughter-in-law: another bottle of that God-awful perfume Lilly got at the dollar store every year. Mrs. Wilson would make a fuss over the perfume, holding it to the light saying, "How did you know I was running out, Lilly?" before stretching her mouth into an even wider grin and adding, "Isn't timing a funny thing?"

After Lilly and her son Robert and their horrible brats with their tail-pulling and shrieking had left to go to her family Mrs. Wilson would coax Leo down from the top of the China cabinet where he had perched all afternoon, stomach rumbling; bladder straining.

Mrs. Wilson would take a gold-rimmed plate; cut a thick piece of turkey into small pieces, which Leo found entirely unnecessary, but appreciated all the same. They'd dine together, Leo delicately licking gravy from his paw, Mrs. Wilson eating a small handful of the raisins she'd picked up from the Scratch 'n Dent on Main.

The following day, Mrs. Wilson would take the perfume and the extra-large flannel nightgowns to the thrift store.

"Someone will appreciate them," she'd say, guiltily.

Mass ends.

Another program begins.

The evening light slants across the room and the warmth of Mrs. Wilson begins to drain from her body.

"Isn't timing a funny thing," Leo thinks, flicking his tail as his purring ends.


This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge. The word was remember.


Labels: ,

14 Comments:

At November 13, 2013 at 12:45 AM , Blogger kymm said...

Lovely, as always, Kelly.
Love that Leo tells this story, with his tiny reflections and her pointed comments.
Especially love the forced purring that coincides with the forced smile.
: ) (this one's real)

 
At November 13, 2013 at 7:23 AM , Blogger Rossandra said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At November 13, 2013 at 7:32 AM , Blogger Rossandra said...

Absolutely delightful! I could've gone on reading and reading and reading . . .

 
At November 13, 2013 at 12:02 PM , Anonymous steph said...

Cutting up the turkey was entirely unnecessary - that's funny - and true. Kymm says it all, lovely as always.

 
At November 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM , OpenID theinnerzone said...

Great writing here.Reflections, comments, dialogues - all woven tight and inseparable.

 
At November 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM , Blogger j umbaugh said...

Our world as told by a (nearly) impartial viewpoint Leo can be judgmental and no one finds that as a bad thing.
Loved the following conclusion, particularly the obligation to purr ends.

"The evening light slants across the room and the warmth of Mrs. Wilson begins to drain from her body.
"Isn't timing a funny thing," Leo thinks, flicking his tail as his purring ends."

 
At November 14, 2013 at 2:59 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Love the cat's POV and observations. The forced purring was a sweet gesture. I like the idea of it being done for her benefit (cats usually don't get credit for doing anything that doesn't behoove them :))

 
At November 14, 2013 at 7:04 PM , Blogger TMW Hickman said...

Love the point of view, his thoughts, his words, especially since Mrs. Wilson wasn't able to speak for herself. My cat Morris purred right up until he died--he didn't need it, but I sure did.

 
At November 14, 2013 at 7:25 PM , Blogger Trifecta said...

Your first sentence is reminiscent of the greats. "The grandmother didn't want to go to Florida." etc. This is really lovely, Kelly. Thank you for linking it.

 
At November 15, 2013 at 7:33 AM , Blogger Kir said...

I'm convinced that you never write anything that doesn't touch me or better move me to do better. It was a piece of peace and comfort, as warm as a favorite throw.

 
At November 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM , Blogger Roz Morris aka NailYourNovel said...

Lovely fragment. I'm here from Write On Edge, taking a short break while I put a final polish on my next novel. Your post has diverted me pleasantly while keeping me in the inspiration zone. Thank you!

 
At November 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM , Blogger Valerie Boersma said...

I love that Leo soldiered on for the sake of his master-even though his little heart wasn't in it. I actually loved everything about this piece-and I think it is quite brilliant!

 
At November 16, 2013 at 3:27 PM , OpenID momosapien said...

This is beautiful. Congrats on the much deserved win!

 
At November 17, 2013 at 5:48 PM , Anonymous injaynesworld said...

It kills me how quickly you're able to turn out these amazing stories. I'm not ashamed to say, I am spitting green with envy at your skill.

 

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