2nd of Nine

By Carrie Rogozinski

I AM DROWNING!

The thought smashes through my brain kicking my survival instincts into gear. There’s no light in any direction. I struggle and my claw gets snagged on burlap.  I begin to open my mouth, to meow out to the world about the injustice of it all and then remember the water. 

A sack. It was all to end drowned in a sack. How disappointing. I had dreamed of a long life spent chasing butterflies, cuddling up in blankets, and sleeping in front of fireplaces until one night my body would just give up and the eternal slumber would take me. I was still young!

Everything grows blacker and I feel myself floating. Soft light envelops me and images begin to play out. I see myself curled up next to my mother, her tongue rough against my face.

*Flash*

I am older, rambunctious, fearless. I’m scaling great heights, plotting mischief, and playing energetically. The fields and forests surrounding my home are my playground.  

*Flash*

I am caught sneaking into the neighbor’s garden and causing extensive damage. The punishment is brutal. I feel the sting again. The neighbor, Old Man Higgins, threatens decisive action if it happens again. 

*Flash*

The screen of my life goes blank and all I can see is light. The water surrounding me grows warmer and I wonder if this is the end. I see a rope and grab hold but it doesn’t seem to be connected to anything. I am floating aimlessly for a split second and then the sack that is my prison convulses violently and I want to scream in pain.

I am pushed closer to the light, being squeezed at intervals. Suddenly the water is gone and I feel hands holding my struggling, shaking body. I want to jump for joy at being rescued but my body is not responding to my brain. I open my mouth, take a huge breath and scream as long and as loud as I can. The sound of a human cry surprises me to momentary silence.

The air is cold and I begin to shiver. A blanket is wrapped closely around me and I am placed gently into the arms of another.

I look around and see faces, human faces, looking closely at me. I don’t know these faces but I feel the love directed to me. I want to purr…but instead a small ‘coo’ comes from my mouth, resulting in huge smiles from the faces. Surprised, I manage to focus on my body and see a lean, hairless arm with a human hand extending out. I stare at it in wonderment.

My memories slip away, replaced by a blank slate, ripe for new experiences and adventures as a human child. 

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