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by Kristina England

"I don't understand why you want to talk about a rat?"

"No, a cat. My cat, Molly, grandma.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."

Natalie sighed into the receiver.  

"Me too," she said, reaching over to pet Molly's matted fur.

The cat glanced at her with a sad look. Age was a cruel timekeeper. Even crueler was the booked date and time of Molly's departure.

"Well, there will be other fish in the sea," her grandmother chortled. "This Matt guy didn't deserve you."


"What... Oh, look at the time. I've got to head out to Bingo. You know... The young man always mumbles when he announces the number."


"Was that sarcasm in your voice?"
"You would pick up on that, wouldn't you..."

"Listen, young lady, I don't appreciate your tone.  We'll have words later."

"Yes, grandma, of course. You have a lovely night as well. I'll be sure to send Molly's ashes your way."

"Well that was very sweet of you. I accept your apology."

Natalie hung up the phone and looked at Molly. "Don't worry. I won't actually send you to grandma's house. That's where naughty kitty ashes go."