It’s an interesting feeling.”
“But it could be dangerous,” I said. “It might infect the other cat with its disease.” And with a sense of helplessness, I knew that was what had happened to the two-legged creature whose name I didn’t know—but who’d seemed like one of us. It must have caught hold of some bug and died. We would never know what caused it; we would never know how long she’d lived, or if she’d even managed to get well before her body gave out on her.
The woman laughed again, but this time there was no humor in it at all; it sounded like a laugh pulled from deep within pain itself. “Oh, my dear girl”—she sighed—”life is full of dangers that you won’t see coming until they’re upon you.” Her voice took on another tone: deeper than before, sadder than ever—”Life is full of dangers that are only hinted at by your companions while you still can look ahead and plan for them.” She paused for so long that I thought maybe she couldn’t speak any longer. But then she continued: “Your ignorant little kitten has nothing to worry about—and neither will you when he—or she—is grown up enough to find their own way in the world…” At this point her voice became soft and dreamy once more as though whatever remarks were left unsaid hung just out of reach…
I woke again slowly this time