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Bon Journal

Knock on the door

I watched a horror movie on a six-hour overnight flight back from New York. By the time I left the airplane, took the tube, and arrived home, I was dead tired.

After a hot tea-tree, mint bubble bath, I fell into a deep sleep. I woke up in my dreams to a phone call from the daughter of a friend. She was desperate. She was pregnant while in London and didn't want her mother to know. I had another disturbing recollection of something else that went awry.

I could hear my mobile phone ring a dozen times or so - but I couldn't bring myself to get up.

Then I heard a knock on the door.

I reluctantly put on my white bathrobe and walked downstairs. A long haired lady, perhaps a distant neighbour, looked at me expectantly.

"Do you have a long haired ginger cat? " she asked. "He's been visiting and staying at my house. I'm concerned for him. He seems depressed."

She went back to fetch him. As soon as he saw me, he jumped out of her arms, out of his depression, and scurried off.

Late tonight, my cat came back. But he no longer purred when I touched him. And he sat there, looking dead and depressed.

Once again, I feel like a guilty mom. Except, this horror was not a dream, but a reality. What would you do, when the one you love no longer responds to your affections?

19 May 2001