My Pussycat’s Murderer by Jessica Schouela

She never ate anything she cooked herself in front of other people because she thought that to display pleasure in your own creation was vain and she didn’t want to be that kind of person in public. I know this probably makes it seem like she was excessively nice, altruistic, but believe me it was all an act. It was just like in those movies where they make you think one character is the bad guy and then three quarters in you realize he or she is the real victim. Come to think of it, it was exactly like that. That’s why when I saw her through the window eating her own cake I yelled at her, narcissist! narcissist! She was always so smug and while I admit this wasn’t my best moment I sincerely felt she deserved it.

What did she do that I would be so angry as to seek this moment to get back at her? She threw my sleeping pussycat into the pool. My little angel with three legs who couldn’t swim was yanked from her sweet nap on the grass and aggressively dunked right into the water. The landlord filled the pool that summer. Some people in the building were upset, but others, who were animal activists or vegetarians, thought it would be nice to have a garden in its place as a small memorial. Either way, everyone agreed that it was different when a squirrel drowned, that pets are family and murder is unacceptable.

I wondered for a long while if she’d watched the cat as it struggled for life, for oxygen, or if she couldn’t bear to see the crying pet shrieking and paddling as best as he could. Next to the pool with my floating dead cat I found this letter. It was hand written and some of the ink had bled from the splashes.

Dear Cecily,

I’ll try not to say anything you don’t already know or I might as well not have killed your cat. I never liked your face and I never liked your cat. It’s a good thing we are not neighbours or this would have been very unneighbourly of me.

Forever yours.

I never told anyone what I did, yelling at her through the window for a moment of revenge. It had already been a few weeks since I mourned the cat. Even so, I spent most of my night drawing pictures of him in my diary.

Jessica Schouela is originally from Montreal, Canada and is currently doing her PhD at the University of York (UK) on modern architecture, abstraction and gender. She did her BA in History of Art and World Cinema at McGill University. She also holds an MA in History of Art from University College London (UCL). She writes poetry and short stories and has been published by Salt (Best British Poetry 2015), The Quietus, Metatron, Poems in Which, among others. She writes a blog called Cabbage Moths Lay Their Eggs on My Kale.