The beginning is incredibly hazy.
My youngest brother and I are seated within the old home of our grandparents.
The house the family sold in 2005 after they had both passed that summer.
A couch lined the wall that faces the wide-open window opening up the front of their house.
Adjacent are two recliners.
I was seated in my grandfathers chair and my brother in the other.
Somewhere along the way a cop appeared inside the home in front of the couch.
I immediately stood up in horror and attempted to get him to exit.
He said he was only there to look for a cat.
I informed him that we didn't own a cat so his reason for entering was unjustified.
Outside of the front door on the bottom steps was an orange cat.
His sides were ripped open and bleeding; black and red.
The cats glassy eyes stared intensely with deep fear into an blank abyss.
The eyes of a horror that stems from a life on the brink between life and death.
The eyes that see nothing but the creeping fate of entering the depth of the unknown.
The cat was in such horror that it violently shook its legs.
As in the age of ignorance when a paramedic would grip a child in a seizure, this was a situation where you are accepting of the trauma of the other and know that you will be hurt in your attempt to help.
As such, I carried the bleeding cat into the house as it clawed and scratched me in an attempt to save itself by gripping on to what it knew was real as well as to cope with its suffering.
As the cat laid in the bathtub my brother and the cop used the showerhead to wash the blood down the drain.
The orange cat was now white.
I could feel the pain of the deep clawed scratches in my chest as I stared again into the fearful eyes of the cat.
My brother and the cop talked to each other about the first time they'd seen the face of Timothy McVeigh.
(When I was still half-asleep writing this seemed like a much better idea)