Monday, December 29, 2008
The cats got leukemia and died one after another. Ninety-three slowed down, his belly bloated. I sat with him, fed with sardines, and he purred until he died. A boy should have a dog, my father said, and got me a golden retriever from the pound, a bright generous creature who stayed three days. On the third day it darted across the road and, even though I screamed at it to stay, ran back toward me and was killed by a car. Without animals, the house was uninhabitable. I said I wanted to go away to school. My father had been in that house fifty years; he didn't want to stay there either. He sold it to my brother and later I heard he'd told people, "There was just no way to live there after the dog died."