1. Understand, kittens rebuild. A cat is born from another cat and immediately bathed in spit. You stand unable to aid.
  2. Keeping with tradition, one must bring a shining orb. Place the orb in the center of the washtub. Fill the tub with water until precisely 7/8th of the orb is covered. Or until the top resembles a contact lens. Whatever feels right.
  3. When a man comes to your door, do not open it. Big man. Grandmother always said.
  4. Place a hand on your gut. Simultaneously, place a hand on your cat’s gut. Decide which one to follow. If decision cannot be made, continue with directions below.
  5.  Pick up your cat under its front arms and massage its head with your chin. Then hold cat over orb and move in a circular motion. ‘O’.
  6. Blood is purer than water. You cannot offer up water to G*d. Find an edge and ease into it. Blood will come slowly at first, then rush. The water will be cleansed.
  7. Disregard everything prior. Someone bigger has a plan for you. Fleas are a necessary evil. GOD is CAT spelled backwards.





  1. Imagine the thing you are afraid of most. Is it death or rejection? If you chose the latter, you are one step closer to realizing it’s the former.
  2. Make sure that your Dog is constantly reassured of the truth. When he growls, look at him sweetly. Press your lips together in an “8”.
  3. When confronted with another Dog, your Dog may want to show dominance. To control the situation, you must turn yourself into the Dog. Remember what you feel, not what you see.
  4. A dead-- no-- slowly dying bunny. Its fur stripped clean from its flesh.
  5. Ignore the bunny. You cannot save what has been sacrificed. Instead, find a large stick. Use the stick to your advantage. Whatever that may be.
  6. Know that I wanted to do the right thing, but I was scared. A jury of my peers understood, but could not leave me unpunished. It would set a bad example.
  7. Infinity cannot be repeated, no matter how many right turns you retrace. It is a short path, but long walks with your Dog are the only way to subdue the pain.

Rachel Statham is a librarian and writer living in Western North Carolina. She can be found on the Internet @foxymulder69. She is Editor-in-Chief of the online journal MISTRESS.