I was drinking wine on my porch when this cat shot out from under my hedges, chasing a squirrel. It knocked over my bottle of wine. The bottle shattered and spilled down my steps. There was big chunks of glass everywhere and when I stood up to yell at the cat he had already caught the squirrel. It was thrashing in his mouth. In slow motion I watched him squeeze his jaw tight, and the squirrel kind of popped, and blood squirted out all over my steps, mixing with the wine, and I could hear screeching, agonized, raw and raspy like television static and the cat just posed there, a statue at the bottom of my steps, proud.
Get the fuck out of here! I screamed, Get out! He walked away calmly. It was no big deal.
I stood for a moment, in shock. My neighbor came out. I told her what happened with the cat and the squirrel. Oh, he does that, she said, laughing, and went back inside. I could hear her unmute the TV. She was watching Two And A Half Men. It was no big deal.
I got a big pot from my kitchen and I filled it with water from the spigot outside. I didn’t have a hose. I mixed some bleach in with the water and poured it on the steps like they do in train stations. The wine washed away easily but the blood took its time, snaking down my steps in deliberate bands, chunks of flesh and guts clinging fast to the concrete, tenacious. I tried my best to clean the porch and then I went to bed. It was hard to sleep because I kept hearing the noise that squirrel made when he died.
I woke up late the next day. The sun had already been baking squirrel guts to my porch steps. The smell of wine and bleach and blood was overwhelming. I saw the cat creeping around my hedges again. I sat down with another bottle of wine, uncorked it, and raised the bottle in a toast. Then I threw the whole thing and hit him right in the face. He yowled real loud and fell down and for the second time in twelve hours my porch was covered with wine and dead animals. My neighbor came out again and asked why her cat was laying in a puddle of wine. I said he drank too much. I said you should take better care of your cat.