Lauren Bender

Conversation between human and feline inhabitants.

See that one on the end? I think that’s an Adbusters or something that I’ve had for like ten years but now it just marks ten years. Remember when I used to clean the kitchen and you would

well that one time you jumped from the roof to the top of the air conditioner

Why is this so sad

Because the cat is expressionless. Because the agency is not with the cat. Because the agent is invisible and the cat is oblivious, in terms of being in oblivion, not clueless, in fact he’s very aware. He is making no Biblical reference.

Possibilities for what happens between the top of the stairs and the re-entry into the frame.

Dry cleaning rack

My cat is still alive, his legs make V’s, his head, he has nystagmus or something, it’s really noticeable in the morning when I walk toward him. His name is Otis. I named him Otis when Dad was in the hospital and he had that roommate

In the way that I wanted to be visibly aware I named my cat Otis after the roommate. I could have chosen to not even mention the hospital, after all almost all elevators are made by the company OTIS. I think there’s someone running for county council with the last name Otis.

It is impossible for me to look at Otis and not think of his death. I am sure many people have this problem with pets, but hardly any with children. When he dies I will finally be able to hold him. I have guilt about the violence of need.

Is the cat rising to heaven?

You know what it’s not even sad because of the cat. I can’t believe I would think that. The cat’s body is so funny when his feet swing out. It’s the time of day.

In that way you were accessory—bricked-up fireplace, unused kitchen table. All we ever did was rearrange. When I lofted my bed some of the scrap wood had the name of a dead person on it. I had really dry skin that grossed him out and he misspelled my name in an email. I looked under his bed for death evidence and found vomit. Then later I got a cat and realized that happens a lot, so it could have been from his cat, but either way I’m sure he vomited when he died. Today Chris said that it’s a relief, when someone dies, and she dried her right eye, and I never grieved seeing someone else instead, even after what I’d said

Each part of a cat is a biome. One of my cats suffers from mosaicism.

She doesn’t really suffer, I’m kidding about that part. That cat could be laughing for all we

Lauren Bender lives and works in Baltimore, MD, where she directs the Show&Tell Series and Narrow House (with Justin Sirois and Jamie Gaughran-Perez).

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