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July 2019 Vol. 15 No. 2

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Lynn Edge

High Alert

After dark, the veterinarian walks into our house with her tray of medical supplies. The cat sits hunched on a cushion with his front paws curled beneath him.

“We can put him up here. He sometimes gets on the kitchen table anyway."

I reach into the drawer for a flashlight.

“Maybe this will help,” and direct the beam at his chest.

She picks up clippers from her tray and shaves the fur around the wound. In the light we can see two punctures an inch apart.

“Snake bite. Too late for anti-venom. We’ll start him on penicillin to keep down infection. He’s one lucky cat.”

“I’m so glad it wasn’t my dog.”

“I’m glad it wasn’t you.”

the faint rattle
of senna bean pods
rapid heartbeat