I remember sitting on the deck. I watched my cat wander the yard, batting and swatting at timid insects draped in yellow and black. I think she spoke to them.
"I'm only playing" she would say, but the bees never were good sports (except one). They tried to dart past her, but she was simply too quick. A cat with prodigious reflexes. Who could have guessed?
One day a rather tough bee threatened to sting her.
"Why?" my Ruby said. "You'll surely die, and i surely won't."
"I'm not sure i care anymore" replied the bee, in a serious sort of tone. "At the very least I'll cause you great pain."
"But you'll be dead, there is nothing noble in that!"
"At least i won't have to deal with your bullshit" said the bee.
That's when I saw my dearest cat wince. It never occurred to her how tortured the poor bee was. He'd forgotten that they were great friends once upon a time. He'd forgotten the enjoyment he used to feel for their little game.
"What would life be without challenges? Without obstacles and antagonists? Would it be worth living?" Ruby retorted. It was an honest sort of question.
The bee never answered.
She returned to the deck that day with a limp. A paw once used for batting was now swollen and tender. I asked her what happened but she was too sad to answer.
That paw never really healed. The piece of who her friend used to be digs and festers, stinging with each step, until she can only remember the selfishness...
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