The Dead Cat on My Doorstep
When a young urbanite returns home to an unsettling sight, confusion and horror give way to a complex quest to help an unfortunate creature rest in peace.
Illustration by Marc Pearson
I don’t know what we expected, since the box was clearly labeled. “Dead Animal Cat” was scrawled on the side in a deliberate but hurried manner. The lid, although present, was placed on top of rather than attached to. A stiff breeze could have revealed the box’s contents, which were simultaneously mysterious and, given the warning, perfectly predictable.
By the time I got home after receiving a call from my roommate, the police were getting set to leave, giving us the procedural equivalent of the emoji shrug. Considering we didn’t know for sure who left it there, who its owner was, or really anything other than the fact that someone had delivered a dead cat in a box to our door, it wasn’t so much that there was nothing they could do, but more that there was simply nothing to be done.
I asked the police what they, or we, or someone should do with the cat itself, which I had not yet actually seen. They did their impartial shrug again before concluding it would …