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December 4, 2021

The Cat Egg

Marie Little

I watch my cat laying an egg. A large, smooth, tortoiseshell egg. He pushes out a pained mew before retreating into sleep, somehow sated. The egg sleeps on the Ikea chair, blanketed in fleece and the cat's disdain, nudged occasionally by his rear end but never nuzzled. Purely by way of being an obstruction, it is incubated. His heavy fur and loose belly settle around it as if it is a toy mouse that he cannot be roused to move. By the end of a fortnight the egg begins to draw fine lines on itself, so I turn off all the sounds of daytime, press my ear to the air and listen. I picture a kitten, a tiny velociraptor, a small, marbled alien. I watch for hours as the egg pips and cracks and splits. Returning from a wander at Hatch O'clock, my cat pads over lazily. A tiny bald head emerges, looking for Home. My cat begins to lick.