Lord Kitty sits atop the counter, washing his paws and wondering.

I catch his eye, perched on the edge, begging to be touched, to be poked, to be prodded. He starts off with a bat of his paw. I fall on the tiles with a soft thump and bounce across the patterned bathroom floor, wet and sparkling from a fresh clean. He squints at me from his perch. His eyes are active, always watching, always thinking.

He jumps to the ground. Head cocked and lowered, he taps me again. I start rolling, leaving a tail of blinding orange yarn as my trail of breadcrumbs, letting everyone know where I've been and which direction I'm going. He leaps after me, paws sliding on the washed surface. Undeterred, he scrambles and hits me again, harder this time, and I roll out of the bathroom and into the carpeted hallway.

He's hooked. He can't stop. My movement fascinates him. Eyes gleaming, calico tail twitching, he sneaks, stalks, and pounces. His claws hit me with the intent of a predator but I slip through them, rebounding off a wall. I'm moving so fast it seems for a moment that I'm free, that I have escaped this multi-colored menace. He crawls behind me, belly pressed to the ground, and I don't see him until it's too late.

Silent as the night sky, he comes from above. He hits me with both his paws, delighting at my increasing speed, and I roll, roll, roll through the hallway, hit a curb, and head down the stairs.

Hop, skip, bounce, twist, I unravel step-by-step. It will hurt to hit the bottom, I imagine, but before the moment comes I stop, unable to go on, no more of me left. There is only a burning orange string to mark my passage through life.

Lord Kitty sits atop the stairs, washing his paws and wondering.