The kitten had dragged a tiny rabbit by the loose fur on its neck into the porch. The rabbit wasn’t struggling, but its eyes were full of terror. The kitten didn’t seem to have the strength to pull the rabbit one way or another, so it stood over it, slightly weary, reluctant to release its prey. I grabbed the kitten by a flap of skin on its back and began lifting, but the kitten held on to the rabbit, now winched on to hind legs, where it emitted a slow, distant warble, a sound from somewhere deep in its belly.
“Let it go, Max,” I said. “Let the poor creature go.”
Max held on.
I felt his teeth in my neck, the braille of puncture wounds. The inevitability of it all made me want to vomit. I gave one yank, lifting the kitten its full height from the ground. It released the rabbit, which, for a moment, didn’t move. The row of wellingtons, none of them used for years, but all layered in dusty dry soil, stood to attention. A bag of chicken feed snoozed against a wall. The door was slightly ajar, and the rabbit squeezed out, then bounded off into the hedge. I pulled the door, then dropped Max to the floor.
Later that night I looked at the stars and thought of them as wounds in the rabbit’s neck, all the wounds ever suffered, the suffering of eternity in its quest for release into the finite fields of time.