I loved her, and she had loved me.
For ten years she batted me awake with her paw, purred in my lap, sharpened her claws on my leg.
The ones who bit me were not kind. They ate my tongue. Left me with one arm and no fingers, ragged strips of gristle below the waist.
Hell did not take me, so I didn’t die.
She hunted for me. Kept the hunger at bay by bringing me the rumps of mice, while she retired to a corner to eat their still screaming heads.
In my madness, I tried to eat her. She escaped after I took a few joints of her tail.
I never saw her again.
When you have nine lives, you bear the scars from each.