This feature is a reprint from Unwinnable Monthly #115, the Pets Issue. If you like what you see, grab the magazine for less than ten dollars, or subscribe and get all future magazines for half price.
Revisiting stories, old and new.
I have a cat. It is a cat. I have a second cat. It is also a cat but it is not the same color as the first cat. They poop and do other things and I clean it up which is funny to say but not so funny when I am doing it. They are fluffy but not too fluffy. They are exactly the right amount of fluffy. They sleep a lot and I often take pictures of them sleeping. They do other things but I do not often take pictures of them doing other things so you will just have to take my word for it. They are cats.
My cats are not the only cats I have ever had, but they are almost the only cats I have ever had. I had another cat for a long time, and it was the same color as the first cat, which is really my second cat. This cat was my first first cat. My first first cat was an old cat, but she was not an old cat when I got her. I got old with my first cat, but she got old faster than I did.
It is not different pets that make us different people. It is time that makes us different people. But we have different pets at different times and it can seem that different pets make us different people. It is not pets, though but different things. There is, for example, the person I was in Michigan when I was a child. There is the person I was in Michigan when I had children. The person I was in Maryland when I was writing reviews. The person I was in Maryland later when I was not writing reviews and I was giving my first first cat eye drops six times a day and blood pressure medicine because her retinas detached and she couldn’t see. The person I was when she had a blood clot in her leg and we wrapped her paw in a warm, moist towel twice a day to stimulate blood flow and we didn’t end up having to amputate her leg.
There is the person I was when I took the last picture of my first first cat at home, though I didn’t know that was what I was doing, and there is the person I am when I look at that picture now. It is difficult to reconcile these things when I think about them but when I do not think about them it is not difficult. It is the most natural thing in the world.
It would be normal to seek a conclusion at this point, but I am not seeking a conclusion. The point of a pet is not a conclusion, even when a conclusion comes. The point of a pet is to be a different person. Especially when we are going to do that anyway, we may as well do it with a pet.
Gavin Craig is a writer and critic who lives outside of Washington, D.C.