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Zombie Cat – Frances Gapper

Elsa had stopped eating. Her thin flank rose and fell. The vet said she was on her way out. Despite being an indoor cat.

Late summer, birds not chirping but gorging. Neighbour cat Ginger appeared on the sofa. He bent and licked the velvety fur between Elsa’s closed eyes.

‘Hey, Ginger,’ I said. He hissed at me.

‘Something’s wrong with Ginger,’ I told Jackie, our local expert.

‘Yeah, he died last week,’ she said. ‘Run over in Carnegie Street.’

‘But I’ve just seen him.’

‘OK,’ Jackie said, ‘that’s improbable.’

The birds’ silence struck me for the first time as spooky.