Put her to sleep the vet would suggest. Instead we fold a towel on the sofa, on our laps. Models of patience, we wake to cat piss on our sheets, cat piss on our pillows, our nightclothes. Put her to sleep? I’m tempted to drop her out the window. Maybe you’ll think twice now, pussy. That absurd anger bred of helplessness. I shampoo a cat in one house and bathe a man in another, these two who’d been so fastidious. My father sleeps in his urine. No matter how careful any of us are it gets on his bed, his pajamas, the floor, my hands. At night, alone I lift my own underwear to sniff, to try to understand that pulsing in me. We don’t blame a wave for breaking, a stream for turning one more corner. Why is it difficult then to wear this odor proudly, as if returned from a long voyage, a scent as impossible to get out of one's clothes as the reek of salt marshes, fens, unfathomed buried waters?