When Clarice’s cat, Mandy, died shortly after her eightieth birthday, she decided she wouldn’t have another. She remained steadfast in her decision, despite her daughter Anna’s insistence that she needed a cat in her life.
Over the next few years, Clarice maintained her simple life, not getting out much, though family frequently visited, and she saw her sister, who lived next door, daily. She cherished her time alone, having always been an introvert, but her world felt a little emptier and less colorful without a furry friend to share her solitude.
She laughed at herself for considering solitude and a companion in the same thought. Still, the idea took root, and she couldn’t shake it. She noticed a sadness, perhaps a loneliness that hadn’t been there when Mandy had been a part of her life.
Over the next few weeks, Clarice argued with herself nearly constantly. She didn’t want to go back on her decision. She didn’t! And yet… Before she could stop herself, she picked up the phone and dialed Anna’s number.