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The Cat Looks Down
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Sabrina's up in the window again. She's our cat. She sits on the windowsill and stares intently out at...who knows what. I hunker down behind her, try to put my eyes at the same level as hers, to figure out what it is that has her attention but I can never see anything.

The window looks out over the roof of the sun porch, across the yard and downhill toward the back of a neighbor's house. Nothing's moving. There isn't enough breeze to stir the limbs of the pine trees. No birds, that I can see. No squirrels. No dog in the pen behind the house.

A decade and more ago, in a different house, the kitchen window faced our neighbor's place. From the kitchen floor, a much younger Sabrina could look up toward a second floor window next door, in which, as often as not, sat the neighbor's dog.

Day after day the dog looked down and Sabrina looked up. Sometimes Sabrina bristled or flicked her tail in annoyance. Though she never ventured outside and had seen the dog only from a distance, she still recognized the canine, her mortal enemy.

Maybe when she appears to be looking at nothing she is watching the pen, waiting for the dog to come into view. Now it is she who looks down at the dog. Sabrina has moved up in the world.

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