We were sitting in the living room drinking tea, as we do every morning. I was doing a sudoko puzzle on my laptop; my husband was reading the news on his. The cats, content after breakfast, were washing, wandering, or napping.
"Candle overboard!" said my husband, noticing that a blue taper from our candelabrum was lying on the dining table, precariously near the edge.
"Yes, a number of them have been leaping to their deaths recently," I replied, having found a few from the mantel on the rug and my chair the day before. (If you could look closely, you'd see that many of our candles are broken and unusable, held together by their wicks.)
"Why all these suicidal impulses? What's their problem?" he asked.
"It's not for us to judge them," I said. "They're doing the best they can."
"Who's judging?" he replied, "I'm only trying to get them the help they need."
We both knew there is indeed a "problem;" there was no need to mention it. We knew what or, rather, Who has been terrorizing our candles to the point where they take the plunge in despair:
What goes on all day in that scheming little mind of his, I often wonder. But I never need to wonder very long. Harris is a cat of action. At least he's on hiatus from his vendetta with our cordless phones. He hates sharing the windowsill with the one next to the bed even though there is plenty of room for peaceful coexistence. He thinks it belongs behind the bed.
His air of angelic innocence still fools us sometimes.