It made me feel the pain all over again. To be a shadow in the company of men is not even to be a sentence without a proper verb form. He is as I was: a latecomer. Coming late only comes into its strength late in life. Early on it is just falling short. It may well have been the last time he really cried. That is as it still should be. Tears should form as condensation on the inside of the skull to form the bitter taste of tacit condescension. And then one starts to read.
The cat may be dead as well. It all blows over, chilly, until it is over and he turns to cool. Don’t we want our kids to be as cool as we never were? Cool enough to have ignored us when we were the kids who still cried and moved frantically when moved. She may well have frozen to death. The nights are cold after all. She was getting old.