There is no emotion in a cat’s eyes.  They are beautiful and intricate and as layered as a rose in full bloom, but there is an indisputable coolness in them.  A quiet stoicism that seems to convey to me “kindly remove your hands from my throat, would you?”  I stare deep into his eyes, and he stares deep into mine.

“Did you do it?” I ask.

I don’t expect an answer, and he gives me none.  His body is stiff and still under my grasp.

“Did you do it!” I scream in his face.

The cat flinches and his back legs pedal, trying to make contact with something, anything, but only finding air.

Beyond him, I see my wife lying on the kitchen floor, face-up, her eyes still open and her mouth agape in surprise.  I have no idea how long she has been lying there; long enough for the blood from the knife in her chest to thicken.  The cutting board is flipped upside down on the floor next to her, and carrot chips are sprinkled in the blood.

Suspended in the air, supported only by my hands around his neck is Charlie, our beloved pet and companion for the last seven years.  He never misses an opportunity to jump on a lap, watch birds from the den’s windowsill, and–much to my wife’s irritation–get underfoot while she is in the kitchen.