I didn’t give rumors any mind until Tigger started acting strange. He wasn’t his affectionate self— he kept bringing in rodentia corpses. His play-biting has become too enthusiastic. I spoke to my neighbor who had lived in town for a long time.

“Musta been one of them zombie mice,” he said spitting the saliva from chew on the ground.

“Zombie mice?”

“Yeah. You know from the pet graveyard. They come back up from time to time. I keep a bb gun just to get’um.”

“Oh, no. My cat must have eaten one.”

“You know, what you have to do.” He gestured as if holding a shotgun.

My heart sank. I couldn’t kill my own cat.

A co-worker told me to go talk to Mrs. Willow on the other side of town who was a “healer.”

It’s enough to say, I left with herbs, some bones, something shriveled, and an incantation.

Walking to my door, I could see bloody scratch marks. I followed Mrs. Willow’s directions and performed the ceremony.

In the distance, I heard the sounds of deathly barking approaching me…

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