Self-Help: Stories by Lorrie Moore:
At home the cat refuses to dance to Dionne Warwick with you. She sits on the sill of the window, rumbling in her throat, her tail a pendulum of fluff. Outside, undoubtedly, there are suitors, begging her not to be so cold-hearted. “Ya got friends out there?” When you turn off the stereo, she jumps down from the sill and snakes lovingly about your ankles. Say something you never thought you’d say. Say: “Wanna go out?” She looks at you, all hope and supplication, and follows you to the door, carefully watching your hand as it moves for the knob: she wants you to let her go, to let her go and be. Begin slowly, turn, pull. The suction of door and frame gives way, and the cold night insinuates itself like a kind of future. She doesn’t leave immediately. But her whole body is electrified, surveying the yard for eyes and rustles, and just to the left of the streetlight she suddenly spots them—four, five, phosphorescent glints—and, without a nudge, without ever looking back, she scurries out, off the porch, down after, into some sweet unknown, some somehow known unknown, some yet very old religion.