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The Third

I wake up to something fuzzy by my face: my cat, Sid. He’s curled up in a ball on my pillow. I go to move him because his fur is making it hard to breathe, but his claws are stuck in the pillowcase.

Downstairs, I hear a rapid thumpity-thumpity. That would be my other cat, Oslo, tearing around the house. He’s a bear of a cat, and when he runs he raises such a racket.

“What’s the matter, Sid?” I mumble as I try to unhook the smaller cat’s claws from my pillowcase. “Did Oslo spook you?”

That’s when the bed shakes, and for a moment my heart stops. I turn, and there’s Oslo, his green eyes glowing from the foot of the bed. I’m about to laugh at him for scaring me, then I realize—


—it’s coming up the stairs, and I only have two cats.