Title: Three Brief Encounters

Author: Sarah Laing

In: Sport 27: Spring 2001

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 2001

Part of: Sport

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Sport 27: Spring 2001

The Cat-loving Hermitess

page 37

The Cat-loving Hermitess

‘She lived here alone,’ she says. ‘She kept the curtains closed and the vents taped up. She never let the cats leave the house, there were about ninety of them milling around her ankles. I don't think their fur was so soft, and they never got any sunlight. They would poo in the sitting room, and so would she. When the cats died, she would wrap them up in aluminium foil and store them in the cupboards. It was like an Egyptian tomb, except the cats didn't mummify.’

At night I hear them rustling. At night I hear their claws against the foil.

‘Don't worry about it, my mother's a spiritualist, she got the house cleansed especially. She got it fumigated as well.’

Regardless, I hear their ghost mewls.