I was getting ready to go out to do something important, perhaps to vote. From the porch of my house on a hill, I could see the midnight blue night sky and thousands of golden flecks flying by horizontally. I got it into my head that they were “shooting stars” and that I was witnessing an elusive asteroid shower. “No,” my dad said from the front yard, “they’re motes,” which I took to mean insects. He could feel them and soon I could feel them striking me, too. It was like an apocalyptic plague, and sadly I realized that I could not go anywhere in those conditions.
I went into the house, which was an old rural one, and found the bushy tip of Pudge’s tail. She was nearby, wide-eyed, frightened, and almost kittenish in appearance. Her tail was only 3/4 long. I told myself that she had “shed” her tail tip before, that it was normal and that she didn’t need veterinary attention, but I did not really believe it. I could see bone and a little blood on the tip that had come off, but her remaining tail seemed complete. I was puzzled by events and nervous.