The man managed to finally make it home, and he collapsed in his favorite chair. Their dwelling was Spartan, but it was what they had. His wife set their youngest child on the kitchen counter and rushed to his side.
“My husband,” she said. “Why are you home so early? Have you been fired from the factory?”
“No,” he said breathlessly.
“Praise the Lord,” she said thankfully.
“I am– I have fallen ill,” he continued. “I believe I have a social disease.”
Her eyebrows twisted. “What do you mean?”
“I do not wish to stab kittens anymore,” he said.
She blanched palely, then walked back across their modest and sparse dwelling. “Do not tell me that I married a malingerer!” she shouted. “You have a family. Our two children. This child right here on the counter. You cannot simply stop working!”
“But–” he attempted.
“But nothing. You do not wish to stab kittens anymore? Ha! Who wishes to stab kittens? Tell me, who?”
“I–” he attempted again.
“Nobody. Nobody likes stabbing kittens. But it’s what you have to do.”
The baby began to cry.
“I am sorry, my wife,” the man said. “It is just that… I dream of a farm. A farm where you and I and the children can live, and raise corn, and cows, and pigs, right from the very earth.”
“And what will we do for money?” she asked. “The ground grows the corn. The corn feeds the livestock. The livestock is made into cat food. The cats eat the food. The cats have kittens. And regular working men like you, and my brothers, and my father, and his father– they stab the kittens in the factory. It is the way it is.”
“It has not always been that way,” said the man.
“Say that one more time,” she said, “and I will take the children and leave.”
PAUL LAFARGUE enjoys lazy Sundays sleeping in and snuggling with his own kitten, Laura. He currently resides in Paris, France, where he currently focuses on his writing.