Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Right Number of Cats, by Jenn Reese

[F&SF]
★★★☆☆ Average

(Modern Fantasy Horror) Grace is mourning the death of her wife when she notices an extra cat in the house. A funny-looking one with a forked tongue and too many joints. (756 words; Time: 02m)


"The Right Number of Cats," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 01-02|19, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Review: 2019.037 (A Word for Authors)

Pro: It’s a very sad story, apparently starting right after Alma’s wake. They were clearly a couple for a very long time, and Grace is at a loss as to how life will go on.

Fourth cat is destructive and painful, and it definitely seems to be the cat from Hell. I suspect it symbolizes mourning, if not actual depression. In the end, Grace’s acceptance of it seems macabre, but perhaps there’s a hint of light in that accepting the suffering may mean healing can start.

Con: Just in purely human terms, her reaction to finding an evil, catlike creature in her house is way too mild to believe. One would scream and try to kill it, not be just a little annoyed.

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