Every day he looks out that window and most days Chops looks back at him. Chops is short for Chop Suey which is a nickname for Susan which is an acceptable name for a cat, he thinks. Chops is the neighbors’ cat and he doesn’t speak with them very much and has never asked them what Chops’ real name is. That would be an interesting conversation.

“Hello, I know we don’t talk much, but I was just wondering, what is your cat named?”

And what if it wasn’t their cat? What if Chops belonged to the people one house over and snuck into the Walkers’ yard every day without their knowledge? Either way, such an inquiry would make him appear very silly and the name wasn’t so important after all.

Anyway, he feels like he and Chops have a special connection, which is a comfort to him when his work is going poorly. Because, yes, after he looks out that window he has to sit himself down and get to work. He spent the first 14 years of his life not getting to work, and look how that turned out, he likes to say to himself. He also likes to remind himself that talking to oneself is the first sign of insanity, but he doesn’t really believe it, or else he wouldn’t say it. Read more