If you are a cat lover, as I am, you will totally hate the central character in "Cats and Dogs", an old woman in assisted living facility, by the end of the first paragraph. I mean total you can't believe how strong you feel hate. Her son is visiting her, she is reminiscing on one of the happiest periods of her life, back in the days when she used to kill cats. She would put some sardines inside a cage designed to close shut when a cat stepped inside, humane society approved. She would then drop the cage into her pool.
There is an equally dreadful vignette involving a dog, a homeless man and a human torch.
The story is told in such a calm fashion that I was at first surprised by the horror of the people in the story, the casual cruelty and absurdity.
This story will appear for the first time in the collection below, due out September, 2015.
About the Author JOY WILLIAMS is the author of four novels—the most recent, The Quick and the Dead, was runner-up for the Pulitzer Prize in 2001—and three earlier collections of stories, as well as Ill Nature, a book of essays that was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among her many honors are the Rea Award for the Short Story and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives in Tucson, Arizona, and Laramie, Wyoming.