Arcturus Finds God

Arcturus didn’t have any conception of the little red light until it appeared. Before then, there was only eating, and the hunting of night bugs that prowled while The Big Ones where asleep. There was their hands, sometimes welcome on his back, but mostly he just wanted to be left alone. All the hands, all the time, reaching and grasping, an unending five-fingered want that he had to hide underneath furniture to be away from when he wanted privacy to contemplate.

When he saw the red light for the first time, it was a revelation. Nothing before had ever been so vibrant, so there. So existing in the world that it seemed to come from his own thoughts. He knew that it held the answers to many mysteries that plagued him—why did he have to chase shoelaces? He knew they weren’t real, not like the bugs and mice he caught, but it was inevitable. Also, why were such gifts rejected by The Big Ones? They gave him gifts of food and water, even at the insistence of ever-petting, but why were not his own gifts accepted as well?

Whatever the answer, he knew that it was in that light, and the light was in the middle of the floor. He waited, unsure of its possible movement. But it was stationary, almost waiting. Waiting for whatever it was he was going to ask. He leapt, out from under the couch, but as his  paws settled over it, it was gone. As real as it had been, now there was nothing. He stared at the empty floor where it had been, knowing what it had meant—knowing it was the answer—but unable to find it again.

In his haze, he looked up at the wall, and there it was again, as true and vibrant as ever. This time, without waiting, he charged, and once again found himself staring at a blank space where the light had been. Would there ever be an answer to his search? Why did it always seem real, until the moment of attainment?

Then it was again on the floor, and for a third time he pounced, again in vain. At that point, he saw it again on the wall, and approached slowly, deliberately, watching it grow inch by inch until he was right near it, when the shadow of his own ears blocked it out again. Then he knew. No matter how close he got to the real, how close all those answers seemed, he would never actually reach it. Between he and it was infinity, and could never be crossed.

So Arcturus laid down, and watched it, again on the ground, again not moving, and imagined what marvels might be there. Marvels that he would never know.