The day our cat started talking was the same day the world ended. It didn’t happen the way we had always talked about. It came in the faces of our neighbors. The fear. The desperation laid heavy across their brows warned us of what was coming. It scared me, but not Gen or our cat.

“This is the end,” she said.

It was hard to tell at first what she said. The sound wasn’t meows, but it wasn’t quite words either.