by Amanda C. Davis
The first fingernail fell out at nine-thirty at night. I was drinking a Coke and watching my cat attack the rug when the nail slid free, just slipped right out of my smallest finger and left a smooth pink slot behind.
I picked it up. It was longer than I'd thought, a half-cylinder of translucent Bakelite with one white edge. I'd paid a lot for that French manicure.
I held it up to the cat. "You did this?"
She shrugged, as cats do.
"It's not funny."
Her attention remained fixed on a snag in the rug.
"Okay, okay," I said. "I'm sorry I got you declawed. Now break the curse."
The cat yawned. She leapt from the floor to the sofa to the staircase and vanished.
The cuticle of my ring finger went rubbery, and another nail drifted to the floor. Two down, eight to go. Or would it be eighteen? "I should have gotten the poodle," I muttered, collecting the nail. Dogs don't give you this kind of trouble. And things were really going to get hairy when it came time to have her spayed.