It is still hanging from the underside of the bed, yowling. I sit on the hardwood floor, streaked with claw marks and butter, staring into its yellow eyes. Were I inclined to anthropomorphism, I might read accusation. Certainly it is distressed. I consider putting it out of its misery, but as data, it is more compelling alive. And it will make me famous.
An experiment yields either a measurement, or a discovery. This holds even when forcing into opposition the immutable laws of nature. A cat always lands on its feet. Buttered bread always lands butter-down. In my first trials, no matter how tightly secured, the bread detached, or slipped from the cat’s back to its belly before landing. I’ll admit to being driven by frustration when I shaved the cat’s back and glued down the bread.
In the shadows I see the creature lower one limb to the floor before panicking and sinking its claws deeper into the fabric above. Hanging — a brilliant impromptu adaptation. I hear more yowling in the distance. I smile.
Hypothesis: when forcing two “immutable” natural laws into opposition, one will prevail, suggesting precedence — a relative degree of immutability. But instead my camera documented a transformation, legs twisting, cat to cat-prime: a creature landing simultaneously on its back and feet. From the yowling I hear in nearby apartments and the alley, the transformation was not isolated. Universal correction? So many questions and dangerous avenues of inquiry. And my discovery lies at the heart.