As the spirit of X separated from her body, the animals closed in. Such a thing as they were about to attempt had never before been done—not on a human anyhow. George, however, had performed the act on one of his brothers several years earlier. The brother in question, Bertie, had been hit by a car one morning during the winter. On finding him, George had dragged his lifeless body from the road into the front gardens of the apartment block they called home and performed a dance that had brought Bertie back from the brink of death. Bertie would go on to say that he had already begun to cross over to the other side, but as much as he’d wanted to let go, there was still so much he had yet to experience in the here and now. George was certain the same could be applied to the young girl. She may have been on the cusp of something more, but he believed she still had a reason to remain in this place a while longer. He was the wisest of his kind after all. It would’ve helped to have had Bertie’s input, but as fate would have it, he was on a trip to the vets to clean up an infected claw he’d picked up in a fight over a discarded piece of chicken. Directing those around him with a steady paw and a series of quick meows, George prepared to get to work. It was true that a part of him was fearful of the consequences. He didn’t believe in God per se, but he knew to play the part himself was not in his design, and yet he did know that each creature on earth was here for a reason. What that reason was might perhaps never be known, but as he looked into X’s eyes, he knew what was to be done. He didn’t know the word himself, but as he gazed into those lifeless eyes, he felt as though this was part of his destiny. Awaiting their orders, the gathered cats, rats, squirrels and magpies studied his features. They were bright and fearless, and when he pulled himself from X’s empty gaze, he knew there was no more time to waste, and so did they.