Readers that try to impose categories on fiction only create logical traps for themselves-this box for "hard science- stories, that box for "new wave- stories. SchrÖdinger's Cat strips the lid off the box, and categorizers are caught inside it, or outside it.
Beginning with the first long paragraph and the line- As things appear to be coming to some sort of climax- (Norton) it appears that the narrator is in some sort of limbo and uncertainty. Two possibilities come to mind as the paragraph unfolds. One thought is that she has died and is in the process of going into the afterlife. Her association with the married couple who have "pretty well gone to pieces- (Norton) suggest the aftermath of an accident or event. The wife is described as dismembered. The husband's pieces trotted around bouncing and cheeping like little chicks. The fact that he "had no hormones of any kind- (Norton), would indicate a loss of manhood and her insistence on trying to express herself perhaps is an indication it was a volatile ending for the couple. When the narrator states, "just before I left- (Norton), it would also indicate her spirit was in limbo and she was in some type of altered state. .
Another theory would be the narrator is simply dreaming and has entered the world of the subconscious. The lines "Now here I am, lying here. Hard at it."" and ".Most dreams are forgotten ."" (Norton) give the reader a sense of surrealism and fantasy as the events flash and change at a dream-like, unearthly pace. .
As the story continues, the tone seems dark, dreamy and uncertain. The narrator's constant reference to grief is evidence of this. "Yet later music strikes the note."" (Norton) suggests a subconscious comparison between the music and of unspoken emotion. Whenever she hears specific music, the emotion of the music is profound and brings about subconscious emotion.
Taking on a symbolic and very significant role in the events of the story is the cat.