Margaret Atwood was the headline guest reader at the 11th International Conference on the Short Story in English which took place in Atwood’s home town of Toronto last week. As the city was busy preparing itself for the imminent visit of the world leaders at the G8 summit, in her opening she extended a warm welcome to the ‘Wonderful writers, scholars from all over the world and devotees of the short story. We, right here in Toronto, are so pleased that you have come here, you are much more welcome among us than the G8. Unfortunately we have not spent $1.2million on a pretend lake for you, but we have a lot of real lakes that people will be able to visit at some point. One of them is right out front and it’s called Lake Ontario and it doesn’t cost you a thing.’
She then read two stories, the first of which is presented here, the satirical ‘Our Cat Enters Heaven’ from her collection The Tent.