a manner of speaking

by uzwi

“The cat appears out of the laurel at the end of the garden, pursuing something you can’t see.” Unless you’re an f/sf reader or a hard-nosed realist, the use of “something you can’t see” in that sentence is complexly unpackable. Along with “appears”, it questions the reality of the scene yet doesn’t. It has no problem with states or issues being superposed; it doesn’t ask what is “really” meant, or demand to know which side of the image the author’s on. Indeed, it relies on that superposition for its effect. Has the cat appeared out of nowhere, or is this a figure of speech to indicate suddenness? Is that something-which-can’t-be-seen actually invisible, or only, say, a line-of-sight issue of the viewer’s? Are both meant only to draw attention to typical cat behaviours?