Bringing his paw down on my chest with all his weight behind it, his wide eyed stare and desperate mews informing me he needs a midnight snack.
He’s got a flare for the dramatic, mewing and howling while he darts between my legs. He pauses so we can make eye contact, then turns to the shelf where the cat food is kept, then back to my face and then to his reflection mewing at it. This is his little ritual, his foolproof method of making sure the humans understand what he wants.
He seems to know when I’m dreaming, his mews cutting through whatever absurd scenario I’m caught in. The scene pauses and everyone in the dream looks around till I realise I have to feed my cat. I smile apologetically while I leave the dream and rush to the cabinet.
Without my glasses he’s just a drowsy white blur in darkness. I’m quick to go back to sleep after petting him while he chows down greedily. As I slip back into sleep, I have him besides me looking for whatever it was I was dreaming.
These rituals always help me remember my dreams in the morning, the stories I recall begin with my pet mewing.
And slink across shadows
Mirror eyed feline
Your ways are not kind
Much a preference of mine
By the darkness hollowed out by orange light sat an old ginger cat, his perch holding him far above the quiet of the street.
You’ll be amazed by what goes on in those eyes beyond the topsy-turvy glass mirror to the street you might catch if you every got close enough. The moon is several days past full and for no reason other than its own his eyes take a snails pace. Now and then go the afterlife of fireflies flirting by before they are lost and then found.
There’s no real wind… still what is it with that one leaf above him?
A shuffle somewhere, after some quiet he glances but knows not to care. He only stares at emptiness, his pupils slinking into shape as he moves through nightlight. A chill passes and he shifts. By the now the cloud that never moved disappeared. His eyes gleam then go. Has he left or has he slept?
Pity was the last thing she needed, maybe it was even a little insulting, but that’s all he had to offer as she left.
A few days ago she flew in like she always did. She was always turned around, looking out to the street while the doorbell still rung. When the door swung open, she’d turn, and with formal greeting head straight in. He would stay out of her way, but like the ears of a cat would follow every step. Far too often he’s look around and feel something out of place, something missing. He was wary, and watchful when he wasn’t indifferent. But that day she was a was a bit nicer. Meeker? He pushed the thought outside and went out to the balcony where he could rock the cane chair a few inches shy of the late morning sun. From here he could see and ignore most of what happened inside.
A few cushions paled with age were moved around and leg was swung onto a reading table. He looked out at the sun coated sprawl of buildings, rented houses that cannibalized former homes. They rose irregularly, their bones of steel sprung out of the roofs of many, the grilled windows unable to protect against dust. They were all he saw except for irregular burst of green and glass behemoths at a distance. She spoke again.
He hardly head what she had said. Her contacts were lost she said, she wanted help she said. A few days later she nicer still, said she wanted help. His curiosity was sufficiently piqued. He tried piecing together a mystery as she asked him how to block a number. Her’s was an old phone, a worn touch pad that poured light through faded keys. There was no block option. It wasn’t one of those call drop numbers. This was a person. A person who had called frequently, late into the night she informed him. She asked if it was possible to have it blocked at a store. He doubted that was possibly and shrugged no longer interested. He told her to try. Late into the night… It’s a little more serious than call drops then. “Bored pervs” he though to himself.
Today she asked for his number. She’d lost her phone. He couldn’t shake the feeling that she’d gotten rid of it to escape the calls. He remember her husband, a loud, brash plumber he couldn’t stand for too long. He didn’t see the plumber being much help. He saw her fly away like usual but felt disturbed. Maybe he should have done something more. A phone wasn’t cheap,it must have cost her dearly to get a new one.She might have asked for help but maybe it wasn’t his business to offer help.
She joked that she must have forgotten it somewhere. Her laughter seemed awkward. He offered her his usual curt smile. She carried on as always,back to the un-speaking self, having found her way of coping while he stayed out there perturbed. His indifference made him feel guilty but soon he was lost to thoughts about the city before him.