This is an excerpt from the novel Lost on Earth(Romantic thriller).
Victor's parents were animal lovers. A lot of pets surrounded him from the first day of his life. His mother especially loved cats. Different colors, but most of them were short haired, and Victor liked them. One black cat was his favorite. Its mother was a street cat, and it was an accident that brought them together.
A police officer, he got out of his car to buy a snack, and he noted a cat. It was a small town, and the only tall building was a church and that's where the cat was, right on top of the building. Why had this cat climbed it? Maybe a dog drove it up there or youngsters did it, Victor had no idea.
The roof was wet after the rain, and the cat, running on the edge, slipped, and fell down. It hit itself against a horizontal flag above the door. It could not land on all its four, as cat are usually able. The pain of compassion squeezed Victor's heart when he saw the cat smack onto asphalt sidewalk. It wriggled, unsuccessfully trying to get up, and then lay still.
He ran to the animal. When he got close the cat tossed its head and spat. But it was badly injured, and its hissing broke into a plaintive mewing. Victor bent over the animal to check it out and saw it was pregnant. Suddenly the cat stretched and moaned, and the policeman realized it was a birth effort. But the cat's head lowered and the animal was still.
It was not breathing anymore, and Victor saw the kittens, moving and tossing inside their dying mother.
And he grabbed the cat in his arms, and ran to his car. He turn on the siren and vehicles were making way for him. Maybe he abused his official status. Can we reproach him for that?
Less than ten minutes later he walked in a veterinary clinic. His family were regular clients here. The doctor immediately took the cat into the operation room.
Victor could not stay, he was on duty, but after his shift he went back. And the doctor gave him a small box with a tiny black kitten inside: "I'm sorry, Victor. It's the only one who survived."
They had a lot of cats, and it was not difficult to find a "nanny" for that poor orphan. But Victor paid it additional attention, and when the weak kitten grew up into a nice, tender pussy-cat, they became real friends. Every time, when he was lying in the bed, night or day, the cat came to him and lay by his side. It purred very loud and melodically, and Victor loved to pet and caress it and feel its small muscular body.
The cat was a bad traveler, so Victor had never took it to his work, but the animal waited for him after every shift, and it knew his schedule. Just once, when Victor came home about two hours earlier than usual, the cat was not there.
Victor looked around, and called his pet. He heard a response and turned toward the sound.
That unforgettable sight was engraved on his mind for ever. It was winter, day time and sunlit snow glittered brilliantly. The carbon black cat was running to him across the dazzlingly bright white yard. It looked, like a giant typewriter was making a line. The small animal, loudly meowing with every jump, sank into the deep snow over its ears, but did not stop until it reached its beloved master. Panting, it climbed on his arms.
Touched, overflowing with tenderness, Victor embraced and caressed the cat. It purred, he laughed, and they both were feeling happy.
He was on his shift when the awful fire had happened. Both of his parents and almost the all animals died. His favorite cat was gone too.
However, some cats ran away, later he saw some of them in the local shelter. As a policeman, Victor often delivered street cats and lost dogs there, and he wanted to believe his pet survived that fire.
After the tragedy Victor became a monk, yet he still loved animals and dearly wanted to have at least one of them.
He finally had the opportunity to have a pet when the monks moved to a new town.
They had found information about this town through the Internet. Five years ago all citizens left this town without any visible reason.
Patrick, the leader, and Victor checked the town out. The church in the town was still in good condition and all communications were easily set up. It was very lucky for the cenobites. And they moved here.
Because of permanent danger, the monks preferred to stay in the same building, near the church and leave the other houses empty.
It was 6:35 p.m. and Victor went for a little walk. He went slowly along the streets, as he had done many times in his town. Abandoned buildings looked strange and gloomy.
Suddenly a tiny black animal ran near a house. Victor noticed it, and sighed, recalling his pet. Although he knew, how careful any cats, especially street cats are, Victor mechanically called it: "Here, kitty-kitty-kitty!" To his surprise, the cat came to him.
Of course, it was not his cat, it was a very young animal, about six or eight months old. Victor thought this was why it came to his call and allowed him to take it in his arms.
But when he came close to the church, the animal started to show worry and finally jumped off his arms.
Victor did not want to force it to stay. He knew cats did not like new places. He went to the building and took a few pieces of chicken, then came back. The cat was still there. Victor fed it and smiled with pleasure, watching how the hungry animal was eating greedily.
Since that time the cat started to wait for him every evening and Victor was feeling happy. Tracy was an inveterate cameraman and recorded how Victor fed and petted the cat and played with it. But probably the film was defective, because instead of images of his new pet, there were just black shapeless spots.
Victor very much wanted that cat to lie in his bed, as he had in his town, however, the animal never came close to the building, where the cenobites now lived. And finally Victor asked Patrick, the leader, about permission to spend nights in another house. Patrick did not see anything wrong and allowed it.
Victor chose the house near where he met the cat the first time.
That night he lay down on the bed in that house and called the cat.
The animal looked confused. It seemed it was concerned and hesitated. Once it even hissed at the monk, and Victor thought with worry, maybe it was sick.
But finally, the cat jumped onto the bed, curled itself up into a ball and started purring, and Victor smiled with happiness.
Patrick and Tracy slowly passed the house.
"I can't understand Victor," Tracy shrugged his shoulders. "How can he sleep here, alone, in a ghost town, with a black cat..."
The friends involuntarily looked at the building.
Strange, reddish light glowed from the bedroom window.
"My God!" Patrick gasped. "It's a fire!"
They ran into the house and burst into Victor's bedroom.
They stopped, they screamed with horror, and they then realized, why the citizens left this town, after such a monster took up residence here.
It, what bent over Victor, was not a cat, not a panther, not a woman, not a She-Devil, not a Sphinx. It was all of them at once.
Its tender girl face was turned to the monks. The glowing slanted eyes of the creature did not show any fear. Bright white fangs flashed into its mouth when it licked its succulent lips. Swishing its long snake-like tail, the beast stretched its limbs, and the cenobites saw its huge claws.
The monks grabbed their guns and started shooting. Their bullets, made from church silver, should kill any creature whether from Earth or Hell.
Its screech made them deaf for a while. Victor sprang up and the monks stopped firing, and they were afraid to wound their friend.
Victor gasped, he stared at the creature, wriggling in the middle of the room.
"Why did you shoot it?" he asked, shocked.
The friends became confused. Really, why? It did not harm Victor, and probably would have not. But it looked so unusual... So scary... Yes, looked.
A light smoke rose from it and now only a motionless body of a small dead cat was lying on the floor.
Victor took it into his arm, hugged it and cried bitterly. The friends looked at him with compassion, but only animal lovers would be able to understand his grief.
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