My Terrifying Encounter 
With a Black Cat at Night

Ikyereve Denen

© Copyright 2022 by Ikyegeve Denen

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

On the first day of January every year was my birthday and I had a yearly ritual of celebrating this day at my village which was 400 kilometers from the city center were I was working at, but unfortunately I forgot about this ritual for the 2021 due majorly to the fact that I had a visitor who was my childhood friend who was based in the united states of America but had to come briefly for his mothers funeral, we had a lot in common because we went to the same primary and secondary schools in a town called keffi. I stayed in the same dormitory with Mr Ameh for six years at government college keffi and was the schools head boy while he was the labour prefect during our sixth year in secondary school, we had fun together and prayed for better life after our graduation from our alma mater.

As fate had it, I ended up going to the university in my state to study for a degree programme while Mr Ameh Orokpo was sent to the united states to meet with his uncle who was a medical doctor but was childless at that time, Mr Amehs dad obliged his brother when he pleaded that he releases one of his 5 male children to him in America so that he and his wife can train, therefore after our secondary education we lost contact for close to 8 years without communication from each other. While Mr Ameh had gone on to becoming a trained pilot with the American airforce marines I was working as banker in my country for just 2 years.

While returning from work one faithful Thursday after close of work while trying to board a taxi from our head office to my humble abode, I received a call from a strange number and when I received it, lo and behold it was my good friend Mr Ameh, he was so happy to hear from me and he informed me that he was in the country for preparation for his traditional marriage and that he would like to visit me on Saturday if I was chanced, I was so elated and I gave him my house address immediately so that he wont get lost on his way having left the shores ofour country Nigeria for such a long time. This was on the 30th of December and Saturday was supposed to th first day of the new year which was the major reason while my yearly rituals skipped my memory.

On that faithful Saturday at about in the morning I had a knock on my door and it was Ameh my manest man, we exchanged pleasantries and reminisced old time memories at my place, Ameh was now a certified pilot with lots of flying hours and he was now working for emirate airlines in America, we discussed at length about how he met his missing rib during a church service when he was promoted at his place of work, we laughed about how he behaved very badly towards her on their first encounter but how faith will have it that now there are engaged and geeting ready to be joined together in Nigeria before going back to the US. Ameh was in house till evening before we went out to find some food and drinks to relax at a pub far from my house, it was while at the pub that Ameh asked me about my mom that my heart raced and I remembered immediately that I should have been on my way to the village since morning, nevertheless I explaned every thing to him and he said he can drive me that night to my village and come back the next day since he didnít have anything special to do at that point in time,I tried talking him out of it, but he was very adamant so by 8. Pm in the evening we set out for my village in katsina ala local government in benue state. Due to the fact that it was already dark we were driving with caution because many people were also rushing to their respective viages to celebrate the new year with their loved ones as it is a tradition of we Africans to celebrate the yuletide at home with our parents and siblings, as we were driving I felt uncomfomtable because the food I ate was giving me running stomach, I held on for sometime but as we were approaching gboko town, I had a strong urge to use the toilet but since there was no close by facility which I could use, I opted for the natural path which means I had to go into the thick bush to relieve myself, as I was just about to drop the first bomb from my bowel I heard a cry closer by and I ignored it because I was too pressed,but as soon as I raised my head up, I saw a large cat, black in colour running towards my direction, I shouted yesu kristu and immediately sprang to my feet and started running towards the entranced into the bush from were I entered, when I turned behind to see whether the feline specie was giving me a hot chase I looked directly into its eyes which were very bright and shiny, the cat also opened its mouth and was making the mew mew sound, I stopped in my tracks and I discovered that three other cats were running towards me from different directions and I had only one route to follow which was leading me deep into the thick bush this time, I started running in zig zag motion so as to get to the route that led me into the path that I initially entered before I could go farther one of the cats jumped onto a brnch and fell on my back, I crashed down in shock but I was lucky that some hunters were nearby and there made a strange sound from their mouth probable from a whistle and all three cats scampered to safety and left me on the ground as I was shaken from their fear that gripped me.

When the hunters came to wee I was lying on the ground there asked me in our local dialet what I was doing in the bushes at that time of the night, there taugt came into the bush to smoke indian hemp as was the tradition with many youths in that area but when there saw that I was trembling there asked were I came from and I said faintly that I was in transit and I only came there to relieve myself from the stomach ache I was having, there sympathized with me and escorted me back to the road were my friend Ameh had become restless, the hunters explained to me that I came into the territory of the cats without permission at night and that was why there chased me, one of them even jokingly said it may be some witched and wizard who attacked me because I was wearing a necklace which we all laughed, these hunters bid us farewell from that point and returned bck into the bush to hut for more bush meat.
The remainder of our journey to the village was very eventful and we finally arrive at my village in katsina ala at exactly 11:30 pm and we were welcomed by my mom with roasted yams for our consumption.

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