The Cat That Knew Too Much

Michelle Bramble

© Copyright 1999 by Michelle Bramble

On my way home one day, I absorbed myself in my surroundings. I remember glimpsing at the pigeons that were crowded in the sky above and the stray dogs wandering aimlessly on the pavement. But the creature that most captivated my attention at that particular moment was the most common of all - a calico cat that sped into a nearby alley. Why it caught my eye at that moment I’ll never understand but will always remember. I’ve seen plenty of felines in my neighborhood, but I realized I saw one again for the first time. I followed it into the alley.

The cat entered and settled itself comfortably in a dark corner where it believed itself to be safe from all harm. Hesitant to enter through the portal into reality, it seemed to be emotionally fatigued. But finally after much internal conflict it rose and accepted his undeniable mission. It slowly lifted its limbs that have become burdensome like heavy iron shafts. His dull and patchy coat covered in street filth stretched thinly across rows of ribs. His appearance seemd to be saying, “Yes, it was the world that did this to me.” As it gracefully stretched its aches, tiredness, and procrastination away it became revitalized and revealed a hidden energy. In one blink the cat punctured the dream world and crossed the parallel dimensions.

It then carefully chose its path premeditating the results of each decision before determining his future. He profoundly studied his options looking in all directions. In one exquisite movement the decision was clear. All this occurred in microseconds.

Once the path was chosen, the journey began. Using his God given characteristics - the padding on his feet, tail and whiskers for balance, and sharp reflexes - he was able to glide smoothly without being disturbed or affected by an outside force. But his self- built blinders and speed were a result of a mental inertia, a motive stronger than any other, a will power to succeed.

No, he will not forever be a lonely alley cat, he was far more ambitious than that. He had a dream, a vision for the future, but most importantly a strategy. Deep in his mind he knew exactly what he wanted and would pursue it.

After moments of traveling he encountered the force that would truly allow him to continue on his quest - food. A tiny mouse had whizzed in front of him. With his cunning mentality and readiness he sprang forward to lunge towards his prey. But when he opened his paws to reveal his treasure he realized he missed.

But this cat was a determined one - the word failure he did not understand, nor did it exist in his vocabulary. With another swipe of his razor sharp claws to the victim, he succeeded in capturing it. Without wasting a single moment he devoured his meal eagerly, enjoying every morsel. His claws continued to entrap his prey to ensure that it would not escape. He gulped down the mouse in chunks heartily and fulfillingly not knowing when his next meal will be, his next moment of ecstasy and satisfaction. His food - the victory he fed upon to supply him with the confidence he would need for future endeavors.

Unable to walk any further for now he retreated once more to a mellow environment to repose from the grand feast. He proved to himself that he was independent and successful for he caught his first mouse. But he was still shy, his confidence was still small. But with every laborious but enjoyable victory he would continue to grow. The nervous tapping of his tail would soon decrease to a relaxed sway. The searching slits in the dark would increase in size to a more softer appearance once in the sunlight. The twitch on his left ear that absorbed every sound wave of surrounding enemies would listen to a different beat.

And with this new found identity he would be sure to find confidence in his sixth sense that will lead him through his greatest journey - his way home.

Suddenly, out of pure carelessness, I cause a nearby broken mirror to come crashing to the floor. In slow motion I saw it shatter into millions of pieces and particles. For a microsecond there were millions of tiny calico alley cats and miniature me’s all over. With an instantaneous reflex, the cat dodged the mirror, flew over a fence, climbed a pile of boxes, jumped into a dumpster, and rose onto a ledge of a building. From here it stood tall to observe the damage from afar. We stared at each other, I thought I saw my reflection in his eyes.

It was then that I saw my life in the cat’s - my entire existence was equal to his. But he taught me much in those few moments of observance. I too shall overcome obstacles, and will rise only to land on my feet. I am the cat.

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