CΩT (Part 19)

I arrive back at Chuck and I’s building but do not see her car, so I wait outside her door. A few other humans pass me by and go into their own spaces in the building, lights appearing through their windows once they close their entrance walls. I hide inside when they pass by, coming back out only when they’re gone. It is tempting to follow them, but going by Sophia’s reaction to my intrusion before, they might not take too friendly to an unknown cat. Maybe when they leave I can check some of their places out, see how they compare to Chuck’s.

And then Chuck arrives in her traveling beast, well, her ‘car.’ I go inside and wait for her, and I hear her come up the stairs, pause and then go back down again. Did she forget something in the car? This seems to be the case at first, as I hear the now familiar sound of her opening and closing the side of it. But there is no crunch of stone and grit from her returning footprints. I wait for a while but she doesn’t come back. Okay, what’s going on? Upon going back outside, I can see her sitting in the car, and she looks scared, wide eyes staring up in my direction. But why? Did she notice I was missing and become worried? Or maybe she’s wised up to the dangers of the world and thinks there’s another intruder. But I’m highly doubtful that I wouldn’t have immediately noticed this, and a quick check inside yields neither smell, noise, nor presence of any other living thing aside from the ever-lurking insects. My confusion grows. What is she afraid of? I guess I’ll just have to go down there and try to understand this new and incomprehensible situation.

As I leave the building, I see that another car has pulled up, one with strange flashing blue and green lights emanating from the top of it, which certainly draws one’s attention. Chuck finally gets out of her car when this human gets out of theirs. I’ve made my way down to the ground by this point, but neither of them seems to have noticed me. Meanwhile, the human in blue goes up to Chuck’s place and then inside. Chuck remains in her car, staring up at the opening with her arms folded tight in front of her. A short while later the blue-clothed human emerges again and starts to come down. I’m getting a bit tired of all this back and forth, not to mention the rest of the day’s events, so I sneak behind Chuck and jump into her car through the opening opposite her, dropping down and hiding in the thin space under where Chuck sits and controls the car. She doesn’t notice any of this, which is understandable (I was very quiet). I’d rather not interrupt whatever is happening here, it might influence their actions, thus defeating the point of my observation. Also, from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like Chuck’s going to stay here tonight, so at least I can be sure to accompany her this way, especially if I fall asleep, which there is a good likelihood at this point. I hear the sound of approaching steps and perk up; I can only assume that the human in blue has returned. Sure enough, it is her voice that next I hear.

“Well ma’m, the apartment is clear, and there doesn’t appear to be any damage other than the bolt and lock. You’ll have to come in and tell us if anything’s missing.” Well that was redundant. If they’d been paying attention they would’ve seen that I had already secured the area. And the cave is called an apartment. The names these humans think of for things is baffling.

“And you’re sure the guy from earlier is still in custody?” Ohh, okay, so apparently these blue-clothed humans are in charge of the troublemakers. So Chuck has become more cautious. That’s great to hear. As much as I’d like to, I can’t be around all the time to protect her from whatever dangerous situation she gets into.

“He would go right to a cell as soon as he recovered consciousness.” Sounds like they know what they’re doing. I crawl out from my hiding place to express some gratitude and the blue-clothed human finally notices me. “Nice that you got your cat safely out of there, though.” Chuck turns and looks at me as well.

“What– “

“Hi!” I say, amused at the way the hair over her eyes has risen in what I assume to be surprise.

“How did you get in here? Was he there the whole time?” The other human shows her teeth a little. Chuck doesn’t appear to be threatened by this display, so I guess it’s all right.

“You didn’t know he was in there? He crawled out from under the seat while we were talking.”

“No, I… he must’ve gotten out when they opened the door and then…” I blink at her. Does she really still think that someone else tried to get into her apartment? “… jumped in here when I got home?” She turns from me back to the blue-clothed one again. “Wait, you said the lock is broken?”

“Yeah, almost as though someone used a battering ram, though there’s no sign of impact on the outside and your neighbors didn’t report any loud crashes.” Well yeah, it was easy enough to pull open. Or it felt easy to me, at least. I’ll have to keep an eye out for this ‘Battering Ram,’ though. Some kind of super-tough mountain goat, maybe? The female goes on. “Two incidents in two nights though, huh? I’d probably want to move as well. Do you have somewhere to stay?” As I thought! We’ll be going elsewhere tonight. Sounds good to me.

“I’ll figure something out. Oh man, I can’t believe this…” Chuck puts a hand over her eyes, which is a bit ironic considering how unobservant these humans seem to be. Surely there were claw marks on the door where I pulled it open! Then again, I must be thankful as well. There are already enough humans who know that I’m not an average cat. Given all the strange things they do, I’m not sure how they would react to this.

“Well, we’re here for you if you need us. It is strange that this is the second time in a row. Is there anyone you can think of who might be targeting you?”
Chuck does what I now know to be a laugh. But why now? Perhaps humans laugh when they think something is funny and also when they’re nervous. What a confusing reaction, not at all like the way we cats use our tails. But humans don’t have the advantage that tails give, so I guess it can be forgiven that they’re a bit more ambiguous.

“Oh yeah, all those drug lords I make sure to piss off daily… I’m sorry. I just don’t know what to think of all this. There’s no one I can think of that would do something like this.”

What? You can’t think of anyone? But you just said you made the Drug Lords angry, whoever they are! I mean, I know it was me that caused all this confusion, but still. Perhaps that human that tried to attack her in her sleep earlier was a Drug Lord. Not too tough, despite their lofty sounding title.

“All right Carly, stay safe.” The blue-clothed human gets back in her car and goes away. But more importantly, she called Chuck Carly! Have I been thinking of her with the wrong name this whole time? And if so, who is Chuck? It can’t be me, such a silly sounding name. And the name ‘Carly’… surely she’s not related to all the cars running around the human region? Or maybe her family is involved with them, and breeds them for the other humans.

“I know we’ve just started this relationship and it’s a big step, but I’d like you to meet my mother.” Her mother is still alive? But she’s already so old herself! How long do humans live? This is all too much for me to think about at this point, so I curl up next to her, the car rumbling gently beneath me as I give in to sleep.

( ©2017 Sean Dorsey )

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