At some point in the night Carly picks me up from my sleep spot and I see that we’ve stopped outside a much shorter building than the ones in the city. I hang limp for the time being (in all honesty, I’m still more than half asleep at this point). We move toward the front of the building, where there is a small light that shines through one of the windows. The door in the center of the front of the house opens and an older woman stands framed by the light from within.
“You made it!” she says, and then looks around and says, quieter, “I’ve been so worried!” I can only assume that this the mother about whom Carly was talking.
“Yeah, and I’m about ready to just lay down and sleep out here. Let me in!” And let me down, I think. I need to find somewhere to go back to sleep. As nice as being carried around is, the motion is keeping me awake. I wriggle a little under Carly’s arm, but give up after a couple squirms. May as well go along with things for now. We’ll probably get an opportunity to rest soon enough.
“And there’s the baby! Come in, come in…” The woman waves her arms as though the movement could pull Carly into the building, and Carly obliges. That said, I can’t be sure if this motion worked or if Carly was just eager to get inside. If the humans can move stuff with their minds, that would be a very interesting development, though I highly doubt that this is the case. And what does she mean by ‘baby?’ It’s obvious I’m not a kitten (I’m not that old, either, but still). Once inside, Carly almost immediately walks to a small area in the back, the majority of which is dominated by a large, soft-looking thing. It is covered in a material that is similar to the skins the humans wear but quite a bit thicker. I think I saw one of these back at Carly’s place, though it looked a different – it was smaller and closer to the ground. If I recall correctly, she fell asleep on it, and this seems to be for the same purpose, as she flops upon the thing and almost immediately starts snoring. I jump up onto the sleeping area with Carly and curl up at the very end of it, though not before taking a moment to sharpen my claws in the material, however. It turns out to be a very satisfying substance for this purpose, and after this final deed it is not long before I doze off as well.
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I feel Carly rise from the soft place some time after it has become light outside, my whiskers picking up the movement a fraction of a second before I wake. I’m a bit surprised nothing woke me up in the middle of the night, and less surprised that I slept so long after all the previous day’s events. I’ll take the unbroken sleep as a good sign of the security of Carly’s mother’s residence. My head feels better as well, no more aching and throbbing. I am hungry, though. Conveniently, the skittering sounds of a small creature reach my ears, and I can’t help but lick my lips. I uncurl and rise, stretching in anticipation of the hunt, and once again sharpen my claws upon the soft material of the sleeping area. I jump down from it and land on the wooden ground without making a sound. There are what seem to be thousands of small items strewn about this residence, mostly on top of the wooden boxes that seem to be so popular with humans, but I’ll probably have time to examine those later, along with exploring the many areas that branch out along the path of this apartment, which is much larger than Carly’s. Perhaps the older you are, the more respected and accommodated you are among humans. That would make sense. Anything that survives as long as these humans seem to do deserves some respect. I wonder how long I’ll live? Certainly longer than this mouse whose movements I’m tracking.
I arrive at a larger room where the light falls through the windows. An earthy sort of smell permeates the area, seeming to come from a small, see-through container on one of the surfaces above me. There’s no time to investigate this smell or bask in the warmth though, as I see a little grey tail disappear behind a large, white, humming box. It seems to be another unmoving object upon which the humans have instilled a sort of life, as they are wont to do. Carly gasps and pulls her legs up against her chest when she sees the rodent scurry behind it.
“Mom! A mouse!” Why is she scared of such a small creature? She could easily just step on it and that would be it. Her mother, on the other hand, is more reasonable and is unfazed.
“Oh yeah. You know how it is in the winter. They come flooding in, and just as many swears come flooding out of your father’s mouth when he sees one.” Huh. So there will be no shortage of food around here if that’s the case. Excellent. I peer around the corner at the two of them and they finally notice that I have joined the gathering. “Ooh, and here comes the hunter! Funny how a mouse woke both of you up. Any chance you might leave him here?” Just when I think her mother is reasonable, she stakes a claim on me? I’ve decided I’m going to follow Carly around anyhow, so even if she leaves me here, I’ll follow. I walk over to the tall white box and sit down. I bet I can move this thing out of the way. I reach a paw out just as Carly is speculating upon her living situation.
“Might leave myself here as well if I can’t find a safer apartment. Do you–” I give a light pull and the white box moves, though it makes a nasty screech when it does, and leaves a dark track upon the smooth white ground. The mouse, momentarily stunned by its exposure, is easy prey, and I hop behind the white box and crunch it up. I hear Carly and her mother talking behind me.
“That fridge is on wheels, right?” says Carly.
“If it was, I would’ve wheeled it out of here a long time ago.”
“I mean, it’s pretty light, right?”
“Your father’s thrown his back out twice trying to move it. How did you get this cat, again?” Hm. So this is a fridge. Who knows what that means. More importantly, in spite of how easy it was to move, apparently it’s pretty heavy by normal standards, and I have once again drawn attention to my abnormality. I peek at them from behind the fridge and speak, in spite of the futility of their understanding my words.
“No one saw that, right?”
( ©2017 Sean Dorsey )